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New book: Stepping Up on Diversity and Growth

Pamela Young - Tuesday, May 21, 2013

'Stepping Up: Lead culture change for diversity and growth in the Asian century' shares the views of 100 leaders from 26 industries and 16 cities across Asia and Australia.

It is a 'must-read' for people in business and society who are interested in knowing 'how to' advance our cultures – country culture, organisation culture and our own individual culture – to achieve change that will build diversity so that everyone can access opportunities and participate equally in the workforce.

                         See Stepping Up's website here:

On the website you can read the Preface and Contents pages, biographies of the 100 people interviewed and a sample of the quotes taken from the book.

Stepping Up is a up-to-date account of what people think about the diversity challenges that we face in the 21st century and the steps we need to take to keep adapting our values to be competitive in the world, to create a thriving economy and to provide future generations with equal opportunity:

  • to achieving balance in the roles performed at home and in society
  • to performing the work they are trained to do to the highest level
  • to leadership positions in business and society

You can read here a little about the benefits of diversity:


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Getting Real About Asia

Pamela Young - Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Finally people are starting to face their fears of China as the next super-power of the world.

Asia, especially China and India, offer slow growth first-world nations like Australia, the USA and the UK, the most amazing opportunity for growth that we haven't seen for many years; yet we have been somewhat reluctant to respond.  Some say for good reason, others say we need to overcome the fear that uncertainty and the unknown bring and get real about the growth in Asia and the wide range of economic opportunities available.

There is safety in numbers it seems.

A group of leaders from Australian businesses made the journey to China with Prime Minister Julia Gillard in the past week to sign a deal with the Chinese government allowing them to trade in Yuan and they reported that the negotiations were uncharacteristically relaxed and open. The group included Andrew Forrest (who organised the meeting), Tony Shepherd, Kevin McCann, Lindsay Fox, Michael Chaney, Gail Kelly, James MacKenzie, Nicholas Moore, Alan Joyce and Mike Smith. Read AFR's report here:

Hear stories from three of these leaders

Last year I spoke with Kevin McCann, Mike Smith and James Mackenzie who were amongst this China delegation about the opportunity that Asia presents for Australia and what we need to do to a take advantage of it.  Their views and suggestions are included in my book Stepping Up : Lead culture change for diversity and growth in the Asian century which is being launched next month (keep watching this blog and I'll announce when the book is available).

Also in Stepping Up I outline the implementation challenges that we face in trying to build stronger economic relations with Asian nations.  The most significant challenge is not overcoming the fear, but our relatively poor level of diversity in the leadership of our organisations: that is in both business and society.

Greater diversity - especially cultural diversity - would help to build cross-cultural awareness, prepare us to be more Asia-ready in terms of business and interpersonal protocols, and we would better appreciate the time-frame and processes required for establishing trusting and enduring relationships between partners that will increase our effectiveness and productively in the region.

There are no permanent or immovable barriers to a nation's growth and prosperity if its leaders are prepared to step up and make change happen...and if the people who follow these leaders are prepared to make the journey also. Chapter 12 of Stepping Up talks about the need for a private-public partnership to get social change happening in Australia to allow greater diversity to become a reality.  Perhaps last week's visit to China is the beginning - but we need to see much more cooperation at all levels of our society.



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Retaining Gen Y

Pamela Young - Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Six key motivators for Gen Y talent

Australian employers must wise up if they want to retain emerging Gen Y talent.

The key to an effective retention strategy is to get inside the Gen Y headspace.  Money is important, of course, but research shows there is so much more that motivates this generation.  Companies that embrace these drivers will fare far better when it comes to achieving employee engagement and retention and these factors have a massive impact on the bottom line.

There are six key motivators for professional Gen Y’s:

1.   A desire to gain experience.  Same old, same old just doesn’t cut it any more and savvy employers use this to their advantage.  Mix up teams, come up with stretch assignments and give employees the opportunity to travel or at least work with colleagues in different offices.

2.  Finding meaning in work.  It’s very hard to keep motivated if we don’t know why we’re doing something. Gen Y’s in particular want to see the big picture, understand the business and project goals and see they have a valuable part to play.  Without this, it’s difficult to maintain motivation and engagement.

3.  Flexibility.  The grind of the 9 to 5 is so last century – Gen Y’s want to have some control over when and how they work. It makes commercial sense.  Employees become much more loyal and productive if they’re allowed to work this way.  Improving staff morale is always good for business and there are definite cost benefits to having flexible working patterns according to demand.

4.  Communication.  Tap into everyone’s natural desire to communicate.  Listen to your team and demonstrate your interest in them.  Find out what they’re thinking and then act on it.  Don’t forget to keep employees informed about what’s happening in their workplace.  Good news or bad, they should hear it in an appropriate manner not via the office grapevine.

5.  Giving back.  Gen Y is a generation with a conscience.  Employers who initiate social responsibility programs will be more attractive – but you have to walk the talk or company credibility will be zero.

6.  The right rewards.  Once you have established that your employees are paid an appropriate salary, you can move on from money.  Simply recognizing someone’s contribution in front of other employees can be extremely motivating for the individual concerned.  Sincerity is key though, be too free and easy with your compliments and they’ll lose currency.

The growthcurv Young Leaders for Diversity program is a stretching, experiential, program providing a wealth of opportunities for professional development and growth.
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