Home' HR Monthly : April 2015 Contents 22
ON THE JOB: AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY
ACCI role (or alternatively, taking her hands off the
paddle – her idea of relaxing is to kayak across Sydney
Harbour). On behalf of the chamber’s 350,000 -plus
members, she’s weighing in on everything from
reducing penalty rates, to abolishing the $1000 online
GST-free threshold, to supporting a review of the Fair
Work Act to combat rising unemployment.
It’s all in a bid to drive ACCI’s mission of “being the
voice for Australian business” and “making Australia
a world-class place to do business so our kids can have
decent jobs in the future”.
In addition to her thoughts on being risk-averse,
Carnell says women often sell themselves short and
don’t apply for more senior roles because of caring
duties or because they talk down their capabilities.
“Often, by the time the kids are school age, you lose
skills and contacts, and the ship has sailed. My advice
is to get back to work as soon as you can,” she says.
“Accept that there’s never a right time [to take on more
responsibility]. Get rid of that excuse.
“The next excuse I hear all the time is, ‘I never have
all the skills I need for a job.’ It’s fi ne not to have them
all. If you had every single skill you needed, what are
you going to learn in the nex t role?
“Men will apply for jobs when they can do two of
the 10 skills required, knowing they can train. Some
women might have all 10 skills but think, ‘Maybe I
should do a master’s to know more about that job.’”
A mentor can spu r along the career development
process, she says. If your organisation doesn’t have a
mentoring program, she recommends finding someone
you can bounce ideas off fortnightly, in person or via
Skype or FaceTime. They don’t have to be the same
gender as you.
Among Carnell’s advice to organisations is that they
have a few values – not a huge list – they commit
to and don’t merely put on a poster for everyone to
ignore. The leaders should always live out the values to
keep the trust of their people.
To make values mean something to customers,
members and clients, be unequivocal. “If you’re clear
on values, difficult discussions are much easier. A nd
increasingly, people like working for organisations
where they know what the organisation stands for.”
She cites beyondblue as an example. A survey
revealed that staff were unhappy and believed –
FOR CAREER SUCCESS
Don’t drag people
down with negativity
because that mood will rub
of f on others. Bring your
best self to work every day.
Put your hand up to accept
Be willing to learn new
things and take on new
challenges. Think beyond
the confines of your current
role to develop new skills.
Try to solve problems
yourself before bringing
them to others to solve.
3 WORK HARD.
That’s the way to
get to the top.
Kate Carnell fur ther
outlines her team
HRM TV VIDEO
“probably rightly so” – that senior management wasn’t
living the organisation’s open communication value.
Information wasn’t flowing well from the top down. “And,
of course, staff think, ‘ If you’re not living that value, are
you living any of them?’”
To maintain the flow of communication at ACCI,
Carnell says she has an open-door of fice policy and has
fortnightly one-on-ones with her executive team. Her
senior executives are also required to have fortnightly
one-on-ones with their staff.
A lack of entrepreneurialism and global competitiveness is
holding back many Australian businesses, believes Carnell.
“Business people should enjoy talking about money. The
bottom line needs to be discussed,” she says.
Taking more risk, even if it means tripping up, is needed
to make Australia more competitive, she says.
“If you fail at a business in Australia, you’re treated as
a pariah. If you fail at one business in the US, people’s
attitude is, ‘You may well fail in a few more business
ventures before becoming a big success.’ Over there, a
business mistake is one step along the path. Not the end of
Top of the form
Carnell acknowledges effective leadership as being one
of the biggest challenges facing Australian businesses
in the nex t decade and singles out the leaders who she
thinks are a particularly good example.
“I was on the leadership group for the Australian B20
back in July 2014 with a lot of CEOs. It was fascinating
watching Richard Goyder work. The Wesfarmers group
managing director is very low key – that’s fundamental
to get the best out of everybody. Richard manages such
a diverse range of businesses from coal mining to retail,
and so he can bring together apparently disparate goals.
He’s a big picture person, able to connect big goals.”
She is also an admirer of founding chair of beyondblue
chairman and former Victorian premier, Jeff Kennett.
“Regardless of where your political affiliations are, Jeff
made a huge difference in Victoria. He made things
happen, he crashed through. He’s not a manager, but he’s
a great leader. Leadership is about action, about having a
vision and getting people to go on the ride. Jeff can create
and inspire others with a big vision.”
Tim Costello, CEO of World Vision Australia is also
singled out for praise. “Tim effectively communicates a
vision on social justice issues, wins support and brings
others along on a path for change.”
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