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Boost Your Agility

This month we look at robotics, automation, virtualisation, as well as other strategies and techniques to boost corporate agility and maximise output.


2 min

Stay focussed!



Stay focussed!

Five ways to cease multi-tasking, and make the most of your time.

Making the most of your day is all about creating a plan and sticking to it, so as not to fall into the time wasting trap of being busy, but not productive. This is the principle message of efficiency experts Peter Bregman, Cyril Peupion and Glenn Dobson.


“People confuse performance with busyness,” Peupion says. “Thinking the more emails I respond to, the more I’m doing. But this isn’t the case.”

While there are a number of internet plugins and apps which can be downloaded to limit time on social media, and remove distractions such as the Facebook newsfeed, [such as StayFocused, and News Feed Eradicator] it is effective to adopt more high-level strategic approach to minimise distractions and optimise output.

Here’s what they suggest:

1. Think quarterly, plan weekly, act daily

Efficiency expert Cyril Peupion, says taking the time to plan short and long-term goals, actually enables you to create more time, then schedule these activities in your calendar rather than tracking them through a daily to-do list.

“Plan your week; think about the things that should make it into your diary,” Peupion says. “It’s not about how busy you are and how much work you have, it’s how you manage your time.”

2. Focus on the big things

Corporate coach and productivity whizz Glenn Dobson recommends focusing on those four or five major things in which you would most like to invest your time, and let go of the rest.

“At the end of the day, we’ve all got the same amount of time,” Dobson says. “Don’t get bogged down in things you don’t need to be doing.”

It’s not about how busy you are and how much work you have, it’s how you manage your time.



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3. Control your email

Control your email lest it control you Peupion says. Set aside three time slots each day to check your email, actioning each one as you go so they don’t pile up. Never attempt to divide your attention between email and other activities such as projects or meetings, you will be more effective if you’re focussed on one thing at a time.

4. Breathe

In his book Four Seconds Peter Bregman points out that it’s impossible to completely remove distractions from your day. He believes the key to staying focussed lies in the ability to recognise you’re distracted, pause and take a breath, a process which takes four seconds and enables you to return your attention to the task at hand.

5. Meditate

Setting aside time for yourself plays a crucial role in your overall productivity. In a world that overloads us with information and communication, we often overlook the importance of quiet contemplation, Bregman says.

“If you’re still looking for a business case to justify spending time meditating, try this one: meditation makes you more productive,” he says.


Idea in brief

Four simple ways to make more time in your working week:

  • Have an agenda for every phone call
  • Shorten meetings or propose a standing check in meeting where appropriate
  • Make a plan, schedule it and stick to it
  • Dedicate specific time for reading and responding to emails

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2 min

What Tomorrow's Leaders Need Today



What Tomorrow's Leaders Need Today

Google’s Jason Pellegrino discusses the impact of technology on communication with customers.

Thanks to mobile digital communications, customers have an expectation of securing relevant information at the right time, in the right format – every time. This places a whole new level of expectations on organisations. Jason Pellegrino, Head of Strategy & Operations for Google in the Asia-Pacific region, discusses the impact these expectations are having on sales and marketing strategies across the region. The trick to great mobile communications, Pellegrino says, is for marketers to continue to think like customers and optimise web communications for an excellent experience throughout each interaction.

Mobile as a technology is fundamentally changing the way consumers interact with each other, with brands, with businesses.


Jason Pellegrino
Head of Strategy & Operations
Google – Asia-Pacific

Mobile as a technology is fundamentally changing the way that consumers interact with brands, with businesses. It’s changing their expectations, yet they want information at a point in time when they want it, how they want it. And when that’s not delivered, they’re not happy. There’s research out there that shows, if someone goes to a website on their mobile phone and it’s not web optimised and it’s a suboptimal experience, two-thirds of those people will never come back. They’ll go to a competitor.

And so they want information they want, when they want it, in the format that they want it – and we’re all living these lives. Something happens when we enter our workplaces and we walk up into our roles in marketing or sales and strategy or operations, and we kind of start to forget who we are as a consumer. We have traditionally, in the last couple of years I’ve seen at least, you know, downplayed the role of mobile. Yet, as individuals, we’re sitting in those offices tethered to these phones, rapidly connecting to our friends and our families and everything, and using these as decision drivers for purchase decisions and everything else yet, stepping back, when we’re thinking about our own business and [we’re] not really understanding or not accepting, the importance of those devices.

For most organisations looking at the current disruption we’re facing is – is this acceptance that is being driven by consumers; that they’re along for the journey rather than driving consumers to the outcomes that they want. And so that requires change, it requires an ability to be fast and nimble, it requires an ability to – to bring in people who might be different to the organisation, [people who] have different skill sets who might think differently, who might challenge internally.

The reality is these connection points are there, they’re not going away. Consumer desire to connect with these connection points is only increasing, and so it sort of behoves all of us, particularly across the leadership teams in organisations, to realise [they’re] there and then figure out how to actually use those to actually connect with consumers, to actually highlight the benefits and features and products and services of my organisation. So maybe at a more authentic level help people understand some of the things we’re doing in corporate social responsibility that are actually out there in the market that maybe our employees are doing, our businesses are doing and actually – and highlight those programs.


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1 min

Big trends in retail



Big trends in retail

Forget checkout queues. Large-scale, fully-interactive digital signage, wearable technology, and massively sophisticated data analysis is about to change the shopping experience forever.

The world of retail is changing fast. Physical shopping is becoming digitally enabled. Online retailers are opening physical stores. Globalisation means local retailers are being exposed to competition from the world’s best. So where are the opportunities for retail in the future and what technologies will take us there?

Having recently visited the biggest retail show on earth: the National Retailers Federation’s Annual Convention and Expo, held in New York, Telstra retail industry executive Gareth Jude, says Australian retailers need to know about a handful of technologies are set to change the retail environment forever.

The New York retail expo is a must on the calendars of all Australian retailers. It gives you insight into where the opportunities will be in the future, and which technologies will take you there.

The technologies that caused the biggest stir at this year’s show, Jude believes, are enablers of change, agility and growth.

Dealing with data

The first big trend to emerge in 2015 is the proliferation of data sources – whether it’s discovering what your customers are searching for in-store while using your wifi hotspot or tracking how they’re moving throughout the store. Bluetooth connectivity is providing heightened opportunities to engage with customers by offering an enhanced retail experience through downloads of software, offers and product information while they are still in the store.

Wonderful wearables

The future is now, and tiny internet-connected computers can be embedded in everything from running shoes to sunglasses and jewellery. These little computers are collecting all kinds of data on customer location, physical health, interests and preferences, all of which can be integrated into delivering highly targeted marketing.

Digital media is back

No longer just a billboard on rotation, the current generation of digital media features highly interactive displays that operate as engaging vertical billboards, as well as digitised counter displays that open up to a whole new level of sales support.

“Digital media in the retail environment is no longer just moving billboards,” Jude says. “Screens are now being laid flat to create counter displays which interact with products to provide information and sales support.”