Perspective 2018 – day two insights

Day two of Perspective shed new light on the key drivers of business success today: purpose, leadership and innovation. In an action-packed agenda of inspiring keynotes and practical workshops, it also answered five critical business questions. 

1. Why should I define my ‘why’?

Too often businesses focus on ‘what’ they do – but don’t know why they do it beyond a metric measure. And numbers are only half the equation. As Start With Why’s David Mead explained, they don’t reflect the purpose and meaning human beings instinctively seek – and if you get stuck in the ‘hamster wheel’ of action and results, you become disengaged.

Finding purpose starts by changing your perception, and once you define it, it broadens the scope of your ‘what’.

For example, in real estate, property transactions may be the ‘what’, but the ‘why’ is about the contribution that makes to the lives of people.

Get this right, and you can command greater loyalty –from your team and your clients.  

2. How do we build trust?

Purpose also underpins the new trust landscape, where we’ve seen a shift from trust in authority figures to trust in our ever-expanding peer circles.

Emergent’s Holly Ransom shared her trust equation: combine credibility, reliability and intimacy, but understand that self-orientation will undermine your level of trust. She suggested identifying areas of improvement in every aspect, and discussing behaviours to add (or stop) within your teams. 

3. How do I empower my people to perform at their best?

David also discussed the responsibility leaders have to create a ‘circle of safety’ for their teams, and Kristen Hansen took this concept further in her session on the neuroscience of leadership.

Every five seconds, we scan our environment for threat or reward and this impacts our ability to solve problems and generate insights. Kristen says it’s the role of a leader to turn a threat state into a reward state, through coaching conversations and rethinking what an effective workday looks like.

Pia Lee’s leadership session focused on the three Cs behind successful business – clarity, climate and competence. Using the collaborative effort of the IndyCar pit-stop team as an example, she asked us to pinpoint our strengths and weaknesses as ‘doers’ (climate), ‘havers’ (competence) and ‘being’ (clarity). While the majority of the audience saw themselves as ‘doers’ and ‘havers’, she urged the room to find more clarity and put ‘being’ first.

4. What’s my strategy to thrive?

Attending an event like Perspective is only the first step. To make a difference in your business, you need to put your new ideas to work. And that all starts with a clear plan. So during the workshop sessions, Head of Macquarie Business Banking, Dean Firth, shared the key numbers that separate high performing businesses from the average – so you can reduce the cost to serve with a laser-sharp focus.

That includes knowing your fixed cost coverage ratio, which depends on recurring revenue to sustain both cash flow and business value. And that recurring revenue could come from a much broader base. Macquarie Business Banking’s Head of Real Estate, Domonic Thompson, discussed the potential in finding adjacent growth and creating new business ecosystems – such as real estate agencies providing utility connections, maintenance or moving services.

And Ros Coffey shared a simple tool for rethinking the customer journey from the outside in. With 80% of CEOs believing they deliver a superior customer experience, but only 8% of their clients agreeing, it’s never been more important to think through their lens. 

5. Where does innovation really come from?

Gus Balbontin’s energetic closing address refocused our attention on what it takes to innovate. He revealed the pitfalls of momentum – the moment the market changes, you become irrelevant because you can’t move. And in comparing the early online experience of Lonely Planet and TripAdvisor, he emphasised the importance of fixing the customer problem – rather than the business problem.

Ultimately, innovation starts with you. If you want your business to adapt, you have to be adaptable in your behaviour. And that all starts with taking one new perspective, and testing at least one new idea. 

Watch Craig Griffin’s wrap up of Day Two at Perspective

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