Fascism has dipped itself in salted caramel and called itself a lollypop

Proponents of the far-right are rejoicing as voters the world over give them a hearty lick of approval. Just like giant salted-caramel lollypops, this formerly unappealing flavour of political creed is now officially everyone’s favourite taste sensation. By the simple act of plunging into a pool of populism, adding a few heartfelt sprinkles of common man and a dusting of ‘wasn’t life great in 1950’ nuance; Trumpsters, Brexiters, One Nationers and, heaven forbid, Alt-Righters, have become the mother of all Masterchef desserts — and incredibly, hardly anyone saw it coming. While the usual su...

How Toyota is future-proofing its innovation reputation

Dmitri Colebatch, Toyota
What do a former elite rower, a car that runs on water and an award-winning IT transformation have in common? Plenty, as it turns out. Dmitri Colebatch has a history of high achievement. In a former life he represented Australia as an elite rower for nine years, notably winning silver in the Men’s Pair at the 1998 World University Championships in Croatia. These days, his focus is above the waterline but is no less strenuous. As Toyota Australia’s Corporate Manager Solutions, Dmitri has played a key role in helping the business shape and implement ...

5 ways a balanced scorecard can help you nail your business strategy

Balanced scorecard, Vietnam style
“You can’t manage what you don’t control, and you can’t control what you don’t measure.” So said American author and software engineer Tom DeMarco, and at the risk of mangling our metaphors, we’ll add, “if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it”. Anyone who’s ever developed a business strategy for their organisation will likely be nodding in agreement about now. Many will have joined fellow executives and board members at annual company ‘strategy retreats’, somewhere exclusive and out of town, and helped create three, five or even ten-year strategie...

5 hacks for attracting the best IT people to your business

Tips for attracting staff
Anyone trying to run a business, especially an IT business, will know how tough it is to compete with the big guns when it comes to attracting – and keeping – quality staff. There’s a perception in the industry that big business offers better job security, pay and career advancement opportunities – and with good reason – it was once true. But several years of highly publicised mass layoffs in once resilient industries like mining, manufacturing and technology, mean old perceptions no longer apply. Our own industry has been n...

3 essential success factors of business transformations (and a rookie mistake to avoid)

Transformation factors
Transformations can make or break a business. Anyone who’s been responsible for rolling out a major IT overhaul or implementing a cost reduction program will have battle scars to prove it — but with good planning and sound strategy it doesn’t have to be a painful exercise. As you’d expect there are lots of elements that need to come together to get a transformation right, but in our experience, these three factors are the most critical. #1 Ensure management and board have skin in the game Witho...

Run The World conference shines light on women entrepreneurs

Run The World attendees
The organisers of a conference for entrepreneurial women called Run The World, held in Melbourne on 19 September, had one goal: to inspire and be inspired. They delivered, but not for the reasons you might think. Samara Magazine sent me along to see what it was all about and I discovered a growing community of enterprising women who had seemingly not heard of the glass ceiling. An 8am start on a Saturday didn’t deter over 500 women – and a handful of men – from attending. An energetic vibe filled the room and the predominantly under-45 audience seemed eager to converse with others who, l...

The Tremendous 10 (best podcasts of the moment)

The ten best podcasts of the moment for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Unless you are a) an infant, b) an alien, or c) an infant alien, you will no doubt be so obsessed with listening to podcasts that you barely have time to eat before new episodes of Hamish & Andy, The Moth and *insert preference here* demand your attention. Yeah, we hear you. With literally thousands of new podcasts from around the world being lobbed onto iTunes every week, on topics as diverse as foodie culture, cultured foodies, travelling without shoes, political satire (isn’t all politics satirical...

Exploring hidden Melbourne on foot

Bohemian Melbourne exhibition, State Library
Why take the tram when there's so much to see on foot? Ah Melbourne. Bulging with activity, breathless with action and beguiling with gorgeous art and architecture. If you need reminding why Melbourne has been voted the World’s Most Liveable City for four years running, maybe it’s time you stepped off the tram and took a good long constitutional. I did so recently, and here’s what I discovered. After an early morning meeting at Melbourne Central’s popular Plantation Specialty Coffee, I decided to turn right and do the town instead of turning left and catching my tram home. Pleasantly caffe...

So 2015, what you got for us?

                            Here we are, three weeks into January already and I’m wondering how the festive season flew by so quickly. For most of us, fabulous summer holidays at the beach are but a distant memory. Perhaps, like me, you’ve stubbornly resisted the urge to wash the sand off your thongs in a vain attempt to deny reality, but on the whole, it’s all work work work. Bugger! Never mind though, Scoot has been hovercrafting over that other tropical paradise – known as ...

Everything you ever wanted to know about hashtags

Back in twelfth century Italy, an entrepreneurial friar named Allessandro della Spina launched a revolutionary new product to help people see a little better. Although rudimentary by today’s standards, his ‘eyeglasses’ were a game-changer. Suddenly, smashed thumbs from errant blacksmithing irons and pricked pinkies from misjudged sewing needles became solely the domain of the clumsy. People with less than 20/20 vision could now differentiate between a tuppence and a thruppence – or the Medieval Italian equivalent – thus saving themselves a pauper’s fortune in miscounted disbursements. And b...