EXPERIENCE is not something you can GOOGLE
By Gil Elliott FAIEA
The Interim Executive needs to look at each new or potential client engagement as the start of a New Venture. With that mind set they need to address the 5 key points below to align their service with the customer’s needs and requirements, and make sure that it is a viable engagement for the Interim Executive.
'Grey Ceiling' on 7:30
Australian Broadcasting Corporation Broadcast: 23/04/2015
Reporter: Hayden Cooper
LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Australians of the future will live longer and be expected to work harder, until the age of 70 and beyond.
But what if they can't get jobs?
Age discrimination's always been a problem in the workforce, but now for the first time the trend's been mapped and more than a quarter of over-50s feel they've been discriminated against because of their age.
The challenge is to convince employers to choose experience over youth.
Hayden Cooper reports.
HAYDEN COOPER, REPORTER: At 68, Andrew Shilton is going strong. Still in the workforce, he's forging a second career as a Melbourne handyman, driven, like most, by necessity.
ANDREW SHILTON, GREY ARMY: I've got a mortgage and my mortgage probably won't expire for another 15 years, so that'll put me into my early 80s, so I have to keep working. It's as simple as that.
HAYDEN COOPER: He is one of the lucky few at his age to find a job that works for him and keep it.
ANDREW SHILTON: I knock on the door, ring the bell, I'm always bright and breezy, I'm on time and I want that work. So, they have to like me. I've had nobody turn me away, so I'm doing it right, I hope.
HAYDEN COOPER: Increasingly, many others are not so fortunate. As old age approaches, holding a job becomes harder. When discrimination is added to the mix, it's impossible, as more experienced workers are passed over for promotion, laid off or struggle to find a job at all.
SUSAN RYAN, AGE DISCRIMINATION COMMISSIONER: The report we've just launched shows that it's very serious, that over a quarter of people over 50 experience age discrimination in very damaging ways.
HAYDEN COOPER: The Human Rights Commission report provides a compelling picture of this growing problem. It found that a third of those who'd experienced discrimination gave up on the job hunt. Almost half thought about retirement or using superannuation. And often discrimination strikes those who are most vulnerable.
SUSAN RYAN: The people most likely to experience age discrimination in the workforce are low income people and single parents and they're the people who can least afford to lose a job.
HAYDEN COOPER: Susan Ryan is the nation's Age Discrimination Commissioner. A former Education minister in the Hawke Government, she's now on a mission to convince Australian companies to change their attitudes to older workers.
SUSAN RYAN: Well, companies, like all of us, appreciate the fact that young people just recently finished their university training, whatever it is, have the latest ideas, they're terrifically energetic because they want to get their careers moving in the right direction, and they're good things. But at the same time, those things don't replace experience, knowledge of the company and of course older employees are very enthusiastic too.
BRUCE WILLIAMSON, JOB SEEKER: Consistent work: extremely difficult. In the last probably two years I would've put out easy 200, 300 resumes every year.
HAYDEN COOPER: Bruce Williamson is a highly skilled business consultant in Brisbane, but at the moment he's in a hard place.
BRUCE WILLIAMSON: I'm on the dole.
HAYDEN COOPER: And how difficult is that?
BRUCE WILLIAMSON: Extremely difficult, extremely difficult. Yep. Unemployment benefits.
HAYDEN COOPER: He suspects that his age is the reason that so many companies are knocking back his applications.
BRUCE WILLIAMSON: You're either overskilled, overqualified, which you can either put down to being age, but when you're after a C-level position, how can you be overqualified?
HAYDEN COOPER: He's now sought the help of a recruitment company that specialises in older workers. Here, age discrimination is on frequent display from employers, who themselves are often young.
MALCOLM WALKER, GREYHAIR ALCHEMY: They see this grey-haired person sitting in front of them and they think, "I can't relate to this person. Why is he looking for a job? Why is she looking for a job? And I'm going to promote into that role somebody that I can relate to."
HAYDEN COOPER: And then there are the job seekers who never even reach the interview stage.
BRUCE WILLIAMSON: A few years ago I was actually told by an admin' assistant inside one of the organisations, her instruction was to throw or disregard any application that was over 35 years old.
SUSAN RYAN: The recruiters make their money by successfully placing people. Now if the recruiter thinks that an employer doesn't want anyone over 50, they will not put forward the CV's of anyone over 50, no matter how perfect that person would be for the job. You raise this with the recruiters and they say, "Well we have to have a business. It's the employer's fault." You raise it with the employers and they say, "We've never given these instructions." But somewhere between the two, older, experienced, valuable workers are being squeezed out.
HAYDEN COOPER: Susan Ryan is urging the Government to give this issue much more attention and more funding to retrain employees, especially if it wants Australians to contribute for longer.
BRUCE WILLIAMSON: We're not even getting work at 55, forget about going up to 70 and I'm fit and able to do anything.
HAYDEN COOPER: It's an age-old dilemma: the wisdom of experience versus the enthusiasm of youth.
ANDREW SHILTON: Some of the kids do have the latest techniques, they can do things a lot quicker, 'cause the old aches and pains do creep in, getting on and off the steps, etc. Memory goes. You lose your bloody tape measure wherever you go. But that's about it. Hare and the tortoise. Young guys get in there, they can probably do their work in the morning. It takes me all day to do mine. But they charge an awful lot to do a morning's work; I charge the same amount for all day. But I get it done.
LEIGH SALES: Hayden Cooper reporting.
AIEA - Business Acumen
'Interim Managers, Australia's untapped resource'
Mal Walker, the Chairman of AIEA, is interviewed by Mile Sullivan, the Editor of Business Acumen Magazine
Busting myths about baby boomer burdens
Date: January 4, 2015 Kaye Fallick
My mum Betty is frail. She needs to use a walking frame to get from her bed to her bathroom, a few short metres away. She is 87 and now resides in an aged care facility in Croydon where she depends on the physical and practical support of myriad health care and nursing personnel. But she is not a net drain on the federal budget or the economy. At 87 she remains a strong contributor, one among many such older Australians.
It's high time we reframed our perceptions and prejudices about our older citizens and recognised how very much they have given – and continue to give – to our society. Here are just three myth busters worth considering when you next hear a federal government minister tell you the "age of entitlement" is over and older Australians need to pay up.
Spending per capita on the aged
Australia is one of the meanest nations when it comes to older people. The HelpAge International Global AgeWatch Index ranks OECD statistics on spending on pensions as a percentage of GDP. Our report card in the 2014 index was mixed, except on income security where we performed particularly poorly.
The index reported that "Australia has the lowest ranking (61) in its region for the income security domain, and the highest old age poverty rate in the region (35.5 per cent). It also has below average pension income coverage (83per cent) and relative welfare rates (65per cent) compared to other countries in this region." In fact, Australia spends an average of 3.5 per cent of its GDP on age-related spending against an OECD average of 7.8 per cent, as reported by think tank Per Capita.
Challenging the dependency ratio
Dr Katharine Betts, from the Swinburne University of Technology, has analysed the population spike related to baby boomers and the related fluctuating dependency ratio in her paper "The ageing of the Australian population: triumph or disaster". She concludes that fears that a reduction in the proportion of tax-paying workers will be unable to support a growing proportion of age pensioners are unfounded: even with no further growth in labour force participation rates, the dependency ratio is expected to decline from a current 53.6 per cent to about 44-46 per cent by 2061 – still higher than the mid-1960s of 42 per cent. "By today's standards, the economy [then] was prosperous. Few jobs in developed countries now require muscle power and more people are completing the higher levels of education needed for white-collar and knowledge-based work," she says.
"Moreover, the health and cognitive abilities of older people are better today than they were among older people in the past. All of these changes mean that a shortage of tax-paying workers does not have to cloud our future."
The ruler we use
The way we measure GDP and the value added by older Australians is flawed. We see the "take" in the form of welfare, but rarely the give in the form of unpaid work, volunteering, child-minding and intergenerational transfers of wealth.
Dr Kathleen Brasher, from Council on the Ageing Victoria, tried to put some numbers on these flows of capital at a national COTA forum on ageing last July. She values the volunteering efforts of older Australians at $74 billion per annum, and the intergenerational transfer of wealth at $53 billion.
Furthermore, in 2011 49 per cent of children aged 12 or below who were receiving childcare (including after school care) were looked after by grandparents (Australian Bureau of Statistics).
This leads us to a basic flaw in the May budget. It refuses to acknowledge the inputs of senior Australians, while berating them for becoming "leaners" rather than "lifters". The government has continued to reel from the shock that its socially inequitable budget was roundly rejected by ordinary Australians. So the heaviest of guns – Scott Morrison – is being positioned to tame this recalcitrant populace and force through changes to welfare that will see young people on Newstart go without basic support for up to six months, a re-indexation of the age pension, which will result in $80 less per week within 10 years, according to the Australian Council of Social Services, and an increase in the official retirement age from 67 to 70, whether there is work available or not.
The only hitch to Morrison's agenda, of course, is an increasingly unpredictable Senate crossbench.
So, back to Betty, and why I refuse to call her a drain on the public purse. Just like your mum, dad or elderly aunt, Betty first went to work in 1941. She was 14 and her dad William, a chronic asthmatic whose heart gave out, had just dropped dead in front of her. He had served as an airman in World War I, but there was no disability pension for William, and he was left to eke out a subsistence on a tiny plot in north Croydon, trying to support his wife and young daughter as his health failed.
The death of her dad meant that Mum was forced to find work as a typist in the city, involving a lengthy daily commute by horse then train. She worked at various jobs, barring a short break to have two children, until she was 60. By then, due to consistent saving and a very frugal lifestyle, she and Dad were largely self-funded in retirement.
Along the way they contributed to the university education of four grandchildren, untold hours of child-minding and similarly extensive community volunteering until their late 70s. Today it is her own savings upon which she has drawn to fund the bond and daily care fees in her new home.
So don't let the government's rhetoric cloud your judgment or stoke an intergenerational war that is both false and unnecessary.
Betty is just one of hundreds of thousands of older Australians who continue to pay their own way and contribute far more than they have ever received in social service payments. For 40 or 50 years they paid taxes, which built the kindergartens, schools, universities, roads and airports that subsequent generations have enjoyed. Upon retirement they gave back with countless hours of volunteer work, within the family and community, and intergenerational transfers of wealth which our GDP simply doesn't measure.
It is high time we took stock and recognised their contribution. And spoke up to protect the meagre pension entitlements they so richly deserve.
Kaye Fallick is the publisher of www.yourlifechoices.com.au.
As part of its service to the members, AIEA is launching a FREE Jobs Board to introduce AIEA members to companies in need of their expertise.
The AIEA members are not just ordinary business people, they are seasoned executives who are prepared to deploy on an interim basis, be it a contract, a consultancy, FIFO or a high-level, part-time role. This includes Board positions. Whilst all are structured for interim work, 58% of the members have stated that they are prepared to accept a permanent role that appeals to them.
The vacancy advertising service is free to use: AIEA does not charge the advertiser a fee and there are no contracts to sign.
Recruiters, HR Managers and SME owners are invited to submit their vacancies to the AIEA Jobs Board for circulation to the members.
For more information contact Mal Walker at firstname.lastname@example.org
2014 was a year with lots of talk and not much action. As Joe Aston from Financial Review mentions in his yearly wrap up, it only gets more difficult to sum up the defining qualities of a calendar year, the longer you try to do it, as they start to resemble each other. However, in the ‘action’ category, this year like many others has involved movement at the top of many iconic Australian businesses, there was the slow movement of Channel 10 to market, and the current federal governments messy sell job of the budget was also in the headlines for a majority of the year.
Quarter 4 was the beginning of the oil and iron ore price fall affecting a number of Australian and international energy businesses. It wasn't all doom and gloom for the Australian economy though with Australian investment bankers having their best year in quite a while.
Joe Aston from the Financial Review has put together his annual year in review article and as always his overview of the year that was is educational as well as entertaining. His full article can be found below and is definitely worth a read.
AFR - Joe Aston - Rear Window - Poking through the embers
During your working life, you focus on saving and building wealth. But too many people forget that it's just as important to plan for the transfer of your wealth once you've gone. Current statistics show that 60% of Australians do not have a valid Last Will and Testament in place, and have not planned for unforeseen events that could affect their ability to manage their affairs.
What is estate planning?
Estate planning is about peace of mind. Estate planning is all about putting the right structures in place to make sure your assets are distributed the way you want and in an effective way. Estate planning also includes documents that govern how you will be cared for, medically and financially, if you become unable to make your own decisions in the future.
Why is an estate plan important?
An estate plan involves much more than just having a Will in place. Although it’s important to have a valid Will, an estate plan covers many other aspects relating to the transfer of your wealth after you pass away. Family trusts, powers of attorney and the tax implications for beneficiaries can all be managed with an estate plan.
Also, with blended families becoming more common in recent times, estate planning has become more important for those with complex family structures.
What are the benefits of having an estate plan?
By having an estate plan in place, you will help your beneficiaries avoid difficulties and disagreements because you can:
Developing an estate plan
There are a number of things to consider when planning for the distribution of your estate once you’ve passed.
The first step is to make sure you have a valid Will. But a Will is just the beginning. An estate plan allows you to put plans in place for once you’ve gone, but also for while you’re aging.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Who’s in charge? Who can manage your affairs for you if you become injured or sick and no longer able to manage your finances or make decisions about your medical and lifestyle conditions?
Who gets what? Who will inherit which assets and in what proportions after you pass away?
How much debt? In the event of your death, do you have enough to provide for your family and pay off debts?
A good estate plan should minimise the tax paid by your heirs, and help avoid any family squabbles. Documents included should cover:
Steve Garden is a Law Clerk for Australian Probate Lawyers and can be contacted as follows:
Phone: 0438 328 619
A trap many entrepreneurs and small to medium family businesses fall into is the lack of outside or objective advice and trying to do everything themselves. Nobody is an expert on everything and everyone will benefit from sharing ideas, thoughts and processes that may help the business. This is why an advisory board can be so beneficial to the success of these small businesses. They will be able to assist and guide the business owner through any business issues that arise as well as provide support in identifying new business opportunities and threats.
Identifying potential advisory board members can be challenging for business owners who don't have a wide network of peers available to them. There are however a number of organisations out there that will be able to assist you find the right person for these positions. AIEA is one such organisation and those interested in additional information on how we can assist you in your search for advisory board members should contact Mal Walker at email@example.com
BRW have posted an article outlining the benefits of an advisory board for entrepreneurs and small businesses as well as the areas of the business they may be able to provide insight into. The full article can be found below.
BRW - Why every entrepreneur needs an advisory board: leadership expert Steven Bowman
Years of work across multiple Australian governments has gone into the recently signed Australia-China Free Trade Agreement. After a slow start, the final agreement came down to the wire, and was signed by the Chinese government at 5 minutes to midnight before the deadline. Many Australians don't know what it will mean to them, who will ultimately benefit from this agreement or which industries will be better off.
The Age has done the leg work and highlighted which industries will benefit the most from this new agreement. The full article can be found below.
The Age - Who wins in Australia-China free trade agreement?
There have always been brands that are highly recognisable (whether you love them or hate them). For the last few decades, Microsoft and its products are unquestionably in that category. Most of the planet will have used a Microsoft product like Office or Windows at some time in their lives. Windows was a pioneer in the operating system space and was created 30 years ago by Bill Gates, a university drop out like so many entrepreneurs to follow.
30 years later, Windows is still the most widely used operating system throughout the world. There have been a number of iterations over the years starting with Windows 1.0 and culminating with Windows 10 to be released in 2015. Their naming structure hasn't always made the most sense however there must be a reason as to why Windows has dominated the market for so long.
Slate.com has posted an interesting article outlining the evolution of Windows over the last 30 years. It is quite a trip down memory lane – how many did you use?
Slate.com - Microsoft Windows has changed a lot in 30 years
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