Archive for March, 2010

Landscape

Keith March 25th, 2010

I have mentioned here before that my late mother, Edna De La Rue, had an interest in painting.  It is now nearly 12 months since she passed away at the age of 95.  A couple of weeks ago I received a call from someone who had purchased one of her paintings some years ago, and is interested in re-selling it.  It was a piece painted in 1966 (making my mother about 52 at the time). It was painted at a time when she was attending a series of classes at the local High School run by the artist Geoff LaGerche, focussing on a technique that involved applying oil paint by palette knife.

It was interesting seeing a photo of this painting after all these years.  I can recall my mother using the technique at the time, but oddly I have no recollection of seeing this particular piece before:

Landscape 66

Picture the Future: Australia

Keith March 23rd, 2010

Yesterday, on World Water Day, Siemens delivered a presentation outlining their technology blueprint for a cleaner, greener Australia.  Using Siemens technologies in the fields of water and energy, they have put together a “technology blueprint for energy and water sustainability in Australia by 2030.” Impressive stuff.  Most impressively, they claim that even: “current available technology, with some fuel switching, could reduce the emissions from the electricity sector by up to 30 percent”.  Over the period 2000 to 2050, Australia’s population is expected to grow by 75%. The challenge is to reduce emissions over the same time period by 60%. Siemens claim that this can be done with the right mix of technologies, and without purchasing CO2 certificates from offshore.

Now if we could only get governments to pay some real attention to this…

Footprints

The issues

There are four Mega-trends in the world at the moment: Climate change, Demographic change, Urbanisation and Globalisation.  Energy is linked to all four, and water plays a role in two of the four.

Although we definitely have a number of crises on our hands in Australia, we sometimes forget that we are amazingly well-off compared to many parts of the world – for now.  We have plenty of water in Australia; it’s just not all in the right places.  We have excellent access to all known forms of energy; we are currently relying too much on coal & oil, the sources with the highest per capita emissions.  Our immediate survival is not under threat.  However, the time to act is now – before things get worse.  The “do nothing” option means that we can expect an increase in emissions of 50% over the same 50 year period.

We also often tend to see only the costs of the solutions. We need to remember that new technologies also create more jobs. There are sound economic reasons for changing the game. However, “changing our view of the future can be unsettling”. It would be much better for our economy to invest in technology rather than buying in offshore CO2 certificates!

What kind of future do you want?

Siemens have applied their “Picture the Future” innovation approach to these issues; this approach is:

Concept > Research > Scenario >Validation >Picture

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Engage, Energise, Empower

Keith March 15th, 2010

For some time I have been working with a team of highly-skilled consultants in a business consultancy group called “The 3e Factor”.  A new website for the group has just gone live. 

The 3e Factor is an innovative management consultancy specialising in business transformation, leadership development, and recruitment services, with its head office in Melbourne, Australia. Our focus is: Transforming Strategic Thinking into Reality by Developing Corporate Capability.

Have a look at the site, and browse the capabilities of the consultants working with the group.

Please feel free to contact me or The 3e Factor  if you would like to know more.

The Business Adventure

Keith March 9th, 2010

Adventures are not adventures if there isn’t a degree of danger and uncertainty about them. – Ewan McGregor

Adventure

While in Blackwood this weekend, we drove into Trentham for a visit.

There was a group of motorcyclists in town, and I struck up a conversation with one (who was riding a very nice touring BMW). He was preparing to take part in the “2010 Long Ride”, an event to raise funds for prostate cancer research in Australia, in which he and others will be riding from Melbourne to Darwin via New South Wales and Queensland – a distance of over 4,000 km.

I talked about my 1980 trip across the Nullarbor from Melbourne to Karratha, WA. On this trip, I travelled 5,000 km in six days on a GSX 750 Suzuki (and home again at a slightly slower rate).

Crossing the Nullarbor

This put me in mind of “Long Way Round” – Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman’s epic 2004 motorcycle ride across Europe, Russia and North America. I have recently watched this on DVD, and have now just started reading the book. Inspiring stuff!

Thinking about this on the way home, I also thought about some of the other things I had heard about adventuring from Nick Farr at a recent CPX meeting.

Climbing Everest is pretty serious stuff. Here are some of the thoughts that I tweeted from Nick’s presentation:

  • The number of deaths on Everest is 8% of the number of summiteers.
  • A dream becomes a goal when you start actively planning it.
  • Success requires taking risks.
  • Failure teaches that taking risks is crucial.
  • Failure provides an experience you can’t buy.

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