Casey and Cardinia councils organised a terrific breakfast for about 360 people on July 4th. Guest speaker was Ita Buttrose who shared lessons learned, and as always was elegant and inspiring. She was twice voted Australia’s most admired woman, authored 10 books and won many awards including an OBE for journalism, and Officer of the Order of Australia for her services to the community. Here I share some some of her most poignant comments and lessons for business and life.
- Change was Ita’s theme – managers need to manage constant change – but it is also an opportunity.
- She reminded us that sometimes we need to stop being like elephants, who are trained at a young age that being chained to a stick will restrict them, but not realise that as full grown animals the chain and peg could actually no longer restrict them. This tied in for me (no pun intended) when she quoted Einstein: “The thinking that got us here, is not what we need to take us into the future”.
- Ita said to take on challenge – yes it’s scary – yes she failed at times (eg. her own “Ita” magazine).
- Another example is when Ita and Kerry Packer proved market research wrong with the success of Cleo magazine.
- Risk is always associated with new ideas and new initiatives.
- She said to work out your business “Edge of Difference” – you should be able to write it in 10 words, clear and concise.
- No-one has copywrite on good ideas – learn from others and don’t hesitate to copy and improve on other’s work.
- Customers know our bad and good points – they are the best source to get help – make the time to talk to them and ask what they want.
- The customer’s question is “Make me feel important”.
I was one of 3 people to win door prizes drawn by Ita, and given the opportunity to speak about our businesses in front of the crowd. It was nerve-racking – I didn’t expect to be giving an unprepared 1 minute talk! I decided to use a client as an example of single women who feel they don’t have options, but after meeting with us, they get a real sense that something can be done, that we can work on a strategy and work towards a better retirement plan.