The Era of the Global Village

What is the global village? It’s interesting to watch this clip exploring this idea in this interview with the man who first coined the term ‘global village’ back in the sixties, Marshall McLuhan. It explores the effects of various media on the way we relate to our lives, each other and our place in the world. McLuhan chose the insightful phrase “global village” to highlight his observation that an electronic nervous system (the media) was rapidly integrating the planet — events in one part of the world could be experienced from other parts in real-time, which is what human experience was like when we lived in small villages.

Marshall McLuhan’s insights made the concept of a global village, interconnected by an electronic nervous system, part of our popular culture well before it actually happened. He was the first person to popularize the concept of a global village and to consider its social effects. His insights were revolutionary at the time, and fundamentally changed how everyone has thought about media, technology, and communications ever since. McLuhan’s ideas have permeated the way we think about technology and media to such an extent that we are generally no longer aware of the revolutionary effect his concepts had when they were first introduced, so that when the Internet finally arrived in the global village it seemed no less amazing, but rather in the natural order of things.

Of particular note is the idea presented here that individualism would fade away to a global tribalism, where a person would accept the collective experience of the broader community, because now through the common media of the time, people experience the available information collectively as opposed to the previous media, namely books that were mostly an individual experience. This is a particularly interesting observation because at the time this was shot, roughly fifty years ago, the dominating media were radio, news media, telephones and television. And of these media there were not only few individual choices but they were mostly passive, one way information delivery mechanisms. Contrast today in the age of the internet and the reverse is true. With the advent of the internet, and social media in particular, we not only have easy access to extraordinary volumes of information that we choose, we have the ability to engage with it and redistribute it, both as an individual experience and as a collective one.

McLuhan’s second best known insight is summarized in the expression “the medium is the message”, which means that the qualities of a medium have as much effect as the information it transmits. For example, reading a description of a scene in a newspaper has a very different effect on someone than hearing about it, or seeing a picture of it, or watching a black and white video, or watching a colour video.

McLuhan was particularly fascinated by the medium of television, calling it a “cool” medium, noting its soporific effect on viewers. He took great satisfaction years later when medical studies showed that TV does in fact cause people to settle into passive brain wave patterns. It has even been called by some ‘the opiate of the masses’, referring to this sedative and possibly even addictive type quality. It is perhaps this effect he observed that led him to be concerned about the possibility for the abuse of this power for manipulating perception.

This is of course, still of concern, where the historic holders of power are keen to maintain that power and traverse into the medium of this era by attempting to control and criminalise the flow of information. While this may start out seemingly benignly, by protecting copyrights for example, the ramifications of this kind of¬†attempt to clamp down on the freedom of accessing and disseminating information are large and have far reaching effects. As Aaron points out in the video below the nature of the internet is things get copied all the time, even the senator in favou of the copyright law had code copied on his own website, it’s up to us whether the internet will remain open and free for the benefit of all or whether the powerful few will have laws introduced to tip it in the direction of increasing levels of spying and control.


Australian Company Creates Innovative e-Commerce Solution

Most product ranges can easily be fitted into a range of shopping carts in the marketplace, but for a duct component supplier, their product range prevented them from joining the 21st century, causing them to remain reliant on phone and fax ordering, as no neat online solution was available to cater for the complexity of their product range. That is until recently when they launched their own custom designed shopping cart at National Manufacturing Week to make ordering duct online a breeze.

Anybody who works with ducting parts will let you know, it’s surprisingly hard to set up an online shopping cart to sell duct parts, because there is an extraordinary array of component specifications, then on top of that each and every one has its own unique cost. Basic dimension variables consist of specific angles, diameters and also lengths and all these variables mean that regular on-line shopping carts typically aren’t able to handle the total number of variables, without resorting to entering the same product again and again, with the only variant being the dimension, which renders the use of the online store into something which is particularly complicated and unwieldy for a potential customer having a look at the product line.

Here’s an example of what we mean:

Let’s just say you wished to get some straight, standard galvanized duct, which is a fairly straight forward product, but the range of length and diameter permutations is quite significant. Firstly there is the duct length. Conventional galvanised ducting comes in 3 preferred lengths:

galvanised duct

  • 0.5 of a meter
  • 1 meter and
  • 2 meters


Next we should take into consideration the variety of diameters the product is available in, in this example we’ll list diameters which are the most frequently used, which are as follows:

  • 80mmductwork
  • 100mm
  • 125mm
  • 140mm
  • 150mm
  • 160mmrange of ducting
  • 180mm
  • 200mm
  • 225mm
  • 250mm
  • 275mm
  • 300mm
  • 350 mm as well as
  • 400mm

As you can see, this means we have 3 different sizes and also 14 various diameters, so to establish an online store just for straight galvanized ductwork, it’d require 42 specific catalogue products. Which is just for straight galvanized ducting. There’s a huge selection of other items people utilizing galvanized duct could also require, like lobsterback bends, branch pieces, telescopic ducting, duct that has a door opening, gates, valves, sweeps, rings, flanges … the selections continue, and furthermore every one of them also has a variety of diameters, lengths and in some instances even more variables.

Now you may be wondering about the wide range of shopping carts out there that already accommodate products with variables like clothing or shoes for example can have a variable of both sizes and colors and while this is true, when you change the colour or size of an item of clothing the price doesn’t need to change along with it, and that’s what’s different in the range of ducting products, every variation in dimension corresponds to a different sales price and that’s the complexity that normal shopping carts don’t handle in any satisfactory way.
Could you picture being a customer trying to look through an online shopping cart to find as well as buy the ducting items that you must have to put together a full ductwork setup? Exactly how unfriendly and complex would it be to try and get through countless different ducting units, all with differing diameters and lengths?

This bewildering set of variables has actually made internet buying for ducting pieces tedious as well as time wasting! But not any longer! Since Advanced Duct Systems (ADS) have now resolved this pickle by building an unique internet-based shopping cart where a customer need only pay a visit to one solitary component web page to pick any type of variable for that part from a drop down list, as well as have the rates for any combination of variables up-date live in the web page on the shopping cart.

This makes online searching as well as buying a piece of cake, as now you are able to simply and easily get a wide range of diameters and lengths from the one web page! You can additionally obtain full specs from the shopping cart in a pdf format from the same webpage.

So if you operate in a company where you need to get ductwork pieces, I invite you to take into consideration the merits of using ADS to purchase your items online. Orders are transmitted straight to their pick and pack centers in Melbourne and Sydney and you receive an order verification sent out to you via e-mail. No more faxing or dialling through your orders along with the risk of “you verbalized one thing they heard something else” mishaps in orders is also stopped.

Advanced Duct Systems markets standard galvanized ducting, pneumatic tubing, powder-coated ductwork, pneumatic conveying duct systems, stainless-steel ducting and also flex ducting online, from the world’s easiest to utilize online shopping cart for acquiring ducting. Check it out next time you need to purchase ducting items. And remember, wholesale and trade buyers get special prices through being provided a specific pass-code which delivers them with trade buyer prices.


Advanced Duct Systems
3/11 Cooper St Campbellfield VIC 3061
Phone: (03) 8339 0894

(Ships to VIC, SA, TAS,  WA & NT)

Advanced Duct Systems G+ Melbourne


Advanced Duct Systems – Sydney
1/595 Woodstock Avenue, Glendenning, 2761.
Phone: (02) 9675 4546

(Ships to QLD, NSW, & ACT)

Advanced Duct Systems G+ Sydney

Harvard Business Schools Take on Executive Coaching

A Harvard Business Review survey on business coaching has revealed some very interesting data that will assist those on the fence make up their minds about the potential value of executive coaching.

Within the study a lot of useful questions were asked that can cast light on what is required to set up the best possible relationship between an executive coach and any business leader they are working with.

The very first question asked was: Do the coach and the executive have good chemistry? If the answer is yes, this will definitely help the pair move forward and attain their goals. On the other hand if the answer is no, it’s probably advantageous to search for another coach as a coaching relationship is intimate and the individual being coached must trust the coach.

The 2nd question was: Is the executive willing to change their leadership style? A ‘yes’ is required for the relationship to have any chance of success, since change is hard to make and even harder to make stick. If the answer is ‘no’, then the executive is fixed in their ‘way of being’ and not open to change, so in all likelihood the coaching won’t work.

The 3rd concern asked was: Does the executive have the support of his/her leading management? If management is supportive of their leader then the coach and the executive can accomplish terrific things together. However if management is not fully supportive of the leader, there is little point in hiring a coach as its not really going to produce measurable results, and the real potential of the relationship is likely to be stunted. Often it is a direct result of management trying to push an executive along that coaching is offered and it can certainly be a great technique for maintaining personnel.

The 4th and final question focuses on the concern of “shifting focus”. Many of respondents who were surveyed for this study agreed that their coaching focus altered in time. And this is generally an excellent thing. When a coach’s focus shifts, many times it’s because development has actually been made. The important issue is to make sure that the scope of the coaching work is well recorded, as this ensures focus is maintained and a positive measurable result is more likely.

How to Choose an Environmental Consultant

Environmental consulting is a diverse area and the objective on specific jobs vary, but it will generally entail the employment of better company practices to help a customer financially, through improved environmental practices, or to ensure compliance with environmental rules. Environmental consultants are hired by businesses and governments to check and manage air, soil and water quality, do environmental audits, check the environmental impacts of building, mining and so on, monitor compliance with environmental standards, draft environmental policies or take measures to mitigate or rectify damage to the environment.

Contractors, property developers or companies may require the support of environmental consultants to show that their company, building site or development is in comHA0341-078pliance with appropriate environmental regulations or laws, and in these circumstances environmental or ecological consultants will supply documentation of the appropriate technical tests, for instance soil, water and air testing results or ecological survey results needed by law. These reports will typically be presented to an approved auditor or government department to make sure that approvals can be obtained or adjustments to the plan can be made in order to gain the necessary approvals to get the go-ahead on your project.

Understanding which type of environmental expertise your situation requires will help you begin your search for the right consultant for you. Environmental consultants are typically trained in a specific area and then apply this training to a certain sector. Due to this, environmental careers tend to be in certain disciplines wherein the consultants themselves are trained, as an example contaminated land consulting, environmental engineering, ecological consulting, farming, mining or air quality management.

When you are choosing your environmental consultant it’s a good idea to look for previous clients and projects to see if their reviews or track record indicate their services are of high quality. Also look for experience, businesses that have been around for a while are generally well versed in the relevant environmental laws and have good procedures in place, this is generally helpful to get what you need more promptly. And lastly, look for signs that they are passionate about what they do and take pride in being of great service especially if that translates to fast response and turnaround because that can be a critical factor in delivering your overall project on time and on budget.

How to choose the best business coach for you

Business coaches can be important aids to any business, especially when a company is stalled or in decline, business coaches can come in and help guide management in the correct direction, help them alter direction, address complications and get back on course. But how does one choose the most suitable business coach?

Not all coaches are equal, there are a great deal of high quality result driven coaches that dedicate their lives to the things they do, nevertheless there are a number of wanna be coaches that enter coaching because they have failed in other careers and probably shouldn’t in truth be coaching anyone. Looking for the appropriate coach to work with can be problematic if you do not know where to look, how do you tell the legitimate from the unreal? The following pointers are designed to offer you a heads up to assist you in making the perfect choice of coach for you and your circumstance.

So what exactly should I search for in a great business coach?
Amongst the key things you really should search for in a professional business coach is his/her performance history. Unqualified and inexperienced coaches will not have the list of customers that a person who has actually applied their lives to the profession. So request references, reviews and case studies and do your homework to see what your prospective coach has actually achieved in the past.
What skills do they offer? This is the second thing that really should be considered is the coaches past record, the experience they can bring to the table. While fantastic coaching methods can take a client a long way, the skills, experience and performance history of your coach determine their ability to really mentor you and help you to put plans into action. So check out the coaches own business background well before you agree to deal with them and sign a contract.motivation

Another essential subject is confidentiality. Make certain that your coach is prepared to sign a confidentiality contract. Lots of people in the past have found themselves disadvantaged by surrendering private company details to business coaches who have later on shared the info with another business in the very same industry. A confidentiality agreement should really be a non-negotiable condition of any coaching arrangement, and if a coach is not prepared to sign one, you should go on to somebody else.

Lastly, look for a coach that is not only going to give you recommendations but also feedback on things that you are doing. The quality of feedback supplied will directly correlate to the coaches own business experience. Always search for a coach with a great performance history, an excellent list of clients, testimonials and other proof of effective coaching engagements, and if possible try and choose somebody who has in fact succeeded in business themselves.

Sign your name before a politician signs it for you

Have you even heard of the TPP – the Trade Pacific Partnership? There’s good reason for that, if enough people knew about it it would severely hamper their negotiations because it’s less of a ‘free trade’ agreement and more of a ‘free corporate profits from pesky-democratic-rights’ agreement; the right to protect ourselves from blind profiteering at our expense.

Our democracy is not for sale and should not be compromised by trade or any other agreements. To allow this to happen is to fundamentally erode the principles of democratic nation states.
A democracy should have the right to create whatever laws and legislation that are in the best interests of its citizens without the fear of reprisal or punishment for doing so from some corporate entity outside its borders.

If I understand the nature of this agreement correctly then hypothetically if Adani for example had an agreement to work in the vicinity of the reef and we then passed a law to protect the reef but inhibited their profits, Adani could then sue us for loss of ‘future profits’. What is future profits anyway other than a business projection? How often are business projections wrong? And why should we be prevented the ability to protect ourselves and our country from health and environmental risks by responding to our national interests ongoingly? That’s why our body has an immune system, the ability to protect itself from future threats when they arise. Our capacity as a nation to create laws is our countries immunity. If a companies ability to make future profits is based on their ability to be self serving now and not held to account later then aren’t we setting ourselves up for even more self serving and irresponsible behaviour? We can’t possibly know in advance all the ways that a company could behave that could negatively effect our country and its inhabitants and we need to be able to respond to that. Isn’t our ability to respond the only thing we have that protects us? We can’t sign that away, period.

I have seen enough of the impacts in the US of corporates making self serving agreements to the detriment of their people. I like our national ethos of a fair go, it’s probably one of the best things about being Australian. I like the way we look out for all people in our society because we are a better society for it. If the TPP is signed it matrix-politicsseriously undermines this ideal of fair and replaces it with corporate interests, it limits our democratic freedoms. It is untenable to create a situation where we can’t pass laws for fear of being sued by corporate entities that have effectively made us beholden to them through trade or any other agreements (and who have billions of dollars at their disposal to bully nation states with lawsuits). There are many things that are clearly in the best interest of society as a whole that are not in the best interests of corporate bottom lines. I don’t want Australia to follow in the U.S’s footsteps and I don’t believe any rational, fair minded Australian would condone this.

Is your web professional a good match for your business?

useless-websitesIf your website doesn’t bring you leads or sales, what was the point? If people never find your website or find it but don’t engage enough to take an action, then it isn’t an asset that’s delivering results. Which at the end of the day is why anyone would bother investing in the creation of web properties isn’t it? It can be disheartening when you invest a lot of time, energy, thought, not to mention money into a project only to find that it doesn’t deliver. How do you make the right decisions so you know your investment will be worthwhile when there are so many choices available and the range in cost and time-frame is equally extensive. If you’re fortunate enough to know someone that can give you a good recommendation of a web professional that can help you navigate this complexity of choices, but even then, there are critical questions you need to be asking to ensure you have a good match that will deliver the results you are after. There are many, many web professionals out there and an extraordinary range of value; from the high end, “only high-turnover-businesses can afford them”, to the bottom of the range “do-it-yourself and hope for the best”.
The intention of this article is to give you a “heads up”, to help give you the best possible chance of having web properties that are both an asset for your enterprise and value for money.

The first thing to consider is engagement. How will your web properties engage with future clients? Good layout and aesthetic design is one part of that picture, but you also need to consider what are potential customers thinking about when they are looking for what I have to offer? How can they easily find the answers to these questions when they see my ads or get to my website? Will they feel a sense of relief they have found what they are looking for when they look at your site and will they get that relatively quickly? Quality images are also important especially if you are doing it yourself or cheaply don’t ruin it with images that will drive traffic away. Also question whether you are really the best person to write for your site. I’m sure you can write and you also know all about your business and your customers, but writing with the intention of engaging people and encouraging them to take action is a specialist type of writing, and unless you studied marketing at uni, it’s unlikely that you’ve learnt how to write in this way. Having a potential customer stay longer at your site, or better yet, feel they have found what they are looking for when they get to your site, is, after all, why you would bother to even have a site.

The second point to consider is traffic, how will potential customers find your web properties? Once your website is complete, what is going to make the difference between another website hanging out somewhere in cyberspace and people actually seeing it? Is this just somewhere people you personally hand your business card to are going to be able to look up and find out a bit more, or are you hoping for a bit more impact? If you are, then you need to think about traffic. To get traffic to your website you can use traditional methods; flyers, newspaper ads, letterbox drops, radio and so on or you can look at online advertising; adwords, seo and social networking sites are the most common, or a combination of both online and offline. Whichever method is right for you will depend on your budget, your market, the type of product or offer you have and your profit margin. Good campaigns will often change over time, perhaps by using one or two methods with the intention of reaching a break even point and then going into positive return on investment. You then have the situation of your marketing paying for itself and branching out your campaign into other methods or additional ads and extending your reach. This will help you build on the momentum and use your web properties to profitably grow your business.

The third point is strategy. Is your web company a churn the numbers, tick boxes type or do they take pride in making sure you get the best possible outcome and your investment is exactly that; an investment? Is there an over-arching strategy behind all the decisions you and your web professional are making? Having the big picture is a very important element in coming up with winning online results and you can easily tell if a web professional is taking this into consideration by the questions they are asking you. If they are taking the time to understand about your business; what it offers, your customers, why someone would choose your business over a competitor. In short they are looking for the best way to sell what you do and reach who wants what you do with a compelling message, then you have someone that knows what they are doing and will give you the online advantage that you need.