Indulge in a Mind-Blowing Holiday That Only Awaits You in Australia

This mighty land is not only absolutely stunning but also offers you that perfect taste in absolutely anything. Be it the glitz and glam of city life, the laid-back charm of the countryside, stunning varied landscapes that will leave you mesmerized by its sheer beauty and not to mention, a beautiful amalgamation of various cultures, there is nothing about the extraordinary country of Australia that you wouldn’t fall in love with. So while it may be a long journey from home, Australia offers an experience and a journey that you are guaranteed to treasure for life.

Whether it comes to exploring the striking beauty of the world-renowned Great Barrier Reef, getting up close and personal with not only the cuddly koalas and the adorable penguins but also Australia’s diverse wildlife, soaking in the continent’s majestic waters, experiencing the land’s diverse landscapes, or immersing yourself in the thrilling vibe of some of its big cities, Australia has all this and a lot more.

So take a break from the chilly weather of UK and plan a holiday in the scintillating land of mighty Australia because its summertime here! Imagine soaking in the warm waters of some of the most indulgent beaches of the country, embarking upon adrenaline pumping adventure, and showing off your summer attire. Sounds appealing don’t it? Now what are some of Australia’s top rated attractions that will make you hop on the next affordable flight to this amazing country?

Sydney
Australia’s leading and inspiring city for many reasons, offers you an adventurous journey that you will never forget. There are simply so many things to do and see in this fascinating city that you would simply be captivated throughout. Sydney is a stunning place to start for entertainment, an escapade, activities, experiencing wildlife, slackening and fun within Australia’s principal destination. To experience the true culture of Australia make sure you visit the National Trust S. H. Ervin Gallery and Ken Duncan Gallery.

Perth
If you thought Sydney was adventurous then you still haven’t met Perth. This city has plenty of attractions that are a must see including man made as well as natural stunning parklands that exhibit nature at its best. If you want to be wild and free then make sure you visit the Adventure World in Perth. This theme park hosts an exciting roller coaster and other thrilling rides that will leave you screaming. If you are heading to Perth with family then make sure you head to The Maze as it is the perfect spot for a family day out. This place is home to a mini golf, kangaroos and water slides that your family will simply love.

If you are tired of walking the streets then head over to the Café Pronto as its motto is even Great Food, Great Service and Good Times so make memories here and revel on the beauty of the breathtaking sceneries. This outstanding service and sumptuous food is going to leave you wanting for more.

Australia is the hottest holiday destination and rightly so because of the countless attractions that would leave you captivated. Make sure you visit its most prized cities including Perth and Sydney.

These Are The Top Three Reasons Benchmarking Is Not Good For You And Your Company

Benchmarking has been a buzzword for four to five decades now. It came into its own in the years when TQM (Total Quality Management) was the only gospel truth on how to become the best. The Japanese had taken over the world and for America and Western Europe to catch up; they needed to benchmark the best of what the Japanese were doing. And who propounded and continue to propound these ideas? You guess right, the big boys: BCG, Bain, Accenture, PWC, McKinsey, KPMG, Deloitte, Gemini and the rest of them.

Benchmarking 101 simply says get all the metrics how your best competitor is doing and compare to your performance. Wherever you perform worse, that’s the gap. Pronto you’ve cracked the code. Take immediate action to close the gap and you can be as good as them (your competitor) or even leap frog them. They backed up their presentations with elegant two by two graphs (process visuals as Alan Weiss calls them) and CEOs looking for ever more expensive quick fixes would jump at the recommendations and their treasuries would be the poorer for it.

Tell me, if benchmarking is really this cure-it-all antidote to lackluster performance (the big boys would deny they said it was a cure-it-all), how come Kodak did not benchmark its way to survival? How come Nokia could not benchmark its way to success and beat back Apple and Samsung? What of Motorola that invented the cellular phone technology and Xerox that taught the world how to copy? Why couldn’t the bluest of the blue, with all its technological wizardry do it, and had to send John Akers to the labour market? Beware, the elephant cannot dance unless and until it decides to dance by changing its genetic code.

So here are the top three reasons why you should never touch benchmarking with a ten-foot pole if you really want to be great, break new mold and render the competition irrelevant.

1. Benchmarking ignores the culture of the better performing organization
This is the mother of all reasons why benchmarking is a fatal flaw. Assuming you’re Intel and the Japanese are eating your lunch, what do you do? Do you go on a retreat and benchmark the Japanese to blow them out of the water? Do you call a town-hall meeting to sensitize everyone about the Japanese’s threat and quickly form quick action teams (QATs) to benchmark the Japanese to prepare the way for your glorious comeback? Do you send your top executives to Harvard to learn benchmarking at its best in order to form a groundswell movement that would make you invincible overnight? No! No!! No!!! You do what Andy Grove, Robert Noyce (and Gordon Moore) did. You fire yourselves and start all over again. Remember, only the paranoid survive. You cannot beat the Japanese in head-to-head combat because the cultures are different. Period! Have you not heard that culture will eat strategy for breakfast?

2. Benchmarking looks at the future with the rear-view mirror
Assuming you’re IBM and you’re the world’s most admired company and teased as the Big Blue, and you hear two small boys are fiddling in their mother’s garage and they say they want to topple IBM. Do you postpone your board meeting and send spies to see what the boys are up to or do you benchmark? Benchmark what? Benchmark Apple I or Apple II or iMac that don’t yet exist? The Big Boys would deny they ever said that you should benchmark under such circumstances. But didn’t they say benchmarking was the alpha and omega of the competitive tools? You will never see the future with your rear-view mirror even if you’re a magician. The truth is, when there is disruption (air travel disrupted sea travel, computer disrupted typewriter, gun disrupted bow and arrow, etc.), everything is reset to zero so no amount of benchmarking can save you. We live in an age of discontinuity, thanks to Peter Drucker, and when discontinuity catches up with you and your industry, benchmarking is foolhardiness of the highest order.

3. Benchmarking ignores critical thinking and cannot help you invent the future
The best way to own tomorrow is to invent it. Benchmarking cannot help you do that. Benchmarking is actually antithetical to reinvention. The most revolutionary inventions of our time were or are never the products of benchmarking but critical thinking. Think of products as mundane (now) as paper, post-it-note and light bulb, to mention three. These things never existed before until people’s imagination brought them to be. To invent the future, you start with a clean slate. You ask simple questions like, “why does this work matter?”, “what purpose does it serve?”, “why this (and not that?” These sort of questions enable you think critically, go deep and invent tomorrow while others are busy benchmarking and playing catch-up with the supposedly best companies.

There you have them, the three reasons why benchmarking should be avoided as the plaque: benchmarking ignores the culture of the better performing organization, benchmarking looks at the future with the rear-view mirror, and benchmarking ignores critical thinking and cannot help you invent and reinvent the future.

If you look closely, benchmarking is at the heart of the so-called, international best practice(s) in industries across the globe and who are the proponents of these “best-of-class” concept? The big consulting powerhouses! At best, let me concede, benchmarking can help you make small incremental (additive) progress, but that is not what you need. What you need is exponential (geometric) progress. Now that you have read the top three reasons why you should never do benchmarking, don’t waste time with benchmarking. For any new project you want to initiate, start with a clean slate. Yes, reinvent the wheel. Remember, Apple reinvented the phone with the iPhone, Starbucks reinvented coffee houses, and you can reinvent yours. Go and do it.

Unified Communications Puts On its Traveling Shoes

Unified communications (UC) is an empty slogan – or at least, a sector that is a shadow of what it can be – until it has a strong mobile element. The two endeavors overlap and share the goal of making employees more accessible when they are away from their desks.

Mobile devices’ inability to support those applications presented a hurdle to the true marriage of mobility and UC. Recent announcements, however, clearly say those limitations have been surmounted. At the VoiceCon Show this week in Orlando, Nortel introduced a number of mobile UC products. The company said mobility has been embedded in the Communication Server 1000 IP PBX 5.5 (available next month) and Mobile Communication 3100 for fixed/mobile convergence. The vendor also introduced the IP Softphone 2050 3.0 laptop for PCs and a DECT system for international markets.

The commentary in the story says that adding mobility to unified communications not only makes people more accessible, but it cuts costs – to the tune of 30 percent – by enabling them to use corporate calling plans. Call-completion rates, the story says, improve from 30 percent to 50 percent.

The age of mobile UC is upon us. In January, Datamonitor released a report entitled “Trends to Watch: Unified Communications 2008,” which found that many organizations use technologies – such as presence, mobility and Web conferencing – that benefit traveling workers. To date, however, the overall concept of mobilized UC has not taken off. Recent cellular advances and the higher profile of mobile e-mail will make mobility a more central feature of UC.

The online post, which for some reason omits Datamonitor’s name, lists the section names in the report. They clearly suggest the mobilization of UC. Some of the titles: “Mobility Will Play a Greater Role in the Unified Communications Market,” “Mobility Will Help Drive Investments in Unified Communications” and “FMC and ‘One Number’ Solutions Will Become a Reality.”

Mobility is a theme that runs through Avaya’s VoiceCon announcement of its Unified Communications Services initiative to lead companies gracefully into the world of UC. Avaya UC Services will assess the company’s needs and desires, create a plan and deploy the system. While the idea is to address the entire UC landscape, the company clearly sees mobility as a key element. Indeed, the example given in the release describes how Avaya helped the Black & Decker tool company create a mobile UC strategy.

Smaller vendors are mobilizing their UC products as well. Last month, CommuniGate Systems added features to its
Pronto! UC system [http://www.communigate.com/news/c-news_article_02052008.html]. Pronto!, which uses Adobe Flash, now supports Web-based VoIP. This eases remote access to the corporate PBX and offers features such as click-to-call from the address book, programmable function keys and speed dial.

Network World also positions mobility as an important piece of the overall UC strategy. A Verizon Business director positions mobile UC as the ability to use enterprise applications and services while not being plugged into the network. This requires VoIP, secure access, auto-forwarding of voice and text-to-voice and voice-to-text services. Security, in a mobile UC context, is about risk management – not locking down applications so that they cannot be used outside of the enterprise.

It is illogical to think of UC and mobility as separate entities. Now, for the first time, the technology is in place to truly join them.