Getting on with it

Article by Glenn Fitzgerald

22 APRIL 2020


During these very challenging times I still believe at a fundamental level that the value of our business is in the capacity and commitment of our employees. Recently, and for obvious reasons, I have been asking myself, what does engagement and success looks like now?

I am of the view that positive challenges that motivate and require of our employees, in terms of their experience, knowledge and effort, are more important than ever.

A feeling of striving and development must permeate the firm not stagnation (or worse). There must be a sense, even if implied, that the business, as a collective, will do all it can to come out stronger and better equipped on the other side.

All employees contribute value to the firm in some way. Our people must be enabled to ask, what does value look like now in my role and how can I make my contribution? We can enable employees to find ways to reapply their talents (they too must play their part).

It is also important to redouble our recognition efforts. Effective recognition not only motivates but let’s others know this is the new normal in terms of how we together strive to succeed. It also builds trust and commitment.



Recognition may look different than before. It can for example be provided in response to active participation, taking the initiative, collaborating or innovating. Evidence of appreciation matters and it can take a range of forms, including staff development.

Destination has commissioned research with Professor Francis Farrelly at RMIT on Disruption in the Auto Industry and one of the more interesting findings is that during times of great change staff become more engaged when they feel they are making a difference. So what is Destination doing now?

A successful service at Destination has been the Incentive and Business Insights Program (IBIP). This program involves taking employees to key destinations globally and locally to engage in world best practice workshops and market immersion activities, particularly in marketing, sales, design, leadership, and innovation. Existing destination cities include New York, San Francisco, Seattle, LA, London, Tokyo, Wellington, South Australia, Tasmania and Queenstown. It also involves engaging with organizations such as IBM, Google, NASA, RM Williams, Boeing, Ritz-Carlton and Disney, and Universities such as Caltech, and the ArtCenter Academy of Design. We were fortunate to win a National Award for Excellence for this program.

You can imagine for now that IBIP has ground to a halt. However in the space of a month or so we regrouped with our staff and international collaborators to provide a range of Virtual Business Insights Events that build on the basic premise of the IBIP program.

These Business Insights Events are empowering, collaborative, time-efficient, and solution focussed. They include enhanced sales meetings, design thinking to solve complex problems, retaining customers in times of uncertainty, improving CX during disruption, leading through change, local area marketing, refining the sales approach, and more.

I am pleased to say that the response has been very positive. Despite everything there is a feeling out there that we must try and ‘get on with it’ and that requires reinvesting in our people where we can.

On signing off, it seems to me that despite everything, the aim now must be to do what it takes to rebuild our businesses, as it is in times like these you can really see what it means to people.

Best Wishes.


168 Greville Street
Prahran, Victoria 3181
Phone: +61 3 9544 9600
Glenn: +61 419 883 107