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Small is Beautiful

Our work with small businesses across the Duck River industrial precincts west of Sydney, has taught us that many small businesses are way ahead of governments in their sustainability thinking and appetite for immediate action. Small is beautiful, and it can often seed something big. We came across the following example of this during our research for the Streamline program. It is a great example of something that st
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Hunter on the prowl for National Broadband Network

The Hunter is on the prowl. By taking the lead in developing a skills strategy, the region is unique in its efforts to engage with the NBN and make the most of the largest infrastructure project since the Snowy Mountains Scheme. More than double the number of expected participants attended the meeting to identify the skills needed and opportunities related to the rollout of the NBN. By bringing together more than 60
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Duck River Idols

In September 2009, make stuff happen won the job to create a business network that could support the sustainability efforts of small and medium sized businesses across the lower Duck River industrial precincts that straddle Parramatta and Auburn City Councils in western Sydney. Small and medium sized businesses were perceived to be lacking the support larger businesses could attract through other government or indust
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Finding what works and why

Knowing is not the same as doing. That’s Rule Number 18 from Alan M. Webber’s recent book, Rules of Thumb.[1] Webber was the founding editor/owner of Fast Company, the hip business magazine he established after a long stint at the much more staid Harvard Business Review. Rules of Thumb lists 52 business insights, all written in Webber’s engaging journalistic style and peppered with great stories about how to make sen
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The two sides of collaboration

collaboration: act of working jointly act of cooperating traitorously with an enemy that is occupying your country I once worked with a woman who refused to use the word collaboration or collaborator. The Nazi occupation of European countries during the second world war relied on the venality and fear of local ‘collaborators’ and, for my work colleague, this invocation of the word had contaminated it forever. While c
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If you are stuck… do something, anything

Often our stuckness equates to procrastination. And at the heart of procrastination lies fear and inertia. So the answer can be simple: do something, do anything. Walk, run, dance, stand on your head, hang a picture; go to a museum, skating rink, climbing wall or a swimming pool. Why? Physical movement literally increases the amount of oxygen to your brain. As often as we ignore this fact, our mind and body are direc
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Regional Development Australia: hit the ground running with us

The creation of Regional Development Australia has led to the establish of a streamlined structure replacing the former ACCs and regional development boards. Across the country, these new committees are now coming to grips with a reconfigured geographic area, diverse and newly acquainted committee members, and uncertainty about professional staff to support this transition. Besides, getting on their feet, there are h
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Independent Facilitators

At make stuff happen our 10,000 hours of facilitation experience can help you make the most of your time and people. So why use a facilitator? Why? At key times you can exponentially increase the value of a meeting by bringing in an external facilitator who… has specialist experience and specific skills in designing and running meetings to achieve results is ‘neutral’ (no hidden agenda) which allows them to build con
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Duck River Revival

The Duck River is a tributary of the Parramatta River. A century of heavy industrial activity, often unregulated, has left its mark. Soil contamination, toxic waste, sediment build-up, storm-water sewerage and habitat destruction, have combined to put an intolerable pressure on river health in the past and have produced complex challenges to be solved in the present and future. Parramatta and Auburn City Councils rec
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Be Human

Organisations are made up of people. Human, embodied, physical, spirited, flawed beings, who are often exhorted to be efficient (machines), professional (unfeeling), endorse corporate standards (don’t think for yourself) AND be innovative, responsive and forward looking. When you bring people fully into the workplace with all their passion you start to build the balance sheet on the innovation side. The way peo
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