Guest: Catherine Middleton
Presenter: Wayne Bucklar
Guest Bio: Catherine Middleton is the Owner and Director of Office Dynamics Adelaide, an office management consultancy. She is also an Author, Speaker and Workshop Facilitator. Her background is four decades working in the administrative field, the last twenty as an Executive Assistant. She also spent twenty of those years as a volunteer in a not for profit professional development organization, The Australian Institute of Office Professionals. She was recognized for her contribution to the association with a honorary life membership in 2013. From 2011-2014 she held the position of National President and Chair of the Board of Directors.
Segment Overview: In this segment, Catherine Middleton, Owner and Director of Office Dynamics Adelaide joins the show to talk all about her successful office management consultancy business. It works with different businesses and companies to look at best practice, how their office operations are working whether they’re efficient, effective, and if the staff understand their roles – just like a package. Office Dynamics Adelaide offers a wide array of services such has office management reviews, business coaching, job seekers workshops.
Wayne Bucklar: You’re listening to Business Radio Talkers.FM. My name is Wayne Bucklar and joining me today in conversation is Catherine Middleton. Now Catherine is the Owner and the Founder of Office Dynamics Adelaide. Now Catherine, welcome to the show.
Catherine Middleton: Thank you so much Wayne for the invitation.
Wayne: Now Office Dynamics is not a kind of business name like real estate that instantly tells me what it’s all about. Fill us in, what is it that Office Dynamics Adelaide do?
Catherine: It works with businesses and companies to look at best practice, how their office operations are working. Whether they’re efficient, effective office staff, do the staff understand their roles, it’s like a package. And when you manage an office, there’s many facets that can go wrong or that need tweaking from time to time. So I’m a consultant, I work with the companies to look at their issues and then look at strategies that can be implemented to resolve or make more efficient specs.
Wayne: Now Catherine, are you only Adelaide based or do you have a wider footprint than that?
Catherine: No, I’m a sole trader so I am staying in Adelaide. Obviously if someone wants me to go interstate, we could talk about it but primarily, it’s Adelaide.
Wayne: There’s enough in Adelaide to keep you busy.
Catherine: I think so.
Wayne: And the wine is lovely and the weather is good most of the time.
Catherine: We’re very, very lucky here. We’re very lucky.
Wayne: Catherine, what size businesses do you work with?
Catherine: Look, when I started out 4 years ago, I aimed at the small business so the sole operators because they do need help. But unfortunately like myself, we do everything ourselves and we’re not about to employ someone to come in and help us even though we may need it. So I’ve had to raise my idea of who I should be helping out. So it’s probably the small to middle companies. I have worked with a couple of councils and that’s worked really well. So the offices aren’t huge but it looks like I may get a contract with the government department. But in government agencies, it can be small entities as well so it’s a cross-section of people like in health.
Wayne: And I see on your website here – Office Management Reviews, Business Improvement, Personal and Business Coaching, Mentoring, Professional Development, Career Progression and Workshops for Jobseekers. So what you do is, by looking at that, largely face-to-face and in the office.
Catherine: Look, the companies that I’m running has developed where one thing wasn’t seeming to work. I’ve suddenly found myself looking at other ways to interact with people and I’ve written three books, two are aimed at people looking to get into the workforce. So we’re looking at job ready, making people understand the process of applying and walking into interviews. The third book, “TIME TO THINK BIG!” is very much about creating a career and the life that suits you, that’s best for you and that will be different for different people. I’m a member of Professional Speakers Australia and they say a book is the best business card you’re ever going to have. So there I am, I have written these three books. But I take those books as the basis for my workshops, for my interactions if I had do one-on-ones and it’s great because it gives you a fallback position to help people. Anyone can go into in a sort of spiel, with one sort or the other, but if you’ve got a basis for what you’re telling them and they can walk away with the copy of the book – that reinforces the message.
Wayne: Yes, it does. And there is a certain I guess authority that comes from authorship, both words having the same route I guess that there is some real content there to rely on as you say.
Catherine: Yes. Well I’ve enjoyed writing them.
Wayne: That’s good, I hate writing. I like talking, that’s what I do.
Catherine: Well obviously, you’re very good at it.
Wayne: Why thank you. Now Catherine for people who are listening to us today, do you have a message for them? I mean the majority of them would be small and medium business owners and managers I guess. Is there a takeaway message for them today having heard you on Talkers.FM?
Catherine: Look, there’s so many different issues that arise in business but it doesn’t hurt to have a sounding board and that’s what I can be. My first meeting is always complimentary. So even if you don’t hire the services, at least talk to someone who can understand where you’re coming from. And if I can offer them some ideas, how to do work around whatever issue they have or address it, why wouldn’t you just offer me a cup of coffee and come in and have a chat? A lot of people, they’re so busy doing what they’re doing, they don’t take a step off the treadmill to actually reassess, “Well okay, this isn’t going quite right. How can we fix this?” And to have that person come in and have someone to talk to, that’s very valuable. So I would suggest that they pick up the phone.
Wayne: Yes, that’s very true. And you don’t get much better value for a consultant than a cup of coffee I have to say.
Catherine: There you go. A good cup of coffee Wayne.
Wayne: Well, a good cup of coffee and a good chat fixes most things I think. My father used to say, “A Bex and a lie down for people who are old enough to remember.” Bex powders and my mother used to say, “No, a cup of tea and a chat is what you need.” Catherine, how can people who have heard us today and want to reach out to you and get in touch with you?
Catherine: Obviously as we’ve talked about the website, officedynamicsadelaide.com.au. The mobile number is 0408 004 823. My email is [email protected].
Wayne: And I’m assuming your books are available on your website?
Catherine: Yes, you can go to the website and it will take you straight through to Amazon where you can buy them online. And can I just say with the takeaway message for those people who are looking to change their career or whatever, my message for them is to have self belief because if we emphasize what we can all bring to the table with all the different skills we have, we all have different experiences and those are so valuable. And also the trick is to try taking one step at a time and that’s the message I’d like to get at my workshops as well – that anything is possible.
Wayne: That’s a very good message Catherine. Thank you for making yourself available today. I realize you’re a busy person and we do appreciate you coming on to have a chat with us.
Catherine: I’ve really loved it. Thank you so much for asking me.
Wayne: And if you’ve just joined us on Business Radio Talkers.FM, then you just missed my chat with Catherine Middleton of Office Dynamics Adelaide. But there is good news, on our website, we have a transcript where you can read the whole interview but we also have an audio archive on SoundCloud, YouTube and iTunes where you can hear the interview from beginning to end and the links to all of those are on our website at Talkers.FM. If you’re listening to us on social media, please remember all those nice buttons at the bottom, the Like, the ticks, all of those things, we love hearing from you. And if you’ve got a question either for Catherine or for anyone else on the station, please feel free to ask us in any of the social media channels, we’re bound to see it and we will get back to you. My name is Wayne Bucklar, this is Business Radio Talkers.FM.