Guest: Rael Bricker
Presenter: Wayne Bucklar
Guest Bio: Rael Bricker is a collector of experiences and observations. With over 30 years as an entrepreneur, he delivers a series of dynamic talks on building businesses by thinking outside the square. His experiences range from working 6000 feet underground, building an education business with 6 campuses and 4,000 students, a number of years in venture capital and his current financial services offering with in excess of $2.7 billion in settled residential loans. Rael has been involved in listed companies on two international stock exchanges and sees himself as a “serial entrepreneur”. He delivers talks, presentations and seminars on a wide variety of business topics. These are equally relevant at all organizational and branch levels and from small and medium size entrepreneurial businesses, to large scale corporations, franchise chains and buying or dealer groups. Each presentation is custom built for the particular audience as the only way to generate genuine buy in from teams is through relevance and interest.
Segment Overview: In this segment, Rael Brickers joins Talkers.FM to talk about business development and his unique ability to help businesses grow and improve by delivering extraordinary talks, presentations and seminars on a wide variety of business topics. He states that about 25% of his time is spent in the public speaking space and spends the rest of his time running his group of companies which is in financial services in Australia.
Wayne Bucklar: You’re listening to Business Radio Talkers.FM. My name is Wayne Bucklar and today I’m joined by Rael Bricker. Now Rael Bricker is joining us from Perth in Western Australia and his website is raelbricker.com and the tagline is “Give Your Business the Edge.” So let’s find out what the edge is. Rael, welcome to the show.
Rael Bricker: Thank you very much Wayne.
Wayne: Rael, just fill us in on what it is you do and who you do it for.
Rael: So I talk about business, I talk about business development, I talk about culture and I’ve got to a point after listing companies on two stock exchanges around the world and building businesses on two different continents that I wanted to take my 30 years of entrepreneurial experience and find a way of communicating that and sharing that with business people. And what I found over the last number of years that I’ve been doing that, it has shifted from being just entrepreneurial and I’m getting equally good responses from medium and large corporates as I am from intrapreneurs who when I stand up and talk to them about various business building concepts and the eyes light up and that’s really what is my reason for doing this is that I do see the eyes light up, I do see the recognition that they’re not gonna be able to implement every single thing I talked to them about but there are some ideas and some takeaways that everyone walks away with.
Wayne: And Rael, do you spend a lot of your time in that public speaking space?
Rael: About 25% of my time at the moment. It depends on the month, depends on the week obviously I spend the rest of the time running my group of companies which is in financial services in Australia.
Wayne: Right. And mentioning Australia, I did mention before that you’re coming to us today from Western Australia. What’s the geographic footprint for where you’ll speak and who can engage with you?
Rael: Well I’ve spoken this over the last few years in seven countries so far, I’d like to add a zero one to that one day. I don’t mind traveling over the last year and I’ve spoken in the international perspective, I’ve spoken in Canada and Penang, and South Africa and New Zealand over the last 12 months. So it’s ever-expanding. Perth is the most isolated capital city in the world, we know that. Every flight takes an extra 3 or 4 hours although we do have a direct link to London now. So travel is a necessary part of living in Western Australia but it is something that I embrace. I already have offices across the Eastern Seaboard of Australia in my financial group. So I spend a fair amount of time on planes anyway.
Wayne: I think that’s one of the occupational hazards of anyone who is involved with conferences professionally is that you’re gonna spend a lot of time sitting in a plane, waiting until you arrived.
Rael: There was how I got to finish my book. Actually, I had two engagements in South Africa last year and those are long flights. And I actually managed to sit down on the plane and actually finish all the editing and the book will be published
In a few weeks time.
Wayne: What will it be called Rael?
Rael: The book is called, “Diving In: Lessons Learned Since Business School.” It’s 30 years since I did my MBA and so I thought it was an apt year to bring it out after 30 years after leaving business school and it’s really a 120 odd pages of business stories relating to business ideas and how those can be implemented in a variety of businesses and industries.
Wayne: We look forward to it becoming available. It’ll be an interesting read I’m sure.
Rael: It’s been an interesting exercise in writing it because it forced me to think about my current business philosophies, my current business practices, what I stand up on stage and talk to people about and really the roots and the origins of those and so the book goes back to the reasons I guess or the ideas behind why I say certain things and why I recommend certain business practice.
Wayne: Rael many of our audience are business people on Talkers.FM, what’s the takeaway for them today? Is there a piece of advice that’s going to be of general interest to senior business managers?
Rael: So one of my key focus areas has always been on building cultures that work for different organizations and there is no one culture around the world that fits all. It is a very localized to a company but globalized depending on their reach. And what strikes me is that 20 odd years ago Peter Drucker said that, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast” and no one really took that very seriously until the last couple of years when suddenly there’s been a massive acceptance that if you don’t get the culture right, then nothing else is gonna fall into place. And so as part of that in fact, the head of an accounting firm opening an office in your place of residence in the Philippines recently, a global accounting firm, he actually spoke about the fact that culture will be the strategy of the next decade. And so that sort of validated everything I’m doing. I’m in the process of interviewing over a hundred companies worldwide and I’m about three-quarters way through that set of interviews right now. And what I’m finding is that despite cultural differences between countries, despite cultural differences between particular organizations, the commonalities are actually much stronger than the differences. In other words, that most companies around the world no matter what industry they’re in – whether they are 12 staff to 18 or 20 thousand staff as some of the companies I’ve interviewed, they all face similar problems of communicating the culture, of maintaining the culture when the company trips over. Those are the takeaways from today, is that culture is something that is a continuous learning process for every organization. On my website which we’ll get to a bit later, there are a number of blogs called, “Bottoms Up Culture.” And culturally, the traditional way of putting culture together has been that the Board of Directors go away up to the mountain and potentially sit around and have a few drinks and then work out what they think is the vision and the mission of the business. And that’s okay, they need that. You need to have a direction as management. From the top end though, what I’m finding more and more companies around the world are putting a layer even above the vision and mission and that is the “Purpose.” They’re trying to define the purpose of the organization as something far greater than the organization itself. And so what I’m finding is that’s great and I’ve asked them, “Would the average employee be able to tell me what the purpose is in their own words?” And that’s where the larger organizations are stumbling. The management have a purpose in mind, they have a purpose, they have a vision and they have a mission but they’re not communicating it. And what they’re finding is that the culture is they’re not driven by the purpose of the organization, it’s driven by the actions of the staff at the bottom edge. And so my “Bottoms Up Culture” says as a chief executive and as a leader, your takeaway is to understand that you have to have a purpose and you have to clearly enunciate that purpose in probably 25 words or less. And once you can enunciate your purpose, then you have to understand the culture of the organization and the culture of the workforce. Henry Ford said that, “The culture is something that happens when the boss is away” and it’s been quoted in many different guises. So there’s lots of versions of that. But essentially, that’s what it is, culture is what happens when the bosses are out playing golf, how did the staff react? What moral guidelines do they have? And if that doesn’t align with the purpose, then either the purpose has to shift or the staff have to shift. But somebody has to move and you can’t be static, you can’t say, “That’s our purpose. Now everybody aligned with it,” that doesn’t work either. It’s a process of movement. I love quoting people and Einstein said that, “Life is like riding a bicycle. When you stop pedaling, you fall off.” And and so that is what it is. For organizations, they have to be working continuously on this culture and be working continuously on their purpose in the world because if you don’t have a purpose, you don’t have a business. You can have a vision, you can have a mission, you can have as many policies and procedures as you like, but if you don’t have a simply stated mission and one of the best ones I heard colloquially spoken was an American oil company that said their mission is to get the black stuff out the ground, fiddle around with it and put it into people’s cars and that simply put was the mission of the organization or the purpose. Once you’ve got to that purpose, then everybody, even the Human Resources Department needed to understand that they had to do things to make sure that happened rather than being able to implement policies and procedures. It’s a bit of a long explanation of the takeaway but that is culture is an ever growing and an ever challenging situation for most companies.
Wayne: I do like that quote. It is an interesting area and I do like the idea that you have to be able to recall it at gunpoint, that’s an important feature I think. Rael we run out of time again, I often do that. How can people who we’ve struck a chord with get in touch with you?
Rael: It’s either at [email protected] is my email address and on the website, bricker.com.au or raelbricker.com and there are all the contact details. I’m also on social media – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. just by searching my name and pretty active on Linkedin and Facebook so there’s always posts, and new articles, and blogs and all those interesting things for people to read.
Wayne: Rael, I appreciate you making yourself available to us today, thank you for your time.
Rael: And thank you for your time.
Wayne: And dear listener, if you’ve just joined us on Business Radio Talkers.FM, then you’ve just missed a fascinating conversation with Rael Bricker. But the good news is you can hear the archive of the interview, there’s an audio archive on SoundCloud, YouTube and iTunes or you can read a transcript on our website at Business Radio Talkers.FM. My name is Wayne Bucklar. Please click the Like button, click the smiley face, click all of those things on social media to let us know you’re listening, we do love to hear from you. This is Business Radio Talkers.FM.