Brisbane Institute – Outstanding Productivity Needs Better Leadership

Brisbane Institute

The Event

Boosting productivity takes more than introducing better systems or “working smarter”.  It takes leadership.

I was privileged to attend  the Brisbane Institute Forum on 17 July, where Rhonda White founder of the Terry White Chemist Group spoke about the concepts surrounding the current notion that “Outstanding Productivity Needs Better Leadership”.

Who is Rhonda White?

Rhonda is a co-founder of the Terry White Chemists Group and has been integral to the success of the brand. Her visionary skills in developing the systems and disciplines for the Brand, commitment to the development of Professional Services combined with exceptional business skills have proven a critical ingredient in growing the franchise network to its current position of 168 pharmacies in all states, employing over 4500 staff with a turnover of $1 billion.

She currently serves as a board member of TWC Group Investment Limited. A Trustee of the Queensland Performing Arts Trust (QPAT), Rhonda has been a director of a number of government and private companies.

In September 2011, Rhonda was inducted into the Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame in recognition of exceptional entrepreneurship and innovation in national retailing, and significant contributions to the community.

Memorable Comments

I was so absorbed in Rhonda’s presentation I wanted to share a few of the priceless statements and advice that I found memorable –

  • “Productivity is the final ultimate measure of a business and the ultimate measure of a leader in business.”
  • “Productivity is the realm of management. Every other level is about efficiency before you think about productivity”.
  • “Look for opportunities to build culture as well as teach systems and management.”
  • “Build culture and hype, not just the hype.”
  • “Be a counterintuitive, creative leader and be prepared for competition.”
  • “People are your most important asset, empower them to deliver your business results.”
  • “Empowerment + collaboration = business stability.”
  • “There are different challenges at different stages of a business, nothing stays the same.”
  • “Systems need to be continuing reviewed/changed to ensure they support the business and the environment they operate in.”
  • “High performance teams need trust and confidence to do their job.”
  • “Managers should never underestimate the impact of their decisions and the interrelationships with the business.”
  • “Bonuses do not work to engage individuals and teams. It is about being involved in projects and sharing the rewards as a team.”
  • “Employees have responsibility to add value to the life of the company and vice versa.”
  • “Reinvent business and teams to find productivity.”
  • “Spend time and effort in identifying leadership DNA in your business.  Not all managers will become leaders.”


Great comments, insights and reflections from the breakfast. 3 main themes became evident – what does leadership and productivity look like;  how do leaders contribute to improvements in business productivity; and the role of incentives in develop a leadership culture to drive changing business work practices.

Graphics: Brisbane Institute

About the Author. To fulfil his professional and personal career aspirations, Tony Wiggins created ‘The HR Architect’ brand in 2009.  With a well-grounded focus and passion for HR, he thrives on working across his networks as a thought leader in ‘making a difference’ in the HR arena.

Tony Wiggins is the Founder and UX Editor of Saturday Shoutout!!! and The HR Architect ConnectTony utilises the blog ‘The HR Architect’ as a social media network and platform that empowers HR professionals to network, assist and support one another, spanning different countries, subcultures and niches.

Contact Tony at or @tonywiggin on Twitter.

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