1. Who is Nick Oddy?
I live in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne with my wonderful family (wife Susannah, daughter Madeline and child number two due in June). I’m committed to healthy living and a vegetarian who enjoys all kinds of sports especially hiking and camping. My spiritual practice is the foundation that informs how I live my life. I started working with ID in August last year and I’m enjoying it immensely.
2. Why do you do what you do?
I work with ID as the values and aspirations of the firm are very closely aligned with my own. I had to search across the country to find a company that I feel comfortable and inspired working with and ID is just that. Learning and development is a rewarding area to work in as you are seeking to help organisations and people become the best they can be (and be their best for the world).
3. What are your strengths as a consultant?
Difficult to answer. I think I’m good at conceptualizing and developing programs that address organisational needs. I try to use relevant theoretical models and case studies in a way that is practical and accessible to people.
4. What’s the most interesting part about your line of work?
I find the concept of innovation a buzz as it’s about ‘finding a better a way’ and seeking to maximise potential. Paul Keating once said that leadership is essentially about imagination and courage. I think there is probably more to leadership but those two concepts are at the heart of our innovation work. And of course the great people you work with.
5. Can you think of any great companies doing some great, innovative work?
My east coast colleague Ron Laurie and I are currently delivering an innovation qualification to a group of senior managers at Blackmores, the natural healthcare company. Their headquarters just north of Sydney is an amazing campus. You walk towards the entrance on a bridge made from recycled Australian timber that sits over tranquil water gardens populated with herbs, native plants and water lilies. Inside the building there are numerous break-out areas for staff, the couches and lounge areas overlook picturesque lawns and gardens through floor to ceiling windows. There is a 25-metre lap pool for staff, mediation areas, relaxation & massage rooms and a fully serviced kitchen providing staff with healthy and nutritious meals. The impressive physical environment is matched by a supportive yet ambitious culture. They are a company who fully believe in the value of what they offer.
The new learning campus (NAB Academy) at National Australia Bank’s Docklands building is state of the art and unprecedented in Australia. The physical environment and educational facilities are the most innovative in Australia and demonstrate the growing recognition of the importance of developing your people and maximising their talents. NAB is endeavoring to match their substantial financial commitment to the physical learning environment with equally innovative curriculum and professional development opportunities for staff. We shall wait and see.
6. If you could invite 5 people to dinner, who would they be?
Living or dead not specified here so I shall have a crack at both.
Joan of Arc
Martin Luther King
JC (the other prodigal son and great redeemer)
Ron Cacioppe (another vegetarian and someone with whom you could later share the experience with to keep it ‘alive’)
7. Who inspires you and why?
I recently watched the Shaun Penn movie ‘Into the Wild’. It’s the true story of the life of Chrstopher McCandless who after graduating University rejected conventional life (donating his life savings of $25,000 to charity) and hitchhiked around America, finally living in an abandoned bus deep in the wilderness of Alaska. What inspired me was his unwavering commitment to his ideals and the notion that happiness and wellbeing primarily resides within us and is fruitless if pursued by external means only. A ‘must see’ if you haven’t yet watched it.
8. If you were stranded on a desert island, what book and 2 items and would you like with you?
I’m going to say Memories, Dreams and Reflections by Carl Jung but I wouldn’t be restricted to just one book. I'd also want my iPad – all the literature and music you could ever need. And of course if you’re stuck on a deserted island you need to keep a journal (electronic in this case) so you can publish a book when you are finally rescued. I'd also want a solar powered charger for my iPad (for those who scoffed at my response).