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Monthly Archives: September 2017

Norwegian shows to watch in Australian Netflix this spring

Many of our favourite Norwegian TV shows are now available on Netflix in Australia, here is an introduction to some of them.

 

Kon Tiki

Kon Tiki

Kon Tiki is a Norwegian movie from 2013 and it is about Thor Heyrdahls with the same name. It was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe for best foreign film and won four Amanda awards. It quickly became a Norwegian classic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Occupied

Occupied

Occupied is set in a futuristic Norway where they have stopped all oil production, and as a result EU hires Russia to occupy Norway to have them restart it. The series is set to an idea by Jo Nesbø, bestselling Norwegian author.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOBEL

Nobel – peace at any cost

Nobel is a show about an Norwegian soldier in Afghanistan, “In Nobel, two stories carefully intertwine as a returning soldier and family man becomes a pawn in a political international game. As the stakes grow higher he is forced to discover just how far one should go in the name of peace” – IMDB The main character portrayed by the famous Aksel Hennie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Norsemenn

Norsemenn

Norsemenn is a satiric show about Viking life, in involves many loved Norwegian actors, and it is all set in English. The action takes place in 790AD and it shows the challenges the Vikings would go through in their daily life and how they dealt with rivalries, gender inequality, raids and power struggles. The show won “gullruten” for best humor program.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slow TV

Slow TV is whe you follow something for a certain period of time, for instance Hurtigruten from Bergen to Kirkenes, or knitting a whole sweater. One TV channel will be dedicated to send it live for as long as it taked to finnish, this means hours of entertainment. Head on to Netflix and see what you favourite slow TV will be.

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Tax, R&D, and Personnel Secondment Advice from KPMG

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KPMG kindly hosted a Norwegian Australian Chamber of Commerce evening at their offices in Perth.  The talks were excellent and certainly prompted a lot of discussions afterward.

The talks covered three main areas:

Cost saving ideas – five ways to cut taxes for yourself and your company. Caroline Hickson, Director, KPMG.

The Research and Development tax credit in Australia. What is it and is your organization eligible to make a claim? James Edwards, Partner, KPMG.

Tricks and traps of seconding staff to Australia – employment law basics. James Simpson, Partner, KPMG Law.

Caroline started the process looking at individuals, often working from home and how they could reduce personal income taxes.  This included an interesting look at the ATO “My deductions” app and the process of keeping a 12 week travel log that can then be used as a basis for claims relating to business use of a personal vehicle for 5 years, providing of course that circumstances do not change.

The talk moved onto larger companies with some very interesting points about FBT and Data Analytics.  For FBT there is now a draft ATO ruling about work related travel expenses providing greater clarity around situations where travel costs will attract FBT. Making sure that travel aligns with the ATO guidance could give companies significant savings over the years.

Data Analytics certainly seems to be a useful tool for larger companies judging by the examples.  Some examples were Payroll Health Checks, including ensuring that salary sacrifice was carried out correctly and  payroll tax calculated on the correct values, testing superannuation calculations for correct capping, and finally an investigation into FBT costs; where was money being spent and how does this compare to other organisations? Any anomalies could point to an opportunity to review company policies around expenditure on items such as entertainment.

James Edwards gave some very interesting insights into the funding of R&D and commercialisation, including the fact that there are two main areas of government support being the R&D Tax Incentive, an entitlement based benefit which can provide a reduction in tax payable or a cash rebate;  and grant based programs which are traditionally competitive based with a need for matched funding.

For the R&D Tax Incentive, there was of course the question on what could be defined as eligible R&D activity, and the main tests broadly revolve around generation of new or improved products, processes, devices, services etc.; technical uncertainty and the presence of experimentation or testing.

There are many qualifying areas that companies need to be aware of, not least being who “owns” the R&D activity and hence the right to claim it under the R&D Tax Incentives – this ownership test considers three key issues being the right to exploit the intellectual property stemming from the R&D activities, the day to day control of the activities and bearing of the financial risk in undertaking the activities.

Another big question was what information had to be registered with the regulators to support the R&D Tax Incentive claim.  Basically the registration document includes information relevant to each eligible R&D activity including areas of new knowledge being developed along with the associated technical uncertainty plus details of the experiments or tests that have or are anticipate to be performed.  Additional substantiation documentation must be maintained by claiming companies to evidence their R&D activities.

Last but not least James Simpson covered seconding staff to Australia.  It seems that even sophisticated companies can get it horribly wrong with multiple contracts that contradict each other in multiple different ways.

Contracts often quote policies and it is important to know how binding specific policies are. Generally it is recommended that they be advisory rather than contractually binding.

An interesting proposal was the personnel coming into Australia should undergo an induction on the laws that will be applicable to them while they are working here, this can cover things such as occupational health and safety which can vary dramatically from country to country.

Very briefly if you want to maximise a successful deployment of someone to Australia, consider the following points.

  • Get a clear contract that applies to Australia.
  • Consider the most appropriate jurisdiction for the contract; and
  • Ensure the contract adequately addresses the relevant visa conditions.

 

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Challenging the ‘I’ in team – the recipe for a perfect team starts with you

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For most of my working life I been part of a team. Some teams have been small and some have been big. I have been the team rookie, I have been the team fossil, and I have lead some of them myself. I have been extremely fortunate; all the teams have been truly awesome and have given me the opportunity to work with a lot of talented and passionate people. A common thread in these successful teams has been my willingness and openness to engaging with the team by being guided by strategies to get there from management and the broader company.

 

A direct correlation has been shown between the quality of the relationships in a team and the quality of the work the team produce. Team-building takes many forms and doing activities together is fun, great for team spirit and more importantly brings us together face to face (or side by side). All organisations want people and teams that consistently deliver high quality output. Unfortunately, we can’t go offsite, climb mountains, drive go-carts and do cooking classes every week. So, how do we nurture and fuel the team spirit and maintain relationships in a team between the annual team-building day; and why is it so important?

 

There are a whole range of reasons, some more obvious than others. Some of the most attractive organisations to work for globally have done extensive research around creating the perfect team. Over a two-year period, Google interviewed 180 teams and hundreds of employees searching for the recipe. What they found wasn’t what they expected. Who is on the team matters less than how the team members interact. High performing teams almost always displayed these 5 characteristics; “Psychological Safety” being the most important.

 

So if that’s the case, what is the best way and what is the benefit of creating an environment where people feel psychologically safe? Let’s look at a few favourites.

 

#Social Interaction.

Our social relationships have been shown to be the key to happiness in our personal lives. What might come as a surprise is that it also seems to be of great importance in the workspace. Not only does Google know how to create the perfect team, according to LinkedIn, employees who are hired to work for the most attractive company globally enjoy working there so much that they never want to leave. Google understand the value of people meeting face to face. Giving employees access to large areas with lounges and ping pong tables is about creating a space for people to meet, discuss, exchange ideas and have great conversations that might lead to new innovations and ‘the next big thing’. By increasing human interaction just a little, performance can increase a lot.

 

#Trust.

One of the key factors in great relationships is trust. In order to build trust we need to get to know each other. As with social interaction, this doesn’t just apply in our personal life, it is also the case in our professional lives.

When people know and trust each other they also become more tolerant and supportive. They are more understanding and willing to get the job done. “Having teams that are open, trusting, and supportive of each other is a critical driver of an innovation culture”, writes Amantha Imber in her book The Innovation Formula. With the constant changes in the digital space, innovation is not only a buzz word, it’s necessary, in some places more than others. A company whose culture values teamwork alongside with risk and distributed leadership seems to inherently be more adaptable to these changes. Maybe it’s because they feel trusted to take risk and get the job done.

 

“Having teams that are open, trusting, and supportive of each other is a critical driver of an innovation culture”

 

#Empowerment.

Letting employees have a say and allowing them to make decisions is shown to increase productivity and work place satisfaction. More importantly, getting people on the ground doing the job and making suggestions about how to work smarter, increases productivity and cut costs; this in turn can make a big difference to the bottom line. Mining Company BHP Billiton did just that. They invited employees to put forward suggestions. A quarter of close to nine thousand employees made 4700 suggestions and the company believe it contributed to a total savings of close to 4 Billion dollars as a result. So not only is it good for the bottom line, employees end up feeling more involved and engaged at work which is positive in itself.

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#Love

A little bit of love in the work place will also go a long way. Love doesn’t have to be a policy, but it can. Putting the interest of another person before yourself. Love can and should be a guiding star and philosophy in how we treat each other both in and outside of work. Love is about being comfortable with conflict and difficult conversations. In my opinion, what is even more important is the presence of love in everyday work life. A simple smile and giving someone the compliment they deserve can be enough.

I have experienced this myself. About ten years ago I was part of an amazing team in Norway. At our monthly sales meetings we would all give a short update about what we had achieved since we last met. Afterwards we would all put a Post-it with our name in a bowl and randomly pull out a note each. We then had to give feedback to another member of the team based on their update to the team, which had to positive.

The session was inspired by a segment from a reality show. The show called it “Black camel, White camel” where the contestants gave out one black camel for poor behaviour and a white camel for good behaviour to other contestants.

We renamed it “White camel, White camel” as it was all about creating a positive team environment. It sounds silly thinking about it but after this simple exercise where we put effort and into focusing on positive things we were all left feeling good, I know I did.

 

We tend to spend a lot of energy on things we can’t change. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a good rant and believe there needs to be a space where one can voice opinions, maybe give out a few black camels too. We shouldn’t ignore the ‘black camels” and there are ways of addressing negative thoughts and obstacles for success. By turning negative feedback and statements into questions we open for exploration and possibilities. The truth is that it feels much more rewarding giving out white camels and focus on positive qualities and behaviours and we should strive to turn the black ones into possibilities rather than barriers.

 

“The quality of the relationships in a team has been shown to directly correlate with the quality of the work the team produce”

 

There are many other factors that can play a role in how a team performs. Let’s revisit and look at factors like team size, gender mix and the manager and the role they play at a later stage. Elements like engagement, social relationships and trust, psychological safety and love are all things that we all can influence and practice to increase performance of self, colleagues and team.

 

Smile, give compliments, grab a coffee or go for a walk with a colleague. Schedule a lunch or after work drinks with people in your team this week. Ask each other questions and talk about things outside of work too. Don’t know what to talk about? Use tools like FuelBox with a 170 questions to get the conversation started and remember that great conversations are made up of both talking and listening. This won’t make the perfect team straight away but it’s a good start and best of all, you can do this today.

 

The original post can be found here. To read more about what FuelBox can do for your relationships, at work and at home, visit fuelboxaustralia.com.au here.

 

#team building #social interaction #professional development #relationships #fueltheworld

#conversations #fuelbox #fuelbox australia, #joergen broers, #jørgen brørs,

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