Bill Trestrail was originally an accountant, then worked for a number of financial management software companies to help them engage their future and achieve organisational change. He joined Silicon Graphics International (SGI) in 1995 as the Canberra Branch Manager, and had a series of rapid promotions to National Defence Business Manager (1996), Corporate and Government Sales Manager (1998), Australian Head of Sales (1999), Managing Director for Australia/New Zealand (2000), Regional General Manager South Asia/ Pacific (2004) and then to Vice President for Asia-Pacific (2006), a position he held until leaving the company in 2009. Bill achieved rapid promotion in the organisation through the outstanding results that he achieved as well as a commitment to the welfare of his staff. Bill has now left the corporate world to establish a more integrated lifestyle of family, ministry and business where he has more flexibility to follow the direction of the Holy Spirit. He now works as a management consultant, and is a board member for several organisations including a tertiary institution and a government research group. He also is the CEO of an Australian software company (www.ajiliti.com)
What has underpinned Bill’s success is the value that he places on the people in his workplace. In the following chapter, we will cover organisational culture which is the collective values of the stakeholders of an enterprise. Research tells us that workplace culture is a direct driver of organisational performance. Where there is a positive work culture, employee engagement and staff retention increases; whilst absenteeism and attrition decrease. Two of the most powerful ways to embed values in a culture are firstly, the daily things we attend to and secondly, how we respond in a crisis. Bill has paid daily attention to giving room for his staff to excel and showing care and concern for them. I came back from lunch with Bill to his office one day and was struck with the level of assistance and interest Bill showed to the receptionist. Not just a “Hi, how are you?”, but a series of questions about her welfare, her workload and the resources she needed. It was this level of value placed on people that ensured that his team would give him all the support he needed when the organisation was facing difficulty. Bill’s value for people was evident during an organisational crisis. He had a personal opportunity for great gain that he lay down to serve the people of the organisation. Values are important to have, but it is even more important to consistently apply them in both our day to day activities as well as when we are under pressure in a crisis.