The Power of “Why?”

Power of Why
The Power of Why

Last week Tim Forrester from ARIA Property Group (OMP1) came back to speak to the current Australian Owner Manager Program participants (OMP8). It was very interesting to reflect on some of the lessons learned from the program by a very successful business owner. Here are a few of my reflections based on what Tim said to the group last week:

1. Success shouldn’t stop us learning
Tim was already a successful business owner before he came on the Owner Manager Program in 2013. He was running a great business, building excellent buildings, and making good returns. Some would say he already had the capability, connections and capital that the Owner Manager Program enhances for business owners.

He definitely did not need a business education program to tell him what to do.What he did need was the opportunity to step out, step back, and be challenged in his thinking by experts and peers and reflect on where he was going. Stepping out of his business ultimately contributed to a step-change in his activities and significantly improved an already successful business. For example: ARIA’s units under construction tripled following the program.

Too many times success stops us learning, we think we know it all, we think that we have arrived, but we miss the potential step-change that can come when we step out, step back, and are challenged in our thinking.

2. Clarity
ARIA Property Group is a great example of having clarity around the WHY. One key takeaway for Tim from the program came from challenging conversations and subsequent reflections on “why are you doing this?”. That line of questioning and reflection led to the current ARIA WHY:

“To improve people’s lives and create iconic projects we’re proud to walk our families past in 20 years time.”

That vision now permeates all that they do, from design, to construction, to fittings, to services, the list goes on. It permeates down to a simple day-to-day question that is continuously asked:

“Would you be proud of that?”

A great lesson on how clarity of vision and “why” drives focus, energy, engagement and ultimately success. Check out their history for some great examples of their work and the awards they have won including the 2017 Urban Development Institute President’s Award for the best development in the country.

3. Benefits to the economy and community
When a business moves forward like this, it drives benefits to the broader economy and community. Here are some of the statistics from ARIA and their work over the years:

Projects: 20
Apartments: 1,856
Total Sales: $1,080,000,000 (over a billion in sales)
Jobs Created: 3,740

4. Community engagement
ARIA have been a long time supporter of the Smith Family and other charities assisting disadvantaged kids. It never ceases to amaze me how many Business Owners get to the point of financial success, but gain greater fulfilment by assisting others and giving back.

We have seen many other examples including Richard Jay’s support for Orangesky Laundry or other businesses continued sponsorship of sporting teams or those that are mentally or physically challenged.

Overall, ARIA Property Group was just a fantastic example of a successful business owner that has gone on to even greater success through taking time to step out, step back and be challenged, energised, and focused by a development opportunity such as the Owner Manager Program.

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