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The Biz

Letter from the Editor – Kate Southam

Issue 6, 2015

So much of what we need to manage in this day and age is about change. Disruption is everywhere and just when you think you’ve seen it all in your sector, something new comes out of left field.

I enjoyed reading about Starbucks latest venture – Green Apron – a coffee shop localised to one particular building where every order is delivered. You can’t buy over the counter.

The Empire State Building is the home of the first venture. It’s 12,000 workers (not a bad customer base eh?) can pay $2 to have their food and coffee delivered within 30 minute of placing an order on a website. The venture has made headlines including in the New York Times and Tech Crunch because of its disruptive use of technology. The best story was in Wired as it outlines the technology and systems involved – for instance, they use old flip phones as walkie-talkies. Personally, I enjoyed reading about the new job roles – “conductors”, consolidators and runners.

For more on disruption and how to keep a pace of it all, Martin Conboy reviews an important new book written by four Directors of the McKinsey Global Institute. Meanwhile, John Cooksey tells us how we should be using data analytics to drive better recruitment decisions and processes.

By the way, Starbucks has just appointed its first Chief Technology Officer in the C-suite – Gerri Martin-Flickinger who has previously spent her time with tech giants. Great to see a woman in such a senior tech role but elsewhere companies are still wrestling with gender equality. A new report shows the gender pay gap is the biggest issue facing women in Australia and the USA. I provide a summary of the latest on this issue, which is attracting star power with Jennifer Lawrence of Hunger Games fame joining Meryl Streep and Patricia Arquette in speaking out and loud on this one. In addition, one of Australia’s most powerful women says it is time for men to make sacrifices so female talent can rise.

If you have a topic you would like to hear more about drop us a line at or @PeopleBizTweets


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