Good people skills, better business
''CARING'' and ''sharing'' are concepts that attract minimal interest among many managers, who tend to see people as workers rather than people. Yet I have found that such concepts, practiced in good faith, are powerful in their impact, particularly when productivity gain is seen not as a goal in itself but as a means to enhance life for all.
These are the words of a man who spent his life testing his faith in economic democracy. And his tests succeeded, enabling him to prove to colleagues and competitors that treating your people as more than just ''assets'' is more than ethical. It is also profitable. And by doing that, Dick Dusseldorp achieved more for Australian workers than any amount of preaching would have done. And he proved it by creating two of Australia's most successful businesses.
Dick Dusseldorp cared for people, for creating the best product possible and for protecting the planet in the process.
Many would think these are unlikely characteristics for a property developer but, thanks to Dusseldorp's example, they are regarded as vital to the success of any property business today.
Dusseldorp came to Australia from the Netherlands in 1951 to build 200 workers' houses as part of the Snowy-Hydro Electric Scheme. He went on to found Civil and Civic and Lend Lease. As chairman of Lend Lease, he developed many well-known buildings, including the Sydney Opera House, Australia Square and Canberra's Academy of Sciences. He pioneered progressive employment practices and created Australia's first listed property trust.
After retirement, he dedicated his life to helping young people by establishing and chairing the Dusseldorp Skills Forum. He pioneered the concept of developers contributing to infrastructure, led the push for strata title into NSW and played a role in land tenure reforms in the 1960s and '70s.
Dusseldorp was known in Canberra, not only because he built many buildings here but through his involvement with many community organisations. He left a big mark on our built environment and is a worthy recipient for induction into the Property Council's Property Hall of Fame.
Catherine Carter is ACT executive director of the Property Council of Australia