The entrepreneurial, green, coathanger … Online over-50 introductions … CEOs need to lead … Virtual art gallery

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The coathanger that greenies and capitalists can love

Coathangers present a problem for the environmentally conscious. They are usually not readily recyclable, but there always seems to be too many of them in your wardrobe. If you throw them out, guilt; if you keep them, clutter.

Well, a clever entrepreneur out there has seen the problem and come up with a solution that combines green credentials and commercial savvy: the paper coathanger.

According to springwise, not only is the coathanger easy to recycle, because it is made of paper it can also have advertising printed on it. The company that has come up with the idea, Hanger Network, gives the paper coathangers to drycleaners for free, who then put them (and the advertising they carry) into bedrooms everywhere.

The Hanger Network has just raised $US8 million in venture capital to allow it to expand from its based in New York to distribute across entire USA. No doubt we’ll be seeing them in Australia before too long.


Forever young?

The entrepreneurs behind a new Australian dating website targeting over-50s are banking on the popularity of online introductions to stretch into a generation who did not grow up with the internet. was launched this week. The founders, who call themselves energetic “50-somethings”, developed it because they perceived an increasing number of mature people looking to socialise with people their own age.

According to author and demographer Bernard Salt, there are now 492,000 single 60-somethings in Australia, comprised of those who have chosen never to marry as well as the separated, divorced and widowed. Over the next decade, baby-boomers will fully colonise their 60s and the single-and-60 market will grow by 228,000.

Key founder and spokesperson for Mike Ramsay says not only is the baby-boomer market far more technology-savvy than most marketers appreciate, they are also populous, asset-rich, demanding and the least straight-laced generation of over-50s ever seen.


The CEO’s role in leading transformation

Globalisation, technology, and cost and competitive pressures mean that modern companies have to undergo transformation regularly. When big changes are made, leadership from the top is vital. What exactly should the CEO be doing? How different is this role from that of the executive team or the initiative’s sponsors?

There is no single model, but McKinsey writes there are four key functions that define a successful role for the CEO in a transformation.

  1. Making the transformation meaningful.
    People will go a long way for causes they believe in, and a powerful transformation story will create and reinforce their commitment. The ultimate impact of the story depends on the CEO’s willingness to make the transformation personal, to engage others openly, and to spotlight successes as they emerge.
  2. Role-modeling desired mind-sets and behavior.
    Successful CEOs typically embark on their own personal transformation journey. Their actions encourage employees to support and practice the new types of behavior.
  3. Building a strong and committed top team.
    To harness the transformative power of the top team, CEOs must make tough decisions about who has the ability and motivation to make the journey.
  4. Relentlessly pursuing impact.
    There is no substitute for CEOs rolling up their sleeves and getting personally involved when significant financial and symbolic value is at stake.


Online art gallery

Among the raft of social networking sites there’s a new kid on the block that offers something a bit different. Forget uploading your junk and home video on social networking sites, writes ITWire.

A new site that showcases contributions of high art is Melbourne-based The site allows you to surf through a virtual boutique gallery of art. Clean design and navigation show off the works. You can share your work here and you can buy others’ pieces. Anyone can choose an image and order a high quality print.
Membership is free, and once you’re registered you can get straight into uploading your images. But the best bit is that you can start selling straight away. This is the secret of redbubble’s success. Even though most serious artists by now have their own website, very few of them will have the technology that will allow them to sell their work online.


SmartCompany is the leading online publication in Australia for free news, information and resources catering to Australia’s entrepreneurs, small and medium business owners and business managers.

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