At the time I turned down the offer I had a vague sense that there was something about Oz that would make it a challenging place to be employed by a very American style consultancy, but I couldn't actually put my finger on it.
Now I know that we don't like leaders (especially self-appointed ones like consultants), and we're at best ambiguous towards thought. So saying you offer "though-leadership" is just going to get your head bitten off.
That's probably one of the things that makes this country the best, freest, places on earth; but it can make working here a bit challenging sometimes. It's probably why our most successful leaders (Hawke, Howard) are people you can imagine having over for a BBQ.
Just as an example watch me miss-communicate badly with an American over at Bridging-The-Gap. Even though I agree whole-heatedly with the sentiment, I just can't help pointing out everything that could go wrong. Of course as an American she can't help but respond with how excellent everything is; and because I'm an OCDD bastard I can't help but provide a few links in return.
Why? Because I'm an Australian; and that's what we do. We don't complain as such, we just like to point out that things won't work, and that if they do by some miracle there will be some other problem soon.
Of course there's also that stubborn streak and black humour, that keeps Australians going even as they're saying the whole thing will fail. If I found a company with that I'd sign up in a flash. I reckon Atlassian may have been one such company before it got big (Ironically it was Confluence I was discussing with the afore-mentioned American)
I should thank Professor Spillane for this insight. His philosophy course as part of my MBA was actually education not just plain old training. Probably made me a frummer yid too.
Update: I forgot to add the most important part: how you should actually sell yourself in Australia. The following has worked OK for me:
- Emphasise experience, not knowledge or acclaim. Saying you've been doing this for ten years is good, saying you wrote a book on it is bad.
- Sell avoiding negatives not massive improvements. Aussies (rightly) don't trust over-the-top sales pitches about how good everything will be, but we are ready to listen to someone who says that they have tips on how to avoid the worst.
- Be clear about trade-offs. We will instinctively look to denigrate any innovation, but by being clear on the down sides as well as upsides of what you propose at least you're part of the conversation.
P.S. The money at this consultancy was also bad - which was obviously the real-reason I didn't take it.
P.P.S. Who are the people are actually reading this blog. When I started it it was just to keep in touch with a team of BAs that were on multiple client sites, so I'm pretty shocked that anyone who doesn't know me would take this time to read it.