Dedes Waterfront Group
What generation is your family business?
How many family members in your business?
Two – Con and Kerrie Dedes
What is your role in the family business?
CEO. My role is to provide strategic direction and structure to the various venues within Dedes Waterfront Group. Being a family business, it is a very ‘hands on role’ and also sees me responsible for the day to day activities and work programs of the various venues including oversight of all HR, supplier management, issue resolution, marketing, policy/procedure implementation and overall compliance of the venues within the various laws and regulations.
Who is a major influence for you in the family business? Why?
Con – because keeping up with him is a challenge in itself! His creativity and entrepreneurial skills are inspirational as is his ability to connect with people and open doors. He has old fashioned values, a huge generosity of spirit and a belief in being good to people and looking after people. All of these talents have been part of Con’s success and form part of our company culture which we hold sacred. His influence in this respect is used throughout the company to train and build our staff.
Aside from this Con is an ‘ideas’ person and sets fairly high benchmarks in relation to projects undertaken. So his influence in this respect impacts on my role and the business and drives us constantly forward.
What keeps you up at night?
Honestly not much. If I was however to pick something it would be a staff issue. HR is paramount in a hospitality business, we have over 230 staff at present and without our staff we don’t have a product to sell. I hold all of the senior direct reports in the business so am very involved in every venue and project happening which means that when particular staff issues occur I think long and hard about the outcomes often running various scenarios through my head and trying to come up with different solutions.
What’s the key benefit of your FBA membership?
I see several benefits and am confident about finding more given I am about to join a forum group. The sense of mutual understanding from the people I have met to date within FBA stands out to me, so does the level of support people are willing to give. I find our conversations very worthwhile and people are genuinely, sincerely interested in what each business is doing which is invigorating to me. I have also enjoyed a couple of the courses we’ve undertaken this year and learning within an environment where the businesses share challenges similar to your own only enriches what you learn and how you perceive what you are learning.
Business services description:
A law firm in Sydney with a special expertise in family business law
How long have you been working with family businesses?
I started working in my family’s business (primary production and managing investments) when I was a child. I started helping mum with the family bookkeeping when I was seven years of age. I always wanted to be a lawyer and working with family businesses was a natural progression for me, coming from a family business myself. I have worked as a lawyer for family businesses for about 15 years. I am totally passionate about helping family businesses to grow and succeed. Becoming an FBA accredited adviser is one of my proudest achievements.
What’s one of the most common mistakes you see in family businesses?
Failure to plan for succession. Succession may mean passing the business on to the next generation, appointing managers to run the business, bringing on investors, selling the business or a combination of these. It always pays to plan for the next stage in the business’ life, even if that only means getting your house in order to maximise the value of the business (whether you sell or not). I find that clients are either too nervous to broach the issue of succession or they keep putting it off, thinking the worst will never happen to them. Every time I have completed a succession plan for a family they have been totally relieved and wish they had done it sooner.
What is your “uh ha” moment with your clients?
My goal as an adviser is to educate and serve my clients by demystifying the law for them. Clients say “I have never understood this, and you have made it so easy for me to understand – now I get it”. Those are “uh-ha” moments for me.