leadership

The times continue to change

Colin Benjamin /

To quote Bob Dylan, “Come writers and critics who prophesise with your pen, and keep your eyes wide. The chance won’t come again and don’t speak too soon, for the wheel’s still in spin”.

 

We now must wait for the decision of the RBA on highly prophesised rate cuts in the patchwork world as we attempt to write our business plans for the next financial year. The best indications are that earnings are up due to savage job cuts but revenues are steady or falling as consumers continue to pay down mortgages.

Gary Morgan says that this week’s March Quarter CPI figures showed inflation dropping to only 0.1% and only 1.6% for the last 12 months – from 3.1% during 2011. Inflation has now dropped well below the RBA’s stated target range of 2-3%. However Australian interest rates at 4.25% are among the highest in the world and Morgan says the RBA must act decisively to regain the initiative and prevent the Australian economy from further unnecessary slowing.

Smart companies with both highly effective communication and change management practices are more than twice as likely to significantly outperform their peers as organisations that are not highly effective in either of these areas. The trick is to continue to renew the corporate capacity, remain flexible and adaptive to new trends and technologies and keep staff actively engaged.

The 2011-2012 Change and Communication ROI Study Report reveals that the way companies handle employee communication is fundamentally changing, largely due to increased expectations, diversity and globalisation, as well as the growth of social media and networking. Organisations with both highly effective communication and change management practices are more than twice as likely to significantly outperform their peers as organisations that are not highly effective in either of these are.

(See http://www.towerswatson.com/canada-english/research/6205).

This report suggests that the keys to success will be clarity, confidence and community.

Clarity involves conveying the key business directions – what business you are in and where you are in it. Confidence involves staying close to customers and their customers to ensure that you have what is needed and exceeds expectations. Community requires a close-knit link between external and internal product and service expectations based upon shared experiences and a sense of optimism about future directions.

Each step in the value chain is attempting to increase returns on investment, cut out unnecessary steps and build brand presence. In the next few months each of these steps needs to be carefully reviewed and integrated into an overall communication strategy. The times will favour those that are prepared to reach out into new territories and consolidate superior service to existing customers.

Dr Colin Benjamin is an entrepreneurship and strategic thinking consultant at Marshall Place Associates, which offers a range of strategic thinking tools that open up a universe of new possibilities for individuals and organisations committed to applying the processes of innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. Colin is also a member of the global Association of Professional Futurists.

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