The last week in Australia has seen various reports and comments on the performance of the Australian economy. At the start of the week, share values fell dramatically on worries about Europe. Then Government data were released about the quarter to March 2012, which showed growth, and both and increase in employment and an increase in unemployment.
Finally, the end of the week witnessed comments from the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia saying that the Australian economic glass was most definitely half-full. (I can’t recall the last time I heard such an effusive endorsement.)
To cap the week, the weekend’s papers attempted to summarize this week of economic data ups and downs.
Throughout all of this (except for the first bit at the beginning of the week) ran a thread of hope and optimism, mainly of hope.
Hope is not a strategy on which we should rely. What works best, even in the face of economic uncertainty from elsewhere beyond our control, and even in the face of the herd mentality that will, without doubt, either drive share prices and optimism up (Greece stays in the euro zone) or down (Greece leaves the euro zone), is creating products and services that consumers want or need; creating them profitably; continuing to introduce productivity gains in these processes; capturing and retaining top performers who can carry these programmes across an organization; treating employees as if they really are the centre of an organization’s well-being; investing in marketing and communications to tell the market and consumers what’s on offer; and building all of these complex moving parts into an organizational structure that is sustainable.
None of this has anything to do with hope. And what happened last week, month, or year, is no indication of what might happen tomorrow, next week, or next year.