New thinking needed

Recent commentary in the media allows us to draw  various threads together to weave a picture about the state of business management in Australia.

Two articles in today’s Australian Financial Review, by Jennifer Hewett on skills, and by Jason Murphy on under-performing Australian companies, add to a picture that shows undue caution and conservatism in Australian companies and their managements. (Sorry I can’t direct you to these individual articles. The AFR has a firewall in front of each.)

Elsewhere in the same edition of the paper, Malcolm Turnbull also espouses the need to invest and grow businesses with an eye on global markets.

At the centre of these various threads sit the most valuable assets of all: experience, expertise, inventiveness, wisdom, depth, open-mindedness, vision, flexibility.

All of these are embodied in the older, senior, seasoned employee. All are being increasingly ignored in the quest to cut costs under the misconception that younger employees can be developed less expensively than retaining older colleagues.

But it strikes me that if companies wish to improve their financial performance for shareholders by producing goods and services that provide long-term returns and that are attractive to worldwide markets…
if they want to develop the next generation of workers…
if they want to develop new products rapidly, knowing when to take the right risks and when to discard prototypes that won’t work…
if they want to train employees and transfer skills…
if they want change agents who have actually experience and then managed organizational change and upheaval…
then tapping 30-40 years of real-life experience embodied in senior managers, scientists, technologists, accountants, marketers and sales executives seems a wise business choice.

(This post is also published at

About alansmithoz

Head of Strategic Business Communications at Australian social analytics technology company Digivizer, with a background in corporate public relations and marketing. I do what I do because I believe communications can make a difference.
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