The Last Word: Geoff Ross

Speaking at the Deloitte Fast 50 Awards on Wednesday night, Ross commented that New Zealand companies can respond very quickly to market needs but we too often let ourselves down with poor sales skills and lack of self belief.

“The accelerated culture can win out but we need to remember how to sell and we need stronger belief. There’s saying that New Zealanders try very hard not to fail while Australians try hard to succeed. Generating greater sense of self belief would see even more local companies reaching growth rates achieved by the Fast 50.”

National leader of the Fast 50 programme, Deloitte partner Matt McKendry, says this year’s index has proved yet again that successful businesses make the Fast 50 because they do the basics extremely well.

“We’ve identified over the 10 years of the Deloitte Fast 50 that the most successful companies are those which remain firmly focused on the business strategy and vision, and what they need to do to achieve it, without being distracted by external factors,” McKendry says.

While companies may create opportunities by identifying niche markets or opportunities, jumping on fast-shifting trends is only part of the growth picture, he says. “Consistent growth, even through recession, comes from paying attention to basic principles. Effectively you can break this down into the three ‘Ps’ – people, process and purpose.

“If you handle these elements well and make sure that the business is focused on fulfilling the needs of customers, you will be well on your way to achieving high growth.”

McKendry says you could sneak fourth ‘p’ – passion – into the equation. “That’s what powers the vision and fuels the commitment, something highly intangible, but undeniably contagious in an organisation that has it.”

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