UPFRONT Right way up

Companies have been so downsized, ‘rightsized’ and turned upside down that they don’t have the time to think about where they want to be in the future. That’s according to Barry Bond, director of Melbourne-based consulting group Specific Business Strategies, who is being brought to New Zealand at the end of next month by enterprise software company Geac Computers to run seminars on strategy development and implementation in Wellington and Auckland.
New Zealand born Bond says the problem dates back to the early 1990s when the economic downturn drove corporates – under the guise of getting back to basics – to get rid of large number of their people. This was especially the case in the planning and strategy areas of business. Bond argues that much of that downsizing was misplaced and organisations still bear the scars of these mistakes.
“Now,” he says, “many organisations’ only strategy is to take over their opposition and there’s not lot of long-term benefit from doing this.”
In Bond’s mind, many corporates that have gone down that path find they not only fail to get the predicted cost savings from the move but are also often unable to hold on to the market share they have bought at some quite considerable expense.
The problem, he says, is lack of strategy. In the late ’80s and early ’90s strategy became “pedantic ritual just to produce plan” instead of being about having an insight into the industry in which an organisation was operating, setting clear goals and then establishing path to get there in way that made the organisation market leader.
There are, however, some encouraging signs on the horizon. Bond notes that some companies are starting to appreciate that the way forward lies in generic growth rather than industry cannibalisation. Smart operators will be focusing on developing strategic view of the future and formulating plan for the next 10 years. Best of all, they will be able to explain that plan to staff in way that enables them to get behind it and support it as they journey forward together.
The requirement is for: building rather than downsizing; organic growth rather than deal-making; and industry redefining rather than process re-engineering.
For more information on the seminars later this month email [email protected] or phone 0-3-963 1815.

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