It’s double life he’s run since 1984.
life that’s seen him develop business career alongside military career, with time spent in the British and Australian territorial forces as well as New Zealand.
Sitting in the Auckland offices of Dexterity Print Finishers, one of the businesses he owns with twin brother Andrew, Bayly fobs off any suggestion it takes superhuman management to run double life like this.
“The military isn’t too different from business. Both give you opportunities to deal with people and problems. In the military we talk about issues such as the digitisation of the battlefield, manoeuvre warfare and increased lethality of weapons.
“I think any business person understands these issues but uses different terminology. An example of the digitalisation of the battlefield in the commercial environment is the increasing use of information technology. commercial equivalent of manoeuvre warfare and increased lethality of weapons is the utilisation and impact of the Internet to reach out to your competitors’ customers.
“The Army also offers fabulous opportunities to learn about command and leadership in testing situations Ñ as in any business,” he says.
“We all have the capacity to deal with stress, but at certain levels people reach stress level where they can’t cope. The Army will deliberately test this by loading stress onto an individual and I’ve seen people reduced to babbling fools. I found very much to my own surprise I can handle more than I would have thought,” he adds.
True, these days people sign up for outward bound courses to test themselves in stressful situations.
And while you can take management courses that load problems into computer, there are some variables that can’t be loaded into computer.
“When you’ve been in the field for awhile, you’re wet, cold, tired and hungry Ñ and you have to make decisions Ñ that’s the tough test,” says Bayly.
“The difference is in the military your decisions are being evaluated on whether they will save the lives of your group,” he says.
“That’s when you see people at their best Ñ or worst. When you’ve gone through hell and you can look at people and say ?I can rely on them’.”
Military as methodology
“The crossover is that the Army has trained me in procedure to think through problems in business,” he says. “It’s methodology of things to consider.”
In the military it’s called mission analysis and directive control.
Mission analysis says decide what your mission is and the tasks to achieve it. “In business, we’d say our mission here at Dexterity Print Finishers is to be NZ’s best print finisher and we work out how to do that.”
Directive control relates to the communication side. “It’s change that’s taken place relatively recently in the military, but also has crossover in the commercial side.”
The traditional way of thinking about the military is to ?blindly’ follow orders from the top. “These days there’s more room for people to understand why they’re asked to do something.
“It’s development that had its origins in the Second World War. When the US analysed the command sequence of the German army, they discovered that German soldiers were told why they were undertaking mission, such as capturing position. So instructions would say ?we’re attacking this in order to, say, achieve breakthrough in enemy lines. This meant that if they achieved their initial objective and there were no officers left to command, the soldiers could continue because they knew the commanders intent’.
“Directive control is letting managers know what the mission is, and letting them get on and do the job. It’s what people do everyday in business with staff.
“So there are number of strong crossovers in what we do in the Army and in business here.”
Bayly and his twin brother Andrew operate four businesses, Dexterity Print Finishers, print finishing business that folds, binds and staples printing material to make books and magazines.
They bought Dexterity about four and half years ago. “We had no experience at all in this industry,” says Bayly laughing.
“When we were looking we had two options. To buy in an industry we knew lot about and turn business around, or buy good business in an industry we didn’t know lot about.”
They chose the latter.
This was good business in its own right, he says, and the last few years they have increased staff by third and put lot of money into machinery. They have also expanded from an original 5500ft2 factory to 19,000ft2 premises.
The brothers are also in the waste industry, operating 140 acre landfill in Tuakau and together with partner, have developed Jack Trash, world first in coin operated rubbish bin systems which is now in operation throughout New Zealand.
They also have consulting business, Cranleigh Strategic, and undertake work for clients with challenging strategic and business problems.
Bayly spends on average about one and half days on each, and estimates he spends around 50 days year on territorial business.
Middle East manoeuvres
When Management spoke to him, Bayly had just returned from year in the Middle East Ñ first in Syria for six months and then South Lebanon.
To make the mission, he replaced himself with manager who now looks after Dexterity.
Working with the United Nations in South Lebanon was, he concedes “scary at times”.
“It’s is nasty war but it gave us the chance to see lot of weapon systems that we’d either trained with or had read about being used in combat situation.”
He shows photos of his time there. They include houses that had been used for target practice, roads littered with piles of rubbish, (“the smell is awful”), rockets sticking out of roads, bombed cars and pictures of dead martyrs.
“It is very surreal environment; you see people living every day under attack with mortars whistling by, machine guns and tanks firing. You observed them trying to kill each other but then few hundred metres from an attack you would look and see an old woman hanging out her washing. It was very strange.
“People can’t believe how people live in these situations, but as humans we have an amazing capacity to adjust. You don’t get blasŽ about being there, but you stop being so focused on it.
“You do get frightened because they’re just interested in killing each other and basically you’re in the middle. So you’re always careful but that’s what you’re trained for.”
Bayly admits the Army has provided opportunities for his own development. He’s attended Canadian Staff College specialising in command and leadership and the logistics side of the military. With the Army’s help he has degree in accountancy, and degree in economics from the London School of Economics. The Army is also helping him study for Masters degree in Defence and Strategic Studies through Massey University.
These opportunities are available to all members of the Territorial Forces. “The Army is demonstrating that if you’re good and have something to offer, then they want to keep you and educate you.
“It is all about making commitments,” he adds, “and it works both ways.
“We do the same here,” he says, gesturing through the window to the factory, “we’re putting through staff on apprenticeship courses here as well.”
Taking on the Territorials
Territorial Forces represent the citizen force of the military, and the New Zealand Army currently has around 2500 TFs.
Under recent decree, at least 10 percent of the military sent on overseas operations will be territorials, and there are already 65 serving in East Timor. Other deployments include Bougainville, Sinai and the Middle East.
“It means lot of territorials around the country will want to put their hands up to do their bit for their country. After all, its what they’re trained to do.”
Bayly acknowledges it’s dilemma for employers and he’s in the front line o