Beware the ideologues……for they will slow progress and impede innovation. The fluidity and dynamics of the prevailing marketplace demands flexibility in thinking, strategies and tactics.
Sadly, one conspicuous consequence of the “boom” economy preceding the fallout from the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) is the presence of ideologically driven business leaders, owners and managers. Success does, understandably, promote self confidence and belief in one's self applied ideas. Rigidity is a common by-product.
Incremental profits, market share and wealth are difficult argue against. Collectively, they promote “conviction” leaders. There is often a noticeable desire to look for and contemplate alternatives.
Here is an antidote …….
There is a better way.
No leader profile or management group is immune. Younger entrepreneurs, business owners, managers and executives are typically better educated and more articulate than those in the preceding generations.
Indeed, at the time the Gough Whitlam led federal Labor government was elected in 1972, just 3% of the workforce had a degree, diploma or similar higher education certificate. Today, in Australia and New Zealand the figure exceeds 22%. An incidental consequence of the Global Financial Crisis is the increase in registrations for university courses, particularly among mature, often part-time students. Clearly, most have the capacity and willingness to learn. However, business is a lifelong learning experience and an open mind is a supple mind, readily adapting to changing circumstances and responding to a fluid marketplace. Strongly held ideologies often stifle minds.
Effective formal education is founded on sound case studies, research and analyses. Graduates in management enter the workforce not as managers, but as students of the management discipline. The same principle applies to graduates of marketing, public relations, media studies, psychology, engineering, law, accountancy and finance.
The missing variable and attributes of many younger people is EXPERIENCE.
Experience broadens perspectives, introduces hindsight and provides the platform to ask the question WHY?
Sage advice from older, more experienced people should not be locked out by ideology.
New blood should always be encouraged and welcomed by entities.
New perspectives can and do reveal opportunities and generate a refreshing sense of energy. They are a great antidote for ideological inertia. However, biologically and philosophically, new blood needs to be compatible, not necessarily the same, to be effective and compatible.
Therefore, appropriate disciplined recruitment procedures and staff retention initiatives will be imperative as business sectors and economies emerge from the depth of the fallout from the Global Financial Crisis.
“Recruit for attitude
train for aptitude.”
The recent track record for ideologically driven sectors, businesses and individual is hardly stellar.
Investment banks, commonly referred to in the past as “millionaire factories”, have found that their belief in and promotion of high debt gearing can and should be applied to and limited to certain short term marketplaces. Their self belief remains, with the operation of “Private Wealth” financial planning divisions, while their listed shares are less than 50% of previous share value. Humility can be a virtue.
Many property developers didn't listen and forgot the lessons of the past. High gearing and large debt is no friend in descending marketplaces and economies.
Reality can, does and should override some ideologies.
Listed property trusts confront a very subdued immediate future, providing time to reflect on, value to and learn from the lessons of the recent past.
Small Cap (capitalised) mining entities will be constrained for some time, as funding sources remain prudent and conservative.
The subcontractor sector in particular, including those servicing the needs and dictates of the mining industry, have the need to acquire, operate, service and maintain capital items. They too will find the immediate future challenging, with the tight reigns being applied by financiers.
Each of the above sectors abound with case studies which underscore the importance of reviewing and refining long established ideologues. It is good for staff morale, motivation and team cohesion.
All participants to strategic planning workshops and creative development sessions bring to the table diverse ranges of skills, training, perspectives, disciplines and experience.
Perhaps the most important the most important thing that they should bring to the table are blank sheets of paper.
Very few things should be preordained or set in concrete. Philosophies and core values should be recognised, respected, but not immune to review, refinement, extension and development.
Demand persists for finance, housing, property, investment, subcontracting skills, technology, accounting skills and legal advice.
What has altered most is the manner in which such products and services need to be presented, paid for, maintained and valued.
The true nature and measure of demand is now determined and quantified by currency and relevance. In short, creativity in isolation is not enough. The support evidence for such is stark. Creative securitisation, tax effective investments and dividends paid from projected (future) profits were the foundations of and reasons for the Financial Global Crisis.
Creativity was the catalyst and rationale for increased risk taking. However, currency and relevance are essential for customer satisfaction and value.
“I COULD HAVE TOLD YOU SO”
Ideologues are seldom distracted by statements like:-
“ I told you so.”
It's usually a case of ‘I'm not listening and will, not be influenced by contrary thoughts. Full steam ahead.'
No, ideologues suffer form the disadvantages inherent in the statement:-
“ I could have told you so.”
Implicit in such utterances is the sentiment that contributions were not entered or offered because they would not have been listened to, respected, contemplated or acted upon.
Strict adherence to inflexible ideologues denies many, if not most or all, the advantages of differing experiences. Business coaches and mentors are seldom all knowing. Full use should be made of wide spectrum of credible spheres of influence and original thought. Those driven by a common ideology tend to be selective in their points of reference and as a consequence narrow their perspectives.
Astute investment and financial advisors consistently advocate diversity in investment portfolios. It is sage advice that has application to business operations and development.
So, one should always seek out advice and input from a broad spectrum of sources. Clients are generally a great starting point. Some input will be invaluable. Some may require refinement and some will need to be rejected. That has the ring of a sound, exciting embryonic ideology which is open, flexible, current and relevant.
Ask. You will receive. Then it may be up to you to determine the optimal actions in pursuit for the preferred and appropriate outcomes, free from the shackles of a limiting, inappropriate ideology.