All posts by Craig

Unfortunately I had to cease work in April 2017 due to a chronic illness. I am an experienced Senior Manager with roles including sales management, national management, marketing, purchasing, customer service, forecasting and budgeting. This experience was obtained across diverse industries including; IT, consumer electronics, retail, manufacturing, wholesale, construction, education, finance, market research, electronic components and telecommunications. My main areas of interest were in leadership, establishing high-performance teams, managing multiple tasks simultaneously, business development, startups and mentoring. I was able to make immediate impacts in my roles. Examples include BELL-IRH (Sydney) where I was promoted from internal sales to National Product Manager within six months with no prior experience in the electronics industry, and Pacific Datacom (Hagemeyer) where I was promoted from State Manager to Regional Manager (covering three States) after just three months. I started several diverse businesses of my own and as an exercise with my business students. My enjoyment in assisting others included volunteer mentoring and judging Startup pitches for many local programs and involvement in Committees (including at Board level). I have lectured and tutored at University level in Business. I also taught my own courses in Sales and Sales Management and published two books. My qualifications include; a Qualified Education Agent Counsellor, Registered Migration Agent (expired), Finance, Business, Digital Marketing and Training. I was a guest speaker in Business Communication for Philadelphia University. To keep my brain active I read as much as possible, when my dizziness allows.

Why is Common Sense so Uncommon?


Committees, Studies, Senate Reports and PhD’s all have one thing in common…90 percent of them are never read and produce nothing we did not already know.
Politicians and business ‘leaders’ speak in clichés, and when a real answer is demanded escape to ‘as I understand it’ or defer the question entirely to ‘after a Committee has reported on the issue’.
One of the reasons Common Sense is so Uncommon is the need to appease every minor voice, dissenting or otherwise. Unless of course it is the vast majority of PhD’s whose sole purpose are to meet quotas and lift University rankings.

Everyone knows Nokia failed because they stopped watching the mobile phone market (now the smartphone market, but they missed the name change) and yet their top executives believe they did nothing wrong, and cry themselves into stupidity at press conferences.

Everyone knows that government departments, on the whole, are top heavy and waste millions of dollars on salaries not required to meet their core functions. Arrium knew it needed to significantly upgrade its equipment years ago but did nothing. Holden knew people were buying smaller fuel efficient cars yet did not build one (until it was too late).

Yes, stupidity is a factor, yet those pesky minority folks (which include, in addition to car manufacturer executives, the senior people who presided over Polaroid, BP safety, multiple -speed limits in Adelaide city streets and the Frome Street super-hyper bike-way built for an Airbus) who sternly and stubbornly believe they are right and have the right to be heard.

Unfortunately they are heard way too often and, also way too often, are completely wrong.

Please, I understand the need for diversity of views and am the first to listen and consider seriously all new ideas, but the squeaky wheel now receives a million barrels of oil instead of just the needed drop.

The excess energy spent on debating, studying, researching and reporting on aspects of our lives that can be solved by the time-old equation of Common Sense is worth more than our total GDP, yet we spend it willingly in the name of ‘consultation’.

Consultation be damned, give me common sense any day.

Sales – The secret of a successful Lean Startup


The secret to a successful startup..? Sales. Without them no validation, no feedback, no customers, no business!

Follow the Lean Startup approach and do a controlled release of your product or service to some people (or businesses) you think would be interested.

By recording their feedback you will eliminate expensive future mistakes, discover that you were wrong and there is no market or receive a couple of orders which will allow you to beta test.

Another option is to contact one of the largest businesses you believe should be interested and offer to build your product/service especially for them. This gives you a real world test site, honest feedback (you can tell if they have been using it or not) and, if they stay with you until the product/service is finished, a testimonial and reference site for future prospects.

Much more efficient than spending a year building a business only to find there is no market for it!

Office Of Business Within Government


The common statement “the business of governing” is detrimental, as the focus should be upon providing government with the best efficiencies private business experience, and expertise, has to offer. The statement should read “implementing business within government”.
This involves implementing within government the best efficiencies of business by identifying process improvements, removing duplication of effort, improving inter-departmental coordination, reviewing and assessing key personnel (always with the goal of ‘best fit’) with positions allocated by merit, and producing budget savings through operational efficiencies, all with a focus on customer (public) outcomes and improved service.
Quantifiable achievements would include

1. Designate and decide on all areas of Departmental and Ministerial responsibility so no-one can “pass the buck”.

2. Allocate responsibilities and targets to ensure the desired and clearly stated outcomes are achieved within set time-frames.

3. Ensure all cost savings achieved are ongoing, no one-off savings included in targets, by implementing guidelines, overseeing their implementation and educating management.

4. Allocation of necessary resources (from those existing within government), setting applicable Key Performance Levels (KPL) and managing staff to complete set objectives and achieve all desired outcomes.

5. All reports produced to be concise and written in plain English, with detailed analysis provided only when requested.

6. The emphasis will be on outcomes, results, savings, improved service and efficiency not on unnecessary documentation, sub-committees or meetings.

This proposal would require minimal personnel for it would

allocate additional resources from other Departments (not exceeding an agreed limit), and investigate and set goals, priorities and outcomes in simple terms.
Initial targets would be;

1. Documented ongoing budgetary savings through reduced red tape via improved coordination, demarcation and processes.

2. Improved accountability within government departments creating efficiencies and gains in timelines and processes.

3.Improved ‘connection’ between wants and needs of the public and what government provides.

4. Improved public service in all areas, with all agreed objectives (including time-frames) being met.

5. Overall improved perception of government efficiency, thereby attracting a higher class of personnel and additional budget savings through their specialist knowledge and experience.

6. Improved performance measurement and ongoing guidance to ensure operational efficiencies are maintained.

Is the above business-like approach really outside the capabilities of our elected officials? When every vote counts decisions can be compromised. This is an unfortunate fact since Democracy (or what we now know as Democracy) began.

It would therefore be prudent to appoint a successful business person to head such a Department with powers level with that of a Minister, to ensure success.

The saving of hundreds of thousands of dollars would result, if expedited correctly, an amount equal to hundreds of people not having to pay tax for a year. As the appointee would be on a contract they would have no fear of losing votes, leading to decisive and correct decisions being made.

Surely a winner for everyone, especially as the above savings figure is extremely conservative. In fact savings of millions of dollars would be the set target, anything less being regarded as a failure, over the term of implementation (years).

But would politicians have the courage to give someone the power and authority to achieve this? Unfortunately I fear not, for once again they would wonder if introducing such a system might anger some minority groups and lose them votes. Or potentially cause disgruntled public servants to voice discontent. The right person for this role would take note of any such discontent and target them for removal.

Change is far easier to implement when you have new employees who are unaware of ‘old’ procedures, and are more willing to accept new ways of thinking.

Social Media – February 2016


– Facebook has devalued friends,

– Twitter has devalued opinions,

– Instagram has reduced a pictures worth from 1,000 to just 10 words.

It is a very different world we live in today than it was just five years ago, and in five years time it will be completely different again.

The pace of change increased exponentially after the Internet, 9/11, the Global Financial Crisis and now Blockchain.

Hold on and buckle up, for no-one knows exactly what comes next. Particularly when Blockchain changes the very way we do things now and, if allowed to, could make the big four banks obsolete.

Ouch!

Oil Prices – Jan 2016


Crude oil prices have decreased by 70% over the past 18 months and yet bowser prices have reduced by only around 30%…where’s the ACCC??

Prices now (January 2018) are still reaching highs above where crude oil Singapore pricing was a lot dearer…so who is ripping us off?

Petrol is a necessity purchase and as such we have to buy it now matter the price…and they know this.

So they keep increasing the price, affecting the middle and lower classes the most.

It is extortion by stealth.