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.

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.

Three in four businesses have cashflow concerns: Report


By Michelle Hammond

Businesses are attempting to curb their expenses by delaying investments and the hiring of new staff, according to the latest Dun & Bradstreet survey, which shows 75% of businesses see cashflow as an issue during the months ahead.

D&B’s latest National Business Expectations Survey shows the cost of doing business is taking its toll, with businesses delaying plans to hire new staff and putting off investments.

The survey’s index has continued a downward trend through to the June 2013 quarter, falling below its 10-year average level, to a score of zero.

The research also shows no new jobs have been added since the March quarter of 2012, with the actual employment index remaining in negative territory for three consecutive quarters.

In December last year, the index dropped to -7. This was its lowest point in more than three years.

The survey shows 75% of businesses see cashflow as an issue during the months ahead, with 44% of businesses identifying operational costs as their biggest barrier.

Danielle Woods, Dun & Bradstreet director of corporate affairs, told StartupSmart she’s not surprised by the findings.

“To be fair, we’ve seen this real downward trend in sentiment in recent months. The six indices we look at are trending down, so the cashflow issue is not a surprise to me,” Woods says.

“Trade credit is a huge thing for businesses in Australia… Our analysis is showing [trade payment times are] still sitting at 52 days.

“When businesses are taking 52 days, that can be a real strain on another firm’s cashflow.

“With these conditions prevailing, it’s unsurprising to see the outlook for both employment and investment falling away.”

Investment expectations for the June 2013 quarter dropped sharply to an index of five, compared to 14 in the previous quarter.

The outlook for capital spending is now at its lowest level since the September 2011 quarter, while the actual index for the December 2012 quarter is -3.

The outlook for sales has declined for the second consecutive quarter, while expectations for selling prices continues to move lower – the index decreased to two for the June 2013 quarter, well under its 10-year average of 29 points.

The broad fall in expectations suggests operating conditions will remain difficult at least until the middle of this year, with businesses also finding little relief in their cashflow position.

“The current and future challenges for businesses continue to come from a sluggish economy, Woods said.

“Sales growth is weak, businesses face challenging operating conditions and consumer spending is soft.

“We can expect businesses to keep a tight check on their expenses and continue to delay larger investments such as new jobs.”

D&B’s findings are in stark contrast to the latest MYOB research, which shows economic confidence and the overall business outlook of SMEs is on the rise.

According to the March 2013 MYOB Business Monitor, 26% of SMEs expect the domestic economy to improve within 12 months, compared to 19% in the July 2012 report.

The report, which is based on a study of 1,005 business owners and managers, shows 30% of respondents anticipate a revenue rise this year while 42% expect revenue to be stable.

Key Personal Qualities of a Consultant


What Qualities Are Needed To Be A Successful Business Consultant?

To succeed as a consultant requires a look at ones own business. Being self-employed, a consultant’s survival lies in their ability to find work, which involves promoting skills amongst peers and the individual’s network.

Centres of influence are also essential. Centres of influence are people in authority and who are well respected in their field, who recommend an individual to others. Their influence is such that when they recommend someone, that person instantly has credibility.

Others call these “referrers”, and they are, but the key is to convert a referrer into a centre of influence. Choose these people wisely and treat them with great respect.

In order to accomplish these tasks, and to be successful as a consultant, there are certain personal qualities that are considered essential.

Objectivity is Crucial for a Consultant

A consultant is required to establish trust and rapport with people at all levels of an organisation. This involves listening without prejudice, and not judging until they have all the necessary information.

Objectivity is crucial to any consultant. It allows them to view the situation from a helicopter point of view, and demands that they listen to both sides of every argument and idea presented.

If a consultant is to walk into a business and quickly assess where the issues are, then objectivity is essential.

Selling Skills are Needed by all Consultants

To be a successful salesperson there is a set of skills required. Some of these skills are also required by a consultant, and include being able to quickly establish rapport, the ability to listen, to empathise, and to quickly develop trust.

If a person cannot talk to everyone in an organisation from the receptionist to the Manageing Director, if they are uncomfortable in meeting new people, or if they talk and do not listen then they will fail as a consultant.

A Consultant Needs People Skills

This is the ability to interact with people in a respectful, relaxed manner.

The key word here is respect. Many intelligent people lack people skills, and hence do not know when to be tactful, when to just stop talking and listen, when to voice their ideas and when not to.

Put simply, people skills encompass the ability to interact with others in a manner that makes them feel comfortable and secure, and where they know their opinions and ideas are important.

Without people skills, a person cannot be a leader, and a consultant needs to lead.

Leadership In Consulting

The qualities of leadership required as a consultant are:

* Assertiveness
* Knowledge
* Experience
* Empathy

Assertiveness is not being dictatorial. Assertiveness is being able to vocalise an opinion and ideas in a confident and commanding manner. This is essential otherwise others are unlikely to believe what a consultant says.

Knowledge and experience are intertwined. Knowledge is needed to acquire experience, and experience in itself brings knowledge.

Empathy is the ability to “put yourself in the other person’s shoes”. To see an issue from all angles and viewpoints is necessary in order to develop and implement key strategies. If a person is unable to exhibit empathy, and take into account the needs, fears and expectations of all staff then their client will not implement the necessary changes they have recommended.

Summary of Consultant Qualities

In essence, the key attributes required by a consultant are objectivity and the ability to be aware of all the issues facing each stakeholder in the business.To be successful in this, a consultant requires sales skills, people skills, leadership qualities and the ability to articulate all of these skills assertively.

Read more at Suite101: Key Personal Qualities of a Consultant: What Qualities Are Needed To Be A Successful Business Consultant? http://management-careers.suite101.com/pages/article.cfm/key_personal_qualities_of_a_consultant#ixzz0t4ODicKb