• Dave Nemeth

Stop blaming the economy.

I am continually meeting with senior management, MD’s and CEO’s across a broad spectrum of industries. We have clients whose business is explosives through to clients who do lighting and others who do stationery. Like most companies, we aim to be continually growing and try never to miss out on an opportunity. In recent months, however, we have been turning away a lot of potential clients due to their mindset. Many of you will think this is short-sighted and possibly even stupid but let me explain our reasoning.

You need to have your head stuck firmly in the sand not to see just how strained the current economy is, but we are not the only economy that is under pressure, many global players are also taking strain. To add to this strain, we have disruptions taking place across most industry sectors, many of which are driven by technology. But all of these forces present opportunities for some and excuses for poor trading for others. It does not matter what the trading conditions are like; there are always companies which grow exponentially, even during a recession. If you take the time to look at these companies and how they are run, you will notice a host of similarities, some of which I have listed below.

• Leadership which continually tries new initiatives, no matter how different they may be.

• Staff whose culture it is to win and not whine.

• A collaborative approach with continuous assistance from external experts.

• A continuous search for differentiation.

• A great understanding of people and how they interact with brands.

• Aggressive marketing regardless of the trading conditions.

• A company culture of continuous learning.

• Leadership without ego.

• Leadership which does not make excuses about forces beyond their control resulting in poor performance.

When we work with companies with the traits mentioned above, we start to see results relatively quickly. We soon have the company positioned as an industry authority or, who take away valuable market share from the laggards and those who continue to do what they have been doing for years.

Selectively taking on like-minded clients has been the best thing we have ever done, and the results speak volumes.

Tough times for most, often present great opportunities for those that think differently.

Company culture starts at the top and negativity in management will quickly infiltrate the entire organization. You will never move forward if the culture is wrong. Identify your problem people and weed them out of your organization. Mentorship and training rarely get the results when the mindset is wrong.