When it comes to cutting costs, sacking employees is a common solution. Leon Gettler looks at 10 alternative ways to make savings
Job losses are mounting and unemployment statistics in Australia are starting to edge up. It’s a time when managers need to start cutting costs – and getting rid of staff is usually the response.
However, that might be the wrong strategy. Cutting staff numbers as a line item in a spreadsheet is easy, but it can rob managers of valuable expertise in the company. The company also loses relationships the staff member had with key stakeholders, not to mention operational knowledge. Furthermore, the cost of rehiring when the economy improves is expensive. In any case, staff cuts can have ripple effect
The new AIM group CEO Daniel Musson outlines his exciting vision for the future to Tom Skotnicki
The merger of all AIM divisions, other than Western Australia, is a milestone in the creation of Australia’s first genuinely national management organisation.
The appointment of a well-credentialled young corporate executive, Daniel Musson, as AIM group CEO to head the merged entity, signifies the importance placed on the role by the newly structured AIM board.
Musson was born in Melbourne, the son of a navy electrician. He attended eight schools in 13 years before graduating from Marist College at Ashgrove in Brisbane. He went on to complete a business degree, majoring in marketing at Queensland University of Technology. His first job out of university was selling beds at David Jones in the early 1990s before joining Myer/Grace Bros as part of its management development program.
In 1996, he was named the Australian Retailers’ Association’s Retail Young Executive of the Year. He was then headhunted by Westpac to move into retail banking an
Letting go of age stereotypes and learning from each other’s strengths can create a better working environment for younger managers and their older employees. By Leon Gettler
Demographics are reshaping management. The managers are getting younger. Demographers say Generation X and Nexters make up about 45 per cent of the workforce.
As a group, these 18-to-41 year olds equal the same percentage of the workforce the Baby Boomers compose. The difference is that the boomers are more likely to be retiring over the next few years.
The result: more boomers will be working for younger managers. Some of them might end up working for managers young enough to be their children.
This can lead to
Silviu Itescu risked his last dollar on launching Mesoblast. Today, his $1.8 billion stem cell research company is a world leader in its field. By Tom Skotnicki
Australia’s leading biotech entrepreneur, Silviu Itescu, says unless your strategic approach is right, it doesn’t matter how good your technology proves.
Itescu heads up Mesoblast, which over the past few years has emerged as arguably the world’s leading stem cell research company with a market capitalisation of about $1.8 billion.
Itescu launched the company on the Australian stock exchange in 2004. Before that he was based in New York heading up a research team at Columbia University Medical Centre and a company seeking to commer
Managers can help foster creativity by encouraging intrapreneurs. By Leon Gettler
Companies everywhere are looking to become more innovative and entrepreneurial. Many have turned to intrapreneurship, getting employees to act like entrepreneurs within the larger organisation which sees them devoting time to specific projects.
Intrapreneurship is all about entrepreneurship within a corporation. This also creates greater staff engagement.
There are many successful examples. Intrapreneurs at Lockheed Martin developed a number of famous aircraft designs. At 3M, intrapreneurs produced Post-It Notes and at Google, they were the ones responsible for creating Google News, AdSense and Gmail.
Tens of thousands of Australians suffer heart attacks every year – but the most frustrating part is that we are increasing the risk by making poor choices, writes Gerard McManus
By the time you finish this article, a fellow Australian will have suffered a heart attack. Each year, 55,000 Australians suffer a hospital-diagnosed heart attack and just under 10,000 do not recover.
The actual number of heart attacks is much higher because often people do not recognise the signs. In Australia, there is a death from heart attack every hour.
In simple terms, a heart attack happens when the heart is starved of blood and oxygen.Some heart attacks are like you see in movies, where the overweight executive clutches his heart. But most are not like that, starting slowly with mild pain and discomfort, which can be dismissed.
It can be a pain in the jaw, arms, neck, stomach or the back. Other symptoms can include lightheadedness, nausea, vomiting or a cold sweat.
Shortness of breath is another classic warning sign.
Perhaps the most alarming statistic is
Sam Cawthorn, who lost his right arm after a near-fatal car crash, says struggling businesses have plenty to learn from his experiences. Amy Birchall reports
In business, a crisis might involve losing a major client or key staff member, or receiving negative press coverage that impacts on sales.
For businessperson, keynote speaker and philanthropist Sam Cawthorn, crisis involved falling asleep at the wheel and colliding with a truck with such force the right side of his car was shorn off and paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.
Though the then 26-year-old Launceston father of two was eventually resuscitated, his right arm was amputated and his right leg was severely damaged. Cawthorn suffered six broken ribs, a lacerated liver, a punctured kidney and collapsing lungs.
Cawthorn was told he may never walk again.
Rather than dwell on living with a permanent disability, Cawthorn saw an opportunity to create a better life than the one he had before the accident. Seven years later and fitted with a bionic arm controlled by a smartphone app, he&
Less is more for Tim Ferriss. The author of the 4-Hour book series has become a global success thanks to his knack for self-promotion, feel for what’s in demand and a hands-off approach to management. By Amy Birchall
Author and entrepreneur Tim Ferriss has been described as the ultimate life hacker.
He’s made a career of pushing the boundaries of personal efficiency, productivity and what he calls lifestyle design – identifying your values and designing a work life around them.
His personal experiments include figuring out how to work for just four hours a week while generating enough income to travel the world, gaining 15kg of muscle in 28 days and outsourcing all time-zapping tasks, such as email management, to virtual assistants overseas.
He works for himself and delegates tasks when necessary, earning millions of dollars in the process.
Ferriss, 36, is best known for his 4-Hour book series: The 4-Hour Work Week, The 4-Hour Body and The 4-Hour Chef. He’s also an adviser to companies such as Facebook, Twitter and Evernote, a P
Managing employees who remain after downsizing can be every bit as challenging as telling people they are no longer required. By Leon Gettler
Rebuilding morale after a round of redundancies is one of the most difficult tasks for managers.
Energy levels might have dropped and employees who survived the cleanout might experience what is referred to as “survivor syndrome”.
Their initial relief can turn into guilt at having kept their jobs while their colleagues lost out. Others can feel envious over their colleagues’ severance packages or even their new jobs. Some may feel resentment at the extra work they are expected to manage without the help of their departed peers.
All up, the manager is left to deal with employees who might have much less trust in management and be resentful over what’s happened.
What makes it even more difficult is that there are no silver bullet solutions. Every company and every person is different. Redundancies will have different effects on different people.
For some organisations, the redu
It might seem a tad morbid, but you should always be prepared for that dreaded tap on the shoulder. By Tom Skotnicki
The recent election of a Coalition government may not provide sufficient stimulus to stop the tightening of Australia’s job market, particularly with its announced intention to reduce public sector jobs.
As job prospects wind down, more thought will need to be given by executives to exit strategies. Those who react positively to the challenge are likely to be most successful in shielding themselves against the consequences.
The reality is that most people only start thinking about an exit strategy once the first signs emerge that something is going wrong at work.
Your boss avoids you or cuts short your meetings, peer attitudes towards you change, you miss out on an expected pay rise or find it harder to cope with the workplace culture (which may be changing in reaction to economic circumstances) – these are signs it might be time to consider your future.
Concern about employees’ reactions may be paranoia, but it is jus