The edition on the 10th March 2010 was very good. I was particularly struck by a review on page 23 of the strengths and weaknesses of Australian business - which drew on some research funded by the Australian government and published in a report called "Management Matters in Australia" released by the Australian Government in late 2009:
Where Australian Management is strong:
- International Outlook
- Team Leadership
- Risk aversion
- Strong operational management skills
Where Australian Management is not strong:
- People practices - attracting, developing and retaining employees
- Measuring and improving management practices
- Over rating management performance
- Centralised thinking and reluctance to foster autonomy of operations
- Investment in management training and education
- Fostering innovation.
I think this is absolutely correct. Australia is very lucky at the moment that we have lots of things that North Asia (in particular) needs - especially natural gas and mineral commodities. So we are enjoying a fantastic standard of living selling our wares and buying some time. We are in danger of becoming complacent about the need to build strategic sustainable advantage - and in particular the need to invest in our people skills and the quality of the people in our business enterprises.