Grant Speed: Opinion
From small acorns…
With the arrival of the Chinese new year, it might be fitting to start with a Chinese proverb: The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today.
It is only three months until the election, and like the Scottish referendum and the Olympics before it, major political and social events seem to provide an excuse for some businesses to put off major strategic decisions.
It should also be said that, with the economic recovery well under way, we can’t fall back on the excuse of the recession any longer, either. And although confidence is being tested in Europe and markets remain relatively volatile, we must all learn to deal with the new economic landscape that we now inherit.
For management teams, this means that that any growth strategies developed months ago and sitting on PowerPoint slides and flipcharts should be dusted down and put up for consideration at the next board meeting.
Whether it is to invest in a new IT system, break into a new market or explore new products and services, the time is now to get ahead of the curve or even just back on track and keep pace with competition.
If opportunities are not grasped, others will capitalise on indecision. Through our work with businesses across the economy, we see that companies are well underway in scouring the market for talent to kick-start new projects.
No doubt, interims will be the first port of call for many. By bringing in an experienced professional, a business can move quickly and drive forward a new strategy right away, but with the security of a short-term contract.
Caution will still hold back some in the market, but it will be boards that have the vision and poise to implement new initiatives that will succeed in the coming years. So, if you want to have some proverbial trees in the future, it is best to get out your trowel and start planting seeds today.
Grant Speed, Managing Director - Odgers Interim