Australian CEOs don't measure up

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Definitely agree that we don't get value for money with our CEO's (or their offsiders), but that's more about the remuneration running ahead of what it deserves to be (Australian CEOs don't measure up, March 20). But, before we go looking at the US as the "model" to measure ourselves by, let's not forget that, sure, they have a good work ethic, but they have also "printed" their way through this mess (well, so far at least).
I'd love to see an Australia with an Aussie dollar at 80 cents, and gosh...that would throw up a totally different economic landscape.
Robert, this is a stunning article, well done. We need to hammer this home (Australian CEOs don't measure up, March 20).
There is more to this than just productivity, which is the final aspect that points to a wealth of other poor management criteria (Australian CEOs don't measure up, March 20).
At the end of the day, apart from poor performing boards and their ‘entitlement’ mantras, the other elephant in the room is the fact that CEO’s are abusing their power of the position to drive through changes in their organisations, which have done nothing but wreak havoc.
For this we are all paying a price; we thought that the bad old days of the early 2000’s was behind us, you know the old pride, sloth, greed, lust, gluttony, envy and anger (BRW December 13-19 2001). The more things change, the more they remain the same.
Despite the fact that many CEO’s undertake ‘certified’ CEO courses, this is done purely to attain the document, whilst many forget that it is more important to have a purpose and a sense of meaning than a technique, a style or a strategy.
I believe the real elephant in the room is the remuneration and bonus systems that boards have implemented to reward managers (Australian CEOs don't measure up, March 20).
These are alarmingly skewed to focus on short term results that may not be in the long term best interests of the company or their underlying businesses.
Excellent article (Australian CEOs don't measure up, March 20). An underlying point here seems to be the lack of accountability in leadership/management. Where people with power hold themselves accountable to outcomes, the desired results are more readily achieved – no great surprise there I'm sure.
I'd love to see an objective analysis summary of how much money and opportunity is poured into people who have basically used BS, relationship management and charisma to get into and stay in roles where they add no value (or even detract from it). Not withstanding the vested interests of peer groups in positions of influence (the proverbial 'old boys club') it never ceases to amaze me how gullible or perhaps complacent shareholders and the like are in allowing this to be the status quo in the majority of commercial organisations.
Oh dear, the most appalling, indeed frightening aspect of the outcomes from this survey is that it took so long to realise that too many boards and executives pay lip-service to productivity and its execution (Australian CEOs don't measure up, March 20).
Funny that – executive, execution.
Alas, it is all to easy to blame CEOs, boards, remuneration, et al, alone. There are hard-working, competent and smart people, with integrity, amongst our leaders. It seems rather to be more complex, starting with the limited 'gene-pool' of executive talent in this boys club, oops, country; continues over the inherent shortfalls of our corporate culture (can you imagine an Apple or Google rising from Australia's world of business?) and continues to governments, unions, employees, et al – and all and sundry 'vested interests'.
Mmh. To suppose that measuring productivity would be the first step towards improving it. My gosh.
Excellent article, Robert (Australian CEOs don't measure up, March 20). This report has been a long time coming, as I believe the mining boom mark I and the government stimulus in 2008 has masked the performance of our CEOs. It's only now when things are looking dim, that we have bothered to look into exactly how Australian businesses are run, and what we can do to make them more efficient. This issue needs more attention because as soon as the current mining boom takes effect and the global economy picks up again, people will brush off any concerns about CEOs and their complacency.
Well, finally someone with the fortitude to say what I've been saying for years (Australian CEOs don't measure up, March 20). The standards we business are getting for their bucks has dropped over the past 10 years for a number of reasons.
The first one is the HR department. The second one is that most mid and senior managers are in "defence" mode protecting their jobs rather than being prepared to take the risks to grow the business.
HR has been given far too much latitude in business and in many cases, they think they run the show. They often have no idea about the type of person they should be employing, and in many cases apply political correctness to the process, so that they end up with mediocre candidates because they "won't cause a fuss".
Australian business needs to get back to basics and start taking some risks. And that means employing people who can make decisions, show initiative, take risks and grow the business.
And where have all the sales people gone? Seems that the profession known as "selling" has been 'Macdonalised" creating order takers. Nothing happens in business unless someone sells something at a profit.
How can the problem be laid at the feet of our CEOs, Robert? (Australian CEOs don't measure up, March 20). Aside from cheap swipes at how much they are remunerated (which is a separate issue) there is so much headwind preventing productivity gains that are out of the CEO's control.
The biggest factors are our rents, wages, cost of living and, in the case of certain industries, the strength of the Australian dollar.
CEO bashing when there are massive structural changes needed which are beyond their control is not my idea of incisive journalism.
Also, the fact that something is not measured does not necessary mean that the issue is not considered.
Often the problem CEOs find with productivity analysis is entrenched attitudes from their management of modus operandum procedures and what would happen to their jobs if major rationalisations are introduced (Australian CEOs don't measure up, March 20).
This considerably affects the findings of "scab" productivity investigators to the extent they ask, "why should we bother?"
@Jim Tsolakis (March 20, 12.30pm)
Nothing happens in business unless someone sells something at a profit (Australian CEOs don't measure up, March 20).
And that, Robert, nails it. All the rest is gobbledegook. A thousand more effective salespeople will achieve exponentially more than a million more MBAs. And it seems everybody looks down their highly-educated, non-productive noses at the only people who bring money in to an organisation – the sales staff.
Very good article, Robert (Australian CEOs don't measure up, March 20).
The problem I find with big business is the attitude of what I call "Cover thy A..." mentality. CEOs are so busy trying to keep up with all the Human Resource and safety measures that the amount of work that is being produced is greatly reduced.
To cover the above they employ more people who are really only running around trying to keep all the legislation happy. Also the software that is being written nowadays for business are so paper orientated that people are kept at their desks filling it out than being able to get out into the workplace and doing things.
No one seems to trust people these days, but if you have a piece of paper that says you have done something then all is okay, word cannot believed, all this causes despondency in the workplace and leads to people not doing as much as they could.
Central management was proved long ago to not be good but a lot of younger managers are centralising so that they have a finger on the pulse, people have to be given incentive to achieve not be oppressed all the time. Another thing is CEOs take along all their previous hangers on, if you only have yes men under you then you will never get any fresh ideas into the business and it will just stagnate, hence productivity goes out the door.
My experience, not huge, is that the board is not of sufficient ability to be any help to the executive (Australian CEOs don't measure up, March 20).
Dare I say that lack of gender diversity is also a problem (Australian CEOs don't measure up, March 20)?
Studies have shown that women are more likely than male counterparts to have relevant post-graduate qualifications: that promoting women would boost GDP by 11% and economic activity by 20%. A 2007 McKinsey study of the largest European companies found that those with at least three women on their executive committees significantly outperformed their sector in terms of average return on equity by about 10%, and operating profit was nearly twice as high. Companies with pronounced gender diversity at the top tended to rank highly in terms of management equality and organisation. Compared to the UK, US, Canada and South Africa, Australia has the lowest percentage of Executive Key Management Staff Personnel.
Big corporations are very much sheltered and protected by government policies, for example, the big four pillars – the banks – where service is bad and they can still slug fees and charges (Australian CEOs don't measure up, March 20). There's no need to be productive, just make the customers pay to maintain profits. CEOs have it easy and are rewarded generously.
So can you name the ones that do measure productivity? (Australian CEOs don't measure up, March 20.)
So much for the comment frequently made that CEOs have to be paid large packages else they will go elsewhere (Australian CEOs don't measure up, March 20). Well, let them go!
Name and shame these underperformers (Australian CEOs don't measure up, March 20). Name and applaud these leaders. Help bring shareholder pressure to bear on these boards to perform.
I am but a lowly peon in one of the big four banks and have regular (I think, too often) reminders of my productivity – even when I am ahead of the game.
If the boards of Australian companies and government departments were subject to measure and report on productivity based on a government enforced criteria, I would be interested to see the results.
As for gender diversity, I don't care what sex the boss is – if they are good enough for the job it is irrelevant.
Robert, a most insightful article (Australian CEOs don't measure up, March 20).
To me the issue of productivity goes hand in hand with the one dimensional approach to profitability improvement displayed by so many of our CEOs, especially in the early stages of their tenure.
For far too many of them the only imagination they can bring to the task is in the area of expense reduction. Too often there appears to be a complete absence of creativity in how to improve revenue as a means to the same end.