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(Australian) competitive report 2017/8 - what does it say


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Looking at the latest Global Competitiveness report (2017-18) it's interesting to see how Australia is doing and what improvements happened since the previous reports.


More important is the challenges mentioned in the report as that offers opportunities. I have also included a few of my own questions, I would normally ask myself.

The Australia portion of the competitive report gets referred to in these articles (not sure if you need to be a subscriber)


There are 2 bad parameters that stand out: Poor work ethics & insufficient capacity to innovate

This ties in with the 2 worst performances: Technology readiness & labour market efficiency

1.       Question: If you were an employer/owner and you have to pay the salaries of the people you are working with how would you react to those points?



From the same report but a different article, what is interesting is that Aus dropped 4 places since the last year. However, we still didn’t do bad, but here is the problem - we didn’t do better either.


Let me quote “Major drops in rankings were registered in apprenticeships (falling 28 positions to 51st), employee training (17 to 43rd), workforce productivity (15 to 48th) and entrepreneurship (8 to 59th). However, some of the bright spots for Australia’s reported business efficiency were foreign highly-skilled personnel (8th globally), investment risk (11th), regulatory (banking laws) compliance (11th), corporate debt (13rd) and stock markets (14th)”


From this, we see that external markets think Australia is doing the correct thing by bringing highly-skilled people in. Obviously, it may upset the local workforce. The reason why this gets done is that it's cheaper than to train their internal people. Perhaps not very wise from a business development viewpoint and this has nothing to do with running Lean manufacturing disciplines but rather a business strategy.


2.       Question: What is your take on this? How many of the people that you work with, paid for their own studies in order to improve their own skills?



Now from this article its interesting that not much has changed over the past 3 years. Why? I believe it's because of the resistance to change is higher than to do the actual change.

To bring about change is not a popularity contest and often very lonely and even the most hated position. But if you don’t have change agents and a strong change driver it won’t happen by itself. Bringing a change means doing things differently. If people have been trained and conditioned to do things a certain way for the past xx years, do you think people will/can change their behaviour quickly? Don't think so. It needs decisive action backed by a solid strategic plan and it’s not a democratic process either, but more importantly, it takes guts to do.


3.       Question: What is your take on this?



This is the most interesting link as you can compare that against any other country. If you look at the 2nd (Last) and 3rd (Previous) column note those ones in the 3rd column that are substantially higher than the 2nd column i.e it shows a lack of improvement. It’s the difference in improvement that really counts. Two things that stand out: car production & mining. This didn’t come as a surprise and business leaders knew this is coming for a long time.


4.       Question: What did leaders/entrepreneur do to ensure that other industries can take up the slack? Why do we always look at the government to do things for us?


Now compare that to Malaysia, Thailand etc.


What do you notice? The one thing that stands out the most is the “Ease of doing business” got weaker. That’s it, the rest improved!!!! It should be a wakeup call!!!

Although must admit that its always easier to start from a low base as with Thailand.


I believe we can do better, but how? I believe it takes a competitive mindset – not “she’ll be ok mate!!” This calls for strong leadership, who takes accountability and responsibility when due. Does this make you popular? Don’t think so!









Edited by ottg
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