The Weight That Stops the Nation

Reading the sports section at the back of the MX on the way home from work last week I came across a piece on last year’s Melbourne Cup winner, Dunaden. Not being an avid racing fan I’d normally skip this but the packed train made page turning far too much of a challenge.

The article had a quote from the horse’s trainer, all but conceding their chances of a back to back win due to the extra weight they’re forced to carry.

No horse has ever won the race with the amount of weight Dunaden is being forced to bear – 59kgs. In horse racing, ability and success is penalised in the form of extra weight.

Dunaden wasn’t the only one to triumph in 2011. The mining services sector saw high growth off the back of continued new developments driven predominantly by the big four mining groups.

This came to a grinding halt when the weight of the MRT, high Aussie dollar, carbon tax and volatility of commodity pricing was thrown on the industry like a lead weight in a saddlebag.

Cause always brings effect. With billion dollar contracts and projects pulled or frozen, the ripple continues to expand, working its way across industry sectors.

Business stress has significantly increased with a direct impact on employment within the resources sector, reminiscent of the construction industry fall out in 2008.

Smart businesses of all sizes need to adapt now to circumstances out of their control. There’s no point in following the same game plan when the game has changed.

Whilst Dunaden’s trainer has spoken of the impossible challenge ahead, we all know that they are running the race with the intent to win. They’ll be working hard, doing everything in their power to remain competitive – retraining, adapting and coming up with a new strategy for success. That’s what winners do.

Smart business is no different. Your race plan might have been great, but conditions have changed, adapt today to run another race tomorrow.

By implementing cost savings, restructuring, diversifying and applying new strategies now, you will remain competitive. Likewise, this flexibility will ensure that your business is fully prepared for whenever the next big race starts. Do this well and you could find yourself a lot stronger than you were this time last year.

Rik Blanchard was a former Client Director with Vantage Performance – an award winning, national business transformation and turnaround firm with proven success in solving complex financial, operational and people performance issues.

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