Financial Review

By January 29, 2012 Articles No Comments

PDF_LogoProfits Depend on the People Creating Them


Owners and managers of small to medium-sized businesses who want to improve cash flow are being advised not to forget that profits depend on the people creating them.

Meiron Lees, a Sydney based entrepreneur who established InnerCents in 2003 to develop people through coaching and training programs in the areas of leadership, sales and stress management, said cash flow was a massive issue for SME’s. Yet many did not fully comprehend all the elements that surrounded this aspect.

Besides understanding financials and forecasts, they also need to understand that “profits can’t be separated from the people that create them”.

Mr Lees, whose clients include IBM, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Westpac and MLC and is the self published author of D-Stress: Building Resilience in Challenging Times, also provides tailored programs for SME’s.

While his business slowed during the early days of the economic downturn as cost conscious businesses slashed training and development, others that had cut employee numbers and wanted to improve the productivity of remaining staff used his programs. “A lot of leadership slant changed. Leaders were having to deal with problem they hadn’t experienced before, such as redundancy issues”. And flowing from staff cuts were higher workloads for remaining staff that led to more stress and opportunities for conflict. Besides managing employee stress levels, managers are faced with establishing a culture of optimal performance in a fairly highly pressurised environment. “That’s a big theme coming through at the moment”.

Incorporated in InnerCent’s Leadership methodology is the view that giving employees the tools to perform better is a key aspect of managing cash flow, particularly to improve revenue. He cited a client with 40 staff, whose business was faced with getting a greater return for it’ one, showing how they could help the organisation survive. The plan set milestones and provided the necessary information to reach them.

“A lot of people don’t perform because they don’t know the right steps to get performance. For the first time there was an agreement between employees and employers about how to do something. No fewer than 90 percent exceeded their targets”.

Former Wallabies captain turned business leader John Eales, offered his views on leadership skills at a recruitment conference this week. “Losing sight of the goal is dangerous when you are in a leadership position because you are expected to give direction to those below you. In some respects, leading in tough times is easier because people are more willing to be led – but you still need to have a clear picture of where you’re going”.

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