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Information Saturation ….It’s time to stop the noise.

Research and validated learning underpins our activities at the Advisory Board Centre.  It guides our development, supports our members and drives outcomes for the business sector.  So, we found ourselves in an interesting position when compiling the latest release of The Quarterly– our market overview for entrepreneurs.

There’s simply too much noise.

With the 24-hour news cycle and sound-bite leadership how are business owners and managers supposed to filter out all the chatter to focus on what’s meaningful for them?

We put this problem to our Advisory Board community to ensure that we aren’t adding to the racket.

How do business leaders sift through the conflicting opinions and economic indicators to stay informed and make quality decisions?

The answer can be found in three simple, yet powerful guiding principles- know your business, know your market and know who you can trust.

 

Know Your Business

Carefully evaluate information through the lens of your business strategy, your internal capabilities and future goals.  Always back up your “gut feeling” with objective internal and external data.

Insights from the Advisor Community

Your business data can help guide you in your decision making. Often there is so much intelligence and insights sitting latent within the data silos in business.  Just like the external noise, it can be easy to feel “lost” and not know where to start with making sense and deriving meaning from your own data. Start small and think about the right questions you want to ask.  Invest in the right tools and resources to help you collect and analyse your business data.  –Matt Forman, Traffika

 

A good number of businesses that I see tend to manage their businesses through gut feeling and emotion rather than through concrete numbers. In some cases the information they are working with isn’t accurate or up to date.  You have to know which levers to pull in order to grow your business safely. I am yet to come across a business in my 25 + years in the industry that has succeeded or grown past say $10M without having a firm grasp on their numbers”.- Michael Renton, Xact Accounting

 

Having a solid understanding of your personal risk appetite and the risk profile of your business will support you in evaluating the latest news and business indicators. Commentators might tell you that you “should” be chasing the latest trends or opportunities- but are they the right fit for your business?- Patrick Lilwall, INPLEX Management Services

 

All companies are impacted by macro global economy, we can never escape this one. At a micro level, good governance and strong leadership will always be the hallmark of winning organisations. – Pam Dell, ReMap

 

The lead up to Q4 is a time when your stakeholders reflect whether they be investors, employees or suppliers. This is the time to ensure everyone is aligned with the key strategic initiatives for the year ahead.  Are the key staff leading these initiatives motivated and clear on what’s required?  Are they set-up for success?  Talent management is an important business activity just like capital management.  It’s about who to keep, who to let go and ensuring the organisation is growing with your vision. – Craig Hook, Strategic Intent

 

Know Your Market

When you truly know your market and your customers, it becomes a lot easier to ignore doomsday commentary.  You are also less likely to be blindsided by market disruptors, new competitors or advances in technology.

Insights from the Advisor Community

Certain segments of the market are fearing for their jobs and job market security due to the rise of Artificial Intelligence and automation. Businesses that take either a reactive fear-driven or “head in the sand” approach may be compromised in their decision making.- Jo Hanlon, Mind Your P’s

 

A top issue with the digital marketing and professional services sector is developing the structure and processes that create business efficiency given the sheer volume of information. Implementing technology that can cut through traditional processes must be carefully planned and managed particularly in light of cyber security laws and the risk to the business. – Luke Mitchell, Murchinsons

 

Knowing how much “risk” or change your target market is willing to take on is a key consideration when exploring what external commentary means for your business. – Kirsty Garret, Objective Corporation

 

The world is seeing synchronised growth for the first time in decades, with the outlook for our major markets therefore promising. Even if you’re not in export this will feed into the domestic market. One issue might be rising interest rates, although it is hard to see them being raised too aggressively. At these levels a 1 percentage point increase could be anywhere as high as a 20 or even 25% increase in your interest costs. Ensure you anticipate and plan for how this will affect your business and your market.- Graham Young, Narration

 

Focus on sales, reviewing YTD progress and determining what measures need to be in place to ensure FY18 targets are met. In more dynamic markets the operating environment may have changed since the original budgets, so effective planning is critical. – Tracy Morgan, Morstone

 

Know Who You Can Trust

Thought leaders, influencers, commentators, media, advertisers……who can you trust?  Information saturation is real and it can actually stifle critical thinking and problem solving within businesses.  Seek out the trusted Advisors that have the current skills and knowledge in the areas that are key priorities for your business.

Insights from the Advisor Community

You cannot underestimate the value of due diligence in validating the claims and history of the entity with which you are dealing. “To be forewarned is to forearmed”. – Mike Avey, Pachira Capital

 

Having clearly defined objectives give businesses a track to run on. It also gives you a clearer picture of the information gaps where you might need to seek out trusted, specialist advice. – Eric Chong, Templetons Financial

 

I draw on the wise counsel of an Advisory Board to help support my understanding of the wider business climate and open my thinking to new opportunity within my businesses. It makes me more confident in my decision making (even when I don’t listen to their options and forge my own path!). Through the work our community is doing in the Advisory Board sector, improving internal confidence in decision making helps to build more robust and resilient businesses.– Louise Broekman, Advisory Board Centre

 

About Author:

Louise Broekman
Louise is an award winning Entrepreneur, researcher and business advisor. Louise has received recognition from Industry and Government at a local and national level for her contribution to the Australian business sector. She is an in-demand speaker and is regularly called upon as the leading voice for Advisory Boards in the Asia Pacific region.