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London Business Matters

February 2017 International 15 trade visitors in Addis for AU and UNECA events. They are also likely to visit the National Museum to see casts of Lucy, a fossilised hominid, who walked the earth 3.2 million years ago and St George Cathedral, dedicated to Ethiopia’s patron saint who slew a dragon-like creature to save a damsel in distress – sound familiar? An Addis football team and a local beer share the cathedral’s name though the beer’s popularity is under threat from competition from a new Heineken brewery expansion which was inaugurated in November. Traffic in town was as chaotic as I remembered and congestion meant that the three-mile taxi ride to the AU from my hotel near UNECA could take up to an hour. The situation would be even worse without the light rail system which was introduced in 2015. Chinese-built, financed and operated, it consists of two lines running along 20 miles of central Addis with over 30 new stations. The old railway station remains a transport centre with ranks of buses in attendance as well as a market stall of khat (or qat or chat), the native plant which looks like sprigs of privet hedge and has been chewed for soporific effect in the Horn of Africa since time immemorial. Outside town the Addis-Djibouti rail line has been up-and-running for freight traffic since October 2016. Linking the 8,000 ft high Ethiopian capital with the Red Sea through 466 miles of challenging terrain, it is the first fully electrified cross-border railway line in Africa, a continent that, with much British engineering involved, once boasted an enviable rail system. This new line, which is due to eventually take passengers, has been built and financed the Chinese! Trading places by … yes you’ve guessed it, Sajid Mehmood Raja, Commercial Counsellor at the High Commission for Pakistan, visited LCCI last month to discuss ongoing trade promotion and facilitation activities. He is pictured on the left with his trade development colleague Muhammad Afzal Mushtaq. How will you deliver growth in 2017? The best leaders know that growth cannot be achieved by the few leaders around the management table. We need everyone on board to help us deliver what our customers and shareholders demand. Only covering the people management basics will lead to mediocre business performance. So let’s start this series of articles with the “Six Fundamentals of Fast Growth”; to get our mind-set firmly on growth. 1. Have an Engaged Leadership Team As leaders, we’re attached to our people. Fact is if you don’t have the right people around the table to deliver, it isn’t going to happen. We assume managers should be engaged as a duty, sadly it doesn’t work like that. If only 47% of UK MD’s are engaged (Achievers 2016), what luck do the rest of us have? 2. Engage your Workforce Not only do disengaged employees cost you money, they make up to 100 more errors a year than engaged staff. Do you want to risk loosing customers this year? Engaging your staff is simple if you do it for the right reasons. 3. Have a Fit for Purpose Organisational Structure This cannot simply be made up on a flipchart. If the ‘operating model’ isn’t designed to engineer issues out of the business, your managers won’t have time to focus on growth; they will spend hours fire fighting operational issues daily. 4. Have Clear Roles and Responsibilities The consequence of a lack of clarity is that things get dropped, often clients and this is often a major root cause of conflict in today’s organisations. 5. Have Values and Embed Them Values correlate to bottom line growth. If you don’t tell your people what you stand for they will assume profit and you will turn them off. 6. Have a Strategy Most companies have no strategy and no plan on paper. You’ll never meet a financial plan without a strategy and clear plan. Then communicate it. Whilst there is a direct cost here, it’s an investment for growth in 2017. For more information, go to: www.hunteradams.co.uk or contact the team: dean.hunter@hunteradams.co.uk Click/tap for more info


London Business Matters
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