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2012: Small is Flexible

– By Andrew B Morris

Our members have told us that small is beautiful – that they are far more able to adapt and thrive, reacting more flexibly to market conditions. So 2012 can be seen as a chance to grow and enjoy running our businesses.

Given the economic conditions as we approach 2012, it appears that we will need to undertake a far better planning process in order to benefit from the opportunities that will present themselves throughout the year with some BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) to deliver them.

Andrew B Morris

Andrew B Morris

Success in 2012 will be dependent upon doing more with less and in doing that more effectively than your competitors. Success will be based on

  • remaining profitable
  • making sure you collect what’s owed to you
  • maximising the amount of that profit you can retain for use within the business and
  • making your business leaner to reduce your cost base.

True success, though, will be more than that. Making the most of your opportunities will be the true measure of success.

In this month’s newsletter, we look in more detail at the last two of those. Jonathan Prevezer and Nick Brennan of Chartered Accountants Citroen Wells look at how you can pay less tax and stay within the law. They also share their top tips for tax savings with us. We also expand on one of our top tips from last month and look at the application of lean thinking to how we view the operations that we perform within our business, protecting customer value whilst removing superfluous activities and enhancing the bottom line.

2012 can be a year of opportunity if we know which opportunities we’re looking for and where we might find them. Where do we want our ideal business to lead us? What are our strengths in following that path and where do we have gaps? If we can work towards employing more of our strengths, more of the time and bridging or avoiding the gaps that we have, then we can follow a path of opportunity from a much more solid base.

The news from all angles, domestic, European and Global seems to suggest that things are bad and getting worse. Average businesses will be retrenching and looking for ways to weather the storm. Now, it would seem, might be an excellent time to swim against the stream and to look at where things are good and getting better and how you might take advantage of them. Work smarter, not harder and keep an eye on the long term goal using all the resources at your disposal.

In formulating a far better plan for 2012, one key resource is your Academy Group and the skills and knowledge of your group chairman and fellow members. All of us are better than any one of us, after all. Far better to be swimming purposefully than to be floating wherever the current may take you.

So what are your BHAGs? How big? How hairy? How audacious? Don’t hold back on ambition. Here at the Academy, in a recent survey, 86% of our members said that they are in buoyant mood as we approach the New Year. Dare to think bigger and make sure you get the support from your Academy colleagues for that. Supporting them in their BHAGs will also provide you with insights and answers that you can use yourself. If you aren’t yet a member, you can find out more at

We wish you a very successful 2012 and look forward to helping wherever we can to ensure our members succeed in this critical year for business.


About the Author

Andrew has been a leading figure in the media and events industry for over 20 years. He launched the innovative Business Design Centre in Islington and was CEO of the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham where he transformed the culture from ‘council’ to ‘commercial’ through a transformative leadership development programme. Today, he is Non Executive Chairman of Brand Events, the international consumer festival organiser, and the annual World Photography Awards in Cannes sponsored by Sony. However, his primary focus is as Chief Executive of the Academy for Chief Executives, which he acquired in January 2011. Find out more about Andrew’s London-based Chief Executive Forum >>

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