It's Just Not Extra People You Need

Posted on May 19, 2021

When I was consulting through the Coal Seam Gas boom some nine years ago, many companies were experiencing a similar challenge as in the current economic climate: abundant opportunities with too few suitable people to employ. And Neil Perry, the celebrated chef echoes this: "I’m putting $4 million into a restaurant in Double Bay and I don’t have one sleepless moment about having enough customers. But I’m really worried about having enough staff to open seven days a week," he said.*

When opportunities are plentiful we default to plugging holes with people. And while additional personnel may be required on the front end, we often forget about creating efficiencies in the back end: current staff productivity; restructures and task redistribution; time management and prioritisation; workflow technology utilisation; duplication eradication and so forth.

In my latest book, How Efficiency Changes the Game, I write: "...inefficiency continues to run rampant and can be found in the often forgotten pockets of the organization, hampering efficacy at best, leading it out the door at worst."

By all means, recruit suitable people but at the same time, go through the pockets of your organisation to identify waste: and then eradicate it. You may find you can do a whole lot more, with a whole lot less, and not need as many extra people.

*AFR 01/05/2021 p.16

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