Adrian Finlayson on the Difference of Being a Consultant and Being a CEO

“It’s much harder doing than telling. Things take a lot longer than you initially think, and along the way you have to manage a broad stakeholder base, including your team, investors and the board. A chief executive is a management consultant who has to implement his own recommendations.”

How do you get the best out of your staff?
We make sure that when people do what is asked of them, they are continuously recognised. We practice what we preach - we run a formal, peer-to-peer nominating program that allows individuals across the company to recognise each other for demonstrating behaviour that aligns closely with our values, and delivers business results.

What are the challenges of running a growth business?
The biggest challenge is ensuring the right balance between existing growth businesses and picking new areas of investment. There is never a shortage of additional investment opportunities, but there will always be a constraint on being able to deliver on all the opportunities. This often requires the chief executive to say “no”.

BRW, May 8-14, 2008