WorkChoices irrelevant in war for talent

by 06 Mar 2007

WORKCHOICES LEGISLATION is irrelevant in the face of growing skills shortages and companies should instead focus on retaining and maximising the inherent competencies of Australian talent.

That’s the message from Ricardo Semler, who shot to managerial fame in 2003 after introducing a radical and very successful form of industrial democracy and corporate re-engineering in Brazilian company Semco SA.

Semler, who also authored The Seven-Day Weekend, said the greatest challenge for Australian business is to find something it is good at. “Australian businesses need to find their areas of excellence and grow their people; if not, they should retrench the workforce and start over,”he said.

“The world today is amorphous and we need to be in a position to live with the unpredictability, and abandon what is no longer viable.”

Speaking at the VeryGC Global Business Insights conference, Semler said that for Australia to find its true global strength, it is important for the country to change its disposition and not follow American concepts or British history.

Semler saw many similarities between Brazil and Australia, from their location in the southern hemisphere that made both countries geographically peripheral, to their attitudes and perceptions. However, like Brazil, Australiacould do better, he added.

One of Australia’s key strengths is the value it places on quality of life, a trait that Semler focused on developing in Semco SA as CEO. As such, he said it was important for corporate Australia to focus on the why, instead of the how, to understand the businesses they are in.


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