With the tide slowly turning for Australian businesses, forward-thinking CEOs should be positioning for growth as well as optimising their core business. This means putting customer relationships and innovation at the top of the to-do list and replacing a survival approach with a growth mindset.

Recently, tough economic conditions have driven CEOs to focus on operational effectiveness. While this will always be an important building block for a sustainable business, it’s time to change focus.

Despite some high-pro le closures and downsizing announcements in 2014, the Australian economy is gearing up, albeit cautiously and unevenly. While some industries are still treading water, two out of three companies expect revenue growth in the next year. Anecdotal evidence from Maximus’s leadership development programs con rms this growing optimism.

If you see better times on the horizon, you should be preparing your organisation for growth this year, next year, and beyond. Becoming more customer-centric is vital — it will help you to attract, retain, and grow more customers. Innovation is also important, so you can nd new ways to engage with those customers. But having the best strategy, processes, and technologies will only take you so far — ensuring that you have the right people is essential too.

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