Clarity, simplicity key for business owners in Defence industry

Fighter Pilot Hornet

Both clarity and simplicity are vital components that business owners active in the defence sector ignore at their peril, according to Afterburner Australia owner Christian Boucousis.

"There's no doubt defence contracting, as well as what Defence is trying to achieve in the battlefield sense, is very, very complex and I think what happens is that [this] can become overwhelming and what we lose is clarity as a result," Boucousis said.

He called for an approach that would include a set of parameters to narrow down the effect that Defence is trying to achieve.

"I think we need to almost approach it with a mantra," Boucousis added. "If we're sitting down and we're talking between Defence and industry, it's almost the opening question, 'What are we sitting here for, and what are we trying to achieve?'"

Boucousis said he was able to draw on a remarkable blend of experience, having served an almost equal amount of time in Defence and flying fighters as in business.

Critically, he said the main reason why he acquired Afterburner was the game-changing realisation of the value proposition he uncovered as he looked closer at the theory "and how we translated the simplicity of planning missions".

The next step was to build on the transferable insights gained in pinning down exactly how the military is able to communicate the clarity and simplicity required to effectively execute vital tasks without becoming saturated in a fog of complexity.

"But most importantly, it's that debriefing process,” Boucousis emphasised. “It's a case of saying, ‘Well look, we all set out to achieve something here. The world has changed. There's innovation [and] there's new ways of going about the same problem and therefore often our capability and objectives and requirements start to translate a little bit out of what we're contracted to achieve.'"

Finally, he said the most pressing issue currently hampering business performance outcomes centred on the lack of this level of clarity in business generally.

"'I've got 50 things I need to do,'” he said, characterising the prevailing attitude in many businesses. “No, the organisation has 50 things [to do], but what do you need to achieve as the leader of the entire organisation?"

 

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