10 years ago, Richard Ellis, managing director of manufacturer KT Hydraulics, joined Vistage, the peer group mentoring and coaching organisation that puts business leaders together to share and resolve common problems and challenges. He recognised he needed more support as he led his business through good times and bad – not so much with day-to-day operations, but with leadership and strategy.
“Manufacturers are very good at what they do, but often need help with some of the periphery of what goes around the business,” Richard says. “That might be dealing with the Government, exporting or broader business strategy; we’ve certainly become a lot more professional dealing with our external partners, often in areas where we’re outside of our comfort zone.”
Richard’s peers within Vistage offer key insights into shared challenges – whether it’s a need to invest in IT or to prepare for legislative change. “The best thing Vistage has done for me is given my business the heads-up on what’s coming,” Richard concludes. “We know what’s going to happen before everyone else does and that gives us an edge; we can protect the business or prepare for opportunities.”