The release of the latest in the series of Deloitte’s Building the Lucky Country reports; ‘Building the Lucky Country # 4 – Get out of your own way: Unleashing Productivity’ highlighted that red tape was the single biggest drag on Australia’s productivity. According to the report, ‘setting fewer and better rules can provide a rich source of efficiency savings and drive creativity, innovation and productivity’. The report highlighted alarming statistics such as: There are 100 billion emails sent each year, 85.7 billion of which are considered ‘unimportant’ The annual cost to comply with and administer self-imposed private sector rules is $155 billion The time spent by every employee, every year to administer and comply with ‘rules’ is 8 weeks To coincide with the release of the report, Deloitte Canberra hosted a BlackInk event where local professional service providers focused their attention on how this productivity topic was playing out with our business clients in the Canberra region. Speakers on the panel included Deloitte Partners, Eddie Senatore and Al Ramos; Deloitte Director and co-author of the report, Kristian Kolding; and the Australian Small Business Commissioner, Mark Brennan. The discussion not only raised everyone’s awareness about how significant the problem is, but also centered around how we could all help those businesses – an example solution we explored was how Deloitte Private Connect could be used to help embrace digital disruption to re-engineer currently manual and inefficient back-office processes. Time to cut the red tape Following on from the BlackInk event, Al Ramos hosted a morning workshop for clients and other local businesses from the Canberra region, under the topic “Profit from Productivity!”. Participants were challenged to identify and share specific examples of their own “red tape” and then Al introduced tools and processes they could use to extract the waste and convert it to profit. The workshop was a great success based on the positive feedback and participants walked away with their own list of action items to implement. Al walked the participants through a process to conduct the audit and then talked them through a 5 step waste reduction process. The participants valued the interactive nature of the discussion, with many offering suggestions to each other’s identified waste challenges. A key take away was for each to conduct a ‘waste audit’ and follow-up “waste reduction process” – thereby raising their productivity and profits. Al runs these workshops quarterly with the topic aligning with that of the BlackInk event. The purpose of them is to address the ‘so what?’ question about what specific issues mean to small and medium businesses and what they can do about them. Participants value that they can network with other business owners and access Al’s extensive business coaching expertise in a relaxed and welcoming environment, with many following-up for assistance with their chosen actions…. A great result for all involved!