Peter Mitchell: Opportunities for new and innovative companies

Candidates say
4 October 2017

This is what I would have liked to have said, given time and the ability to speak coherently. The content is aimed at the specific audience – the Chamber of Commerce – rather than being a general statement of policy.

On 3 October 2017, Geelong Chamber of Commerce organised a Candidate Forum at Rydges Geelong where each candidate was given 90 seconds to present his or her response to a number of questions and also summarise their policies and priorities. In this ‘Not in 90 seconds’ series we present notes and draft speeches that candidates had prepared but weren’t able to express within the timespan of 1:30 minutes.

By Peter Mitchell, candidate for Brownbill Ward

Any good business has a purpose and everything in the business is aimed toward achieving that purpose. Geelong, as a city, citizens and businesses, have determined that our vision is to be a Clever and Creative Community and I am more than happy to endorse that.

But as a business group, the Chamber of Commerce will be interested in understanding what that actually means in real, concrete terms. How do the candidates interpret that vision and what does it mean for doing business in Geelong.

Clever and creative implies opportunities for new and innovative companies to get going in our city and new and innovative ways of operating for existing companies. This means the council needs to not only allow, but to encourage businesses based on new ideas. To allow them to set up quickly and easily, to try out their ideas and either grow or move on depending on the success of their approach.

While there is a role for council in ensuring due diligence, that the legalities are followed and sureties in place, they also need to streamline the processes and, as soon as possible, get out of the way to allow the owners to get down to the business of running their business.

As a consultant in technology, I have worked in about 20 businesses across half a dozen industries from small operations with only a few staff to massive multinationals. In many of these roles, the expectations of me have been to enter an unfamiliar setting and quickly come up to speed. I need to work with a variety of people from C-level executives to those working at the coal-face. I distill the information gained and mix it with my previous experience to improve the business in some measurable way. Usually this is either workable solutions to vaguely defined problems, or high level strategies with a specific set of actions that can be taken to avoid likely business issues. These skills I think would be very useful for the council.

I have also seen many and varied ways of operating, some good and some bad, and which is which depends enormously on the company itself. There is no ‘one size fits all’. I have experience in the factors that influence which model is best for the organisation and can apply this knowledge to both the council and its relationship to its customers – the citizens of Geelong.

Thanks for your time.

Peter Mitchell

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