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Give me a good news story any day

Give me a good news story any day

TOO often in publishing we are accused of always seeking out the negative.

Well, WA Business News tries where it can to balance the ledger and find the positive stories.

Fortunately in WA there are plenty of good news stories, though not all of them are obvious.

One way to find them is to give them recognition, to honour the achievements of those who provide the good news stories.

So this week I take special pleasure in launching our Rising Stars program for 2004, which will do just that for WA’s fastest growing private companies.

In conjunction with Deloitte, WA Business News is again searching for the untold stories in WA’s business sector.

The key to this is not about locating small companies – though they are welcome and we have even lowered the threshold this year to $3 million turnover to ensure that there is more opportunity for their inclusion. It’s about finding performers at all levels of revenue who have produced outstanding growth for more than a year.

We have no doubt that this is difficult to do – so yet another good reason to celebrate these achievers.

Last year, 10 worthy winners were found from a wide spectrum of WA’s business community.

The leading Rising Star was advertising agency Gatecrasher, something we were pleasantly surprised to discover, especially given the state of the market in which they were operating at the time.

At the time, we also used the results of our confidential survey to collate some statistics on what makes a Rising Star and what issues were affecting them and other business that didn’t make the list.

Those results will help anyone contemplating nominating their business – but don’t take too long to think about it, entries close on February 26.

The survey research, led by Luke Martino’s Deloitte Growth Solutions, found that the Rising Stars achieved top growth performance via a commitment to growth that is embedded throughout their organisations.

That supported a key finding of Deloitte global research that suggested consistent profitable growth is achieved when an enterprise manages itself around three interconnected principles:

p a strategy to grow – what is the direction, what is the action plan to execute this strategy;

p the capability to grow  – talented people, funding new product processes, intelligent use of technology and a plan to change the organisation structurally as it grows; and

p a commitment to growth – employee participation and an open environment to allow the whole enterprise to embrace a shared vision, and operate together to achieve it.

The insights provided also formed a useful benchmark for all private enterprises aspiring to become tomorrow’s leaders. Key findings of the survey included:

p strong organisational culture is integral to the success of all of the top growth enterprises;

p leaders of fast-growing private enterprises aspire to be recognised as employers of choice;

p a keen focus on product development is vitally important. Deloitte global research demonstrates that a desire to translate research and development into market leading products is vital to a company’s sustainable growth strategy;

p clear alignment of goals is essential to the effectiveness of all strategic alliances; and

p top growth enterprises use technology to leverage their growth.

Anyway, enough of the questions about what will be, let’s talk about the nuts and bolts of what’s needed.

There is a month to prepare and submit an entry (you can down load the form from the link on our home page and it should take no longer than 15 minutes to complete). The winners will be published in a special edition on April 8, along with the findings of the survey and comparisons with last year’s results.

Participating private enterprises will need to be prepared to make public certain information, such as their revenue and staff numbers, which will be used as part of the formula to calculate the Index and rank the Top 10 to 20 Rising Stars.  Profitability is also required to select the leading growth companies but will remain CONFIDENTIAL.

We hope very much that you will see fit to participate in this important survey of WA’s fastest growing private enterprises, our Rising Stars.

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