Managing Indigenous Organisations

The Business Planning Formula

Indigenous businesses (or indeed Indigenous not-for-profit community-controlled organisations) must prepare business plans. This is not because they are Indigenous but because every organisation that wishes to grow must be in control of where it wants to go and how it gets there! It's common sense - would you go on a holiday without a plan in mind? You don't just jump in the car and decide to go - you booked some time off ("when"), you decided what you wanted to do on holiday ("what") which helped you decide where to go to do it ("where") and you decided who would come ("who"). Yet, why would you start your family business or social venture without a plan? (more…)...
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5 Questions For Any Indigenous Board To Consider

If you are a Director in an Indigenous corporation, the start of a new year is as good a time as any to review your Board performance and the stability of the corporation you are leading. As a Director, you have the responsibility to oversight the performance of management, and the "shape" and direction of the corporation. You also have a legal duty to exercise diligence in your work as a Director, which means understanding where any weaknesses lie and acting upon them. But, to be short and sweet, at the beginning of the new year, spend some time considering these 5 issues as you survey the health of your corporation. (more…)...
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What Is Insolvency, Really?

For any business, insolvency is a frightening and emotionally-charged concept. For an Indigenous organisation, it is complex, stressful, and may put many community-owned and hard-won assets at risk of being lost. For the Directors of Indigenous corporations, insolvency creeps up on them because few have received financial training or timely financial reports and advice. Insolvency and potential administration is a time of denial, fear, and a time where they have to struggle with conflicting demands about saving the corporation to personal liability over some unknown twists of insolvent trading law. In fact, once the corporation is put in administration, the Directors are effectively sidelined and have to live with guilt and being powerless. (more…)...
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Get Your Risk-Management Right

Most Indigenous corporations undergo rigorous planning rituals. They prepare strategic plans and many then operationalise them by preparing details business plans. Yet, one of the most important planning rituals for an Indigenous corporation is rarely executed - their Risk Management Plan. Despite all the strategies and business plan action steps, the future is not predictable. Many unpredicted things can happen in just the year ahead, some bringing good fortune, others potential catastrophe. Indigenous organisations face the possibility of changes to funding models, changes in legislation, political pressure, community disasters, fire, cyclone damage and the volatility of the economy. (more…)...
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