Greek philosopher Heraclitus famously professed, “There is nothing permanent except change,” a prescient thought given in recent years, our public consciousness has been one dominated by global turmoil. Further complicating matters both home and abroad is a federal election that looms large as well as ambiguity surrounding geopolitical implications and related fallout concerning recent events in Eastern Europe. What to make of it all?
There is and always will be uncertainty in the world, a risk inherent in all we do but despite our best-laid plans, there comes a point where we must ask what more can be done? Reputable studies have found the human brain is not overly fond of uncertainty, findings indicating predictable negative consequences are less stressful than uncertainty.
Sometimes, things are simply out of our control and the best course of action is accepting this uncertainty and focusing on what is in our control. For businesses, being agile and adaptable has never been more important and fostering conditions that unleash your workforce’s ability to navigate uncertainty should occupy a prominent position in strategic thinking.
With the nation now favouring a transition toward a living with COVID approach, the nature of employment is up for discussion. While many have done well to mobilise and digitise their workforce, in my opinion, nothing can replace being in close proximity to one another, being able to strengthen bonds and feel positive momentum.
Managing employee expectations regarding a return to work will prove interesting but as leaders, all we can do is provide an environment where people want to be.
With a federal election on the horizon, the government should be pleased with strong consumer spending in the December quarter, which shows a renewed appetite for spending and an apparent return of consumer confidence. The federal budget deficit is better off by the end of January by $13.2 billion. Tax revenue exceeded forecasts by $7 billion, government expenses $5.9 billion lower than expected and the unemployment rate nudged 4.2 percent.
International affairs and its effect on the Australian economy
With our political direction to be determined, the giant elephant in the room is Eastern Europe and Australia’s relationship with China. With much improved Sino-Russian relations, the countries have recently announced a number of trade and commerce deals, ones which may impact our relationship with our largest two-way trading partner.
Having imposed economic measures against Russia and provided arms to Ukraine, China’s reaction to Australia’s position should be closely monitored. Additionally, sanctions are forcing the resource rich Russia to explore other markets, potentially putting it in direct competition with Australia but interestingly, could present our nation new trading opportunities.