‘Captain of Industry’ an offensive term? Thanks Tony

‘Captain of Industry’ an offensive term? Thanks Tony
SHARE
THIS


What best describes you?

Following a series of ‘Captain’s Calls’ by our esteemed Prime Minister in the past few months, business commentators might have to rethink their use of the time-honoured term ‘captain of industry’.

It’s probably safe to say that the pace of digital change in businesses and the at times poor response by some of these ‘captains’ to this change had put the term on notice. But with Abbott’s help, you would be safe in assuming that if someone refers to you now as a ‘Captain of Industry’, you’d have every right to be offended.

At  the very least, alarm bells should be ringing in your head. It means you are potentially male, over 55, white, digitally illiterate, very experienced in things that don’t really matter that much any more; have great business war stories, make boofhead decisions and are  probably a bit pompous.

On ABC TV’s The Business  last week,  ‘Ticky’  introduced some  balding old bloke with grey hair  as a ‘captain of industry’.  He was immediately unimpressive although he did have a lovely  ‘granddad type’ demeanour about him. He had a view on everything of course, largely totally out of date views to the point of being almost stupid.  Which might explain why the company he has chaired for the past 10 years or so is now an icon in terms of how ‘boards who aren’t in touch can wreck a once great brand and company’.

It wasn’t so much that this guy was thick or inexperienced, it was more that he had an inflated view of the importance of his experience, past leadership roles and standing in the business community.  He wasn’t at all in touch with the revolution in business thinking and leadership going on at a million miles an hour around him that is being underpinned by digital.

One reason I suspect some ‘old captains’ carry on like this is that there isn’t a huge incentive for them to update to a paradigm that doesn’t reflect the values and structures in which they developed their power base and wealth. So they stick with what they know. This would be OK, except  by sticking around stubbornly with this attitude, they are often doing quite a bit of harm to established companies and employees through the board process (not to mention shareholders).

Last week B&T’s ‘Can you think young, Millenials Test’ went viral. It ended up everywhere, even into the school yards of Australia . I sent it to a few people I know who are ‘captain-ish’ and asked them to do it as a favour. They all scored under 40%, or near enough.

So what? It’s not really serious is it? And besides, they are all old. Shouldn’t they score under 40% anyway?

One of the under 40 per centers commented to me: “ I guess some people will fall for it, but its not very serious is it? I mean by this that….” I stopped listening. This guy is good for a beer and if you want to know how blokes managed companies in the 90s. I stopped managing with a 90s playbook by at least 2006, when Google became interesting.

Of course, there are always exceptions to rules, especially new ones made up by people who aren’t qualified to make them, like me. Its hard not to think of Richard Goyder as anything but a ‘captain of industry’.  He doesn’t fit the Abbott captain paradigm, being still somewhat wise, a contributor and a determined and innovative thinker. Which reinforces a point that ‘older managers’ remain invaluable contributors to the development of new, and the transformation of old , businesses, especially if they can ‘think  young’ as a part of their strategic repertoire.

But good or bad ‘captain’  the ‘captain’ tag is probably never coming back from the drubbing that  Tony Abbott has managed to give it. He’s probably redefined the term ‘captain’s call’ for all time as:   Random, idiotic and  self delusional decision made by a person who through a series of unfortunate and bizarre circumstanes is either a business or political leader. Generally such a person is universally disliked and regarded as a loser.

And with that, any reference to ‘captain’ and ‘industry’ has suddenly become quite damning.

So if you are a bit older , a little worried about digital disruption and you really want to get back into it, and do good work, don’t despair. See how you score in the B&T Millennials test (click here) and determine for yourself if it is ‘flippant’ and ‘irrelevant’, as we’ve had some older ‘gents’ comment or if its fun and makes you at least  think a bit about how you manage Millennials and for that matter “Twotennials “(our new super demographic) in an age where digital is testing everyone’s will and skill.

After all this is industrial revolution 2.0 (IR2). There’s never been a time like it as far imagination and opportunity is concerned. No one in their right mind would want to miss it.

 

Meet some ‘new age’ Captains like Kim Williams and Matt Barrie (Freelancer.com) at B&T’s Daze of Disruption conference, and hear what they have to say about the requirements of modern leadership in a’digitally disrupted world’. Click Here

Daze-Logo_final_long (2)

 

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Filtered Media Announces Nine New Hires
  • Advertising
  • Media

Filtered Media Announces Nine New Hires

Integrated brand storytelling agency, Filtered Media, continues its rapid growth with the mid-sized company appointing nine new team members in recent times, and moving to expansive new premises. Two senior hires include Nicole Manktelow as content director and storyteller for Filtered Media’s finance and technology practice, and Nick Ross as senior manager, content and analytics, a newly created role designed […]

Red Rooster Unveils Saucy Tinder Campaign Results
  • Marketing
  • Media

Red Rooster Unveils Saucy Tinder Campaign Results

Red Rooster’s Tinder campaign launched late last month – with results immediately revealing some very interesting differences between men and women. In a first for the brand, Red Rooster’s latest campaign took to the popular dating app Tinder, integrating the swipe function into its advertising and targeting customers in a whole different way. Red Rooster’s […]

Infographic: Aussies Set To Choose Kmart For Christmas (With 33% Admitting They’re Re-Gifters)
  • Marketing

Infographic: Aussies Set To Choose Kmart For Christmas (With 33% Admitting They’re Re-Gifters)

A new study into the Christmas shopping habits of Australians has found that Kmart will be our number one retailer of choice this year, with, interestingly, Amazon struggling to rate much of a mention. The study, by Melbourne customer insights agency Honeycomb, involved the responses of 1000 Aussies and their festive shopping habits. It found 55 per cent said they’d […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
QMS Media Expands Presence In Melbourne With New Digital Billboard ‘The G’
  • Advertising
  • Media

QMS Media Expands Presence In Melbourne With New Digital Billboard ‘The G’

Outdoor media company QMS Media has strengthened its digital outdoor presence in Victoria, unveiling an iconic digital billboard in the heart of Melbourne’s famous sporting precinct. The launch of ‘The G’ sees QMS’ landmark digital portfolio ‘bookending’ arguably one of the most iconic and in-demand digital outdoor locations in Australia – Richmond Station Bridge – […]

HSBC Sydney 7s Creates New Visual Identity For 2018 Via Digilante
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

HSBC Sydney 7s Creates New Visual Identity For 2018 Via Digilante

As part of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, the Sydney 7s event returns in January complete with a new brand identity, creative strategy and media campaign. With the 2017 Sydney 7s a sell-out event, the challenge for 2018 was to carry that momentum into the third year, defining Sydney’s place as the new ‘go-to’ […]

Bound Round Launches Family Travel Publication for Aussies
  • Media

Bound Round Launches Family Travel Publication for Aussies

Family travel platform Bound Round has announced the launch of its first e-magazine to Australian consumers. Travel Bound is a family-focused, digital quarterly publication available on all Virgin Australia flights through the carrier’s in-flight entertainment system, and is also available for consumer download via the Bound Round website. Bound Round founder and CEO Janeece Keller […]

SBS Unveils New Look, New App For SBS News
  • Media

SBS Unveils New Look, New App For SBS News

Do you like say "I only watch SBS" in an attempt to sound smarter than you are? Well, why not pretend to read this too?

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Ex-Samsung CMO Joins Amazon Australia As Marketing Director
  • Marketing

Ex-Samsung CMO Joins Amazon Australia As Marketing Director

Amazon Australia has appointed former Samsung Electronics chief marketing officer (CMO) Arno Lenior to lead its marketing division. Lenior worked as Samsung’s CMO for more than three years before departing in 2015. According to his LinkedIn profile, he has also held CEO roles at VR company Virtical and brand consultancy Blue Ocean Brands, and joined […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
News Corp Names Its Car Of The Year
  • Marketing

News Corp Names Its Car Of The Year

News announces its annual Car Of The Year and it's not what you'd expect. Well, we certainly didn't expect it anyway.

Aussie Tennis Open & Country Road Announce New Partnership
  • Marketing

Aussie Tennis Open & Country Road Announce New Partnership

The Australian Open has partnered with iconic Australian clothing and lifestyle brand Country Road to supply the uniforms for next year’s tournament. Confirmed today as the official fashion lifestyle Partner of Australian Open 2018, one of Australia’s most loved brands will be worn by thousands of tournament staff at Melbourne Park in January. On-court officials including the chair and […]

Andrew O’Keefe Quits His Weekend Sunrise Duties
  • Media

Andrew O’Keefe Quits His Weekend Sunrise Duties

After 12 years with Weekend Sunrise, Andrew O’Keefe has decided to step away from his hosting and reporting duties. O’Keefe will continue his full-time role as host of Seven’s quiz show The Chase Australia, as well as focus on other projects with the Network. “The ideal job is doing work you love with people you love,” O’Keefe […]

Study: Brand Loyalty Hinges On Customer Support Experiences
  • Marketing

Study: Brand Loyalty Hinges On Customer Support Experiences

Fast and effective support will be a competitive differentiator for companies looking to win over digitally transformed customers and employees, new research has revealed. According to a study by IDC and LogMeIn titled Support Services as a Competitive Differentiator, nearly 67 per cent of consumers said that customer satisfaction was more important than price when […]

OMA Appoints Red Ant Design To Build Industry’s First Automated Proposal Platform
  • Advertising
  • Media

OMA Appoints Red Ant Design To Build Industry’s First Automated Proposal Platform

The Outdoor Media Association (OMA) has announced the appointment of Red Ant Design to build the out-oh-home (OOH) industry’s first automated proposal platform (APP). After an extensive global search and industry consultation, the decision to build the system in-house with a local Australian company was made. The APP will be built in an agile process, […]

Nick Ballard, Managing Director
Australia & New Zealand, BlisMedia
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Blis Unveils New Consumer Behaviour Analytics Tool For Maketers

Location data technology company Blis has launched an analytics tool that allows marketers to analyse consumer behaviour – from audience profiling, to exposure, to attribution – by capturing and activating mobile movement data. Smart Trends offers robust in-store consumer behavioural insights and in-store comparison of multiple location types and brands, allowing marketers to break down demographic, […]

WiTH Collective Linked By Isobar Renames Colours Of The Great Barrier Reef As Part Of New Campaign
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

WiTH Collective Linked By Isobar Renames Colours Of The Great Barrier Reef As Part Of New Campaign

The Great Barrier Reef is under threat, and WiTH Collective – part of Isobar Australia Group – has launched a social movement to protect it. The ‘Unite for the Reef’ campaign will put vivid pops of colour into millions of social media feeds as a global network of individuals united to pledge support for the future of the Great Barrier Reef.  Spearheaded […]

Imagination Unveils Creative For Sydney’s NYE 2017 Celebrations
  • Marketing

Imagination Unveils Creative For Sydney’s NYE 2017 Celebrations

The City of Sydney has unveiled the creative line-up for 2017 Sydney New Year’s Eve celebrations, including a new look and theme for Australia’s largest public event, conceived by experience agency Imagination. In its seventh year as the creative team behind the event, Imagination has set out to create a fresh, inspiring new theme and […]

Rogue Penis Radio Prank Goes Horribly Awry
  • Media

Rogue Penis Radio Prank Goes Horribly Awry

This radio prank has it all - a rogue willy, tears & humiliation. The only surprise is it doesn't have Kyle Sandilands.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Stockland Invites Aussies To ‘Share Some Unexpected Joy’ This Christmas In New TVC Via Lavender
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Stockland Invites Aussies To ‘Share Some Unexpected Joy’ This Christmas In New TVC Via Lavender

Shopping Centre group Stockland has released an emotive campaign across its 40 national social and owned media channels via CX agency Lavender. The ‘Share Some Unexpected Joy’ campaign tells the story of Lucy, a thoughtful Australian girl who recognises that just like her and her mother, some of their neighbours will be spending Christmas alone this […]

QMS Switches On Digital Transaction Platform In NZ
  • Advertising
  • Media

QMS Switches On Digital Transaction Platform In NZ

In a New Zealand first for large format roadside digital, QMS Media is launching a digital transaction platform in conjunction with Rubicon Project and Digital Commons, who will represent the product in the market. Operating on a ‘guaranteed orders’ principle, advertisers will have the opportunity to buy QMS premium digital inventory nationwide via the Rubicon […]

Clemenger BBDO Melbourne’s SNICKERS ‘Hungerithm’ Goes Global
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Clemenger BBDO Melbourne’s SNICKERS ‘Hungerithm’ Goes Global

Following its huge success locally, Clemenger BBDO Melbourne’s ‘Hungerithm’ platform it conceptualised for SNICKERS is rolling out across US and European markets. The US has been the first region to roll out the platform through a nationwide partnership with 7-Eleven’s plus-9,000 stores. The launch of the Hungerithm in the US sees the platform pick up […]

Interbrand Australia Appoints whiteGREY’s Davy Rennie As CX Director
  • Marketing

Interbrand Australia Appoints whiteGREY’s Davy Rennie As CX Director

Brand consultancy Interbrand Australia has announced the appointment of Davy Rennie as its director of customer experience (CX). In this new role, Rennie will deliver solutions across Interbrand’s clients including Telstra, Event Hospitality and Entertainment, and The Star. Rennie joins Interbrand armed with more than 10 years’ experience across digital, innovation and customer strategies. With […]

News Corp Announces New Era For The Manly Daily
  • Media

News Corp Announces New Era For The Manly Daily

News Corp Australia has announced a bold new direction for one of its community brands, the Manly Daily. In January 2018, the Manly Daily will launch two hero print editions on Wednesdays and Saturdays, complemented by an enhanced online and mobile offering. The two unmissable print editions, each with a distinct unique personality and purpose, […]