For 20 years, accountancy firm Deloitte has compiled an annual list of Canada’s best-managed companies.
Peter Brown, a senior partner for the firm in Toronto, thought it was time to share its secrets.
Peter Brown, a senior partner at Deloitte, speaks to the St. John’s Board of Trade at the Sheraton on Wednesday. — Photo by Daniel MacEachern/The Telegram
Brown — who for several years worked for Deloitte in St. John’s — spoke at the St. John’s Board of Trade’s luncheon meeting Wednesday about the ways successful companies grow, the lessons from which are part of his book “Power of the Best,” co-authored by John Hughes, national leader of the Canada’s Best Managed Companies program.
“We wanted to celebrate it,” he said. “We’re passionate about these companies. When you read the paper every day … you often read about the big, big guys.
“You read about the banks and the energy companies, and they’re a very important part of our economy. But you don’t read about these great entrepreneurs and the teams and the businesses they’ve built. For me it’s inspiring to know that they can do it, and to study the practices of these great companies, so we just wanted to share their stories.”
Every year in the judging for the best-managed companies honours, Power said, themes emerge that help explain what makes a company successful.
“It might be … productivity, strong focus on innovation, on leadership, on building a great team and talent management,” he said. “All of these companies, they’re not rocket-science companies. They’re just well-run. And part of the reason why they’re well-run is they’ve spent a lot of time thinking about and communicating what’s important, and they focus on what’s important, and they don’t focus on the things that aren’t important. They don’t get distracted.”
A common mistake for companies is spending too much time on strategy and not enough time on execution, said Brown. Other companies might get tripped up by focusing too much on one person — perhaps the CEO — as the star of the company.
“They often don’t build a team, and they make it about the entrepreneur,” he said.
“These companies are best-managed companies, not entrepreneur. It’s all about: have they built the team that gets it done? Because one person doesn’t move a mountain. It takes a lot of people to move a mountain.”