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For too long this community has sat on its hands believing BHP is here for the duration, but there has to be life after BHP leaves or winds down its operations in Whyalla. If we have to the year 2010 to find and support both existing and new industries and small businesses, it will require a huge effort from the community leaders in the various organizations who promote or facilitate economic development in the city to put sectional and factional interests out of the equation, to plan a course for the survival of Whyalla. For the establishment of Whyalla as Resource Processing Hub it will require a total commitment by all parties, especially small business and community input with visionary leadership and the involvement of all to ensure the success of the proposed strategy.
The pressure on organizations in Whyalla to change will only increase over the next decades. Community leaders and managers face many demands from many sources and from a changing environment. The future is now for those organizations promoting or facilitating economic development and the business and commerce sector with their managers or leaders to face the challenges as Whyalla competes in the global economic environment. Competition and the global economy are changing the way Whyalla business, industry and community leaders operate in local environment within the national and state governments economic strategies. Leadership, the process of inspiring others to work hard to accomplish important tasks (Schermerhorn, 1993). Leading change needs a detailed road map, complete with warning signs pointing out likely hazards.
Knowing what leadership is really about is the vexing problem, as well as getting people to follow you in Whyalla. Leadership appears to be the art of getting others to want to do something that you are convinced should be done. Since the closure of the Whyalla Shipyard the community has witnessed change in organizations which have been rather significant to the local economy over the past two decades. Whyalla faces more challenges as local businesses and industries compete in a global economic environment, and these forces will be evident as the Year 2000 approaches. To date, BHP Steel Long Products Division have made major change efforts which have helped its organization but it appears that on the surface other local businesses and industries have not improved their competitive standing in the global economy (BHP Review, 1996). The down side of change is certain, especially when it comes to the local community who do not seem to see it as urgent, the pain is noticeable.
Local businesses and industries should not make the biggest mistake when trying to change within its organization, that is, to plunge ahead without establishing a high enough sense of urgency in managers and their employees. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Whyalla City Council and Whyalla Economic Development Board working together have to create the climate to get people out of their comfort zones. This task force does not want to fall into the bad committee status, slow, political and aggravating and most of the work is done by a few dedicated people.
Urgency and an effective commanding team are necessary but are insufficient condition for a major change in attitude and thinking. Vision is identified as an essential ingredient of effective leadership (Schermerhorn, 1993). When all the major players in the local community have a sensible shared vision on economic development realize it plays a key role in producing useful change by helping to direct, align and inspire actions on the rest of the community. Whenever you cannot describe the vision driving a change initiative within five minutes or less and get a reaction both understanding and interest, you are in for trouble (Kotter, 1996).
Major change in Whyalla is usually impossible unless the three major players facilitating economic development have adopted or adapted a SHARED VISION which has been generated through the local community and they own it. Without credible communication, and a lot of it, local businesses and industries’ hearts and minds are never captured (Kotter, 1996). The implementation of any kind of major change in Whyalla requires the three major players to support it by actions and words. Perhaps worst of all the roadblocks are only in people’s heads and the challenge is to convince them that no external barriers exist. In change initiatives that fail, it requires a systematic effort to guarantee apparent victories within six to eighteen months are much less common. In Whyalla once accepted after two years, businesses and industries can be tempted to declare victory in a major change effort with the first major performance improvement. Typically, the problems start early in the process; the urgency level is not intense enough, the guiding coalition is not powerful enough, the vision is not clear enough. By declaring victory too soon it is like stumbling into quicksand on the road to meaningful change.


Whyalla has to see that two factors are important in cementing in new approaches in an organization or firm’s culture. Anchoring a change also requires that sufficient time to be taken to ensure that the next generation of industry, business and community leaders and managers really embody the new approach. Smart leaders and managers miss the mark here when they are insensitive to cultural issues. In Whyalla industries and business people who have been through difficult, painful, and not a very successful change efforts often end up drawing both pessimistic and angry conclusions. Kotter (1996), draws a different conclusion from the available evidence that most community and corporate organizations can be significantly improved, at an acceptable cost, but that we often make terrible mistakes when we try because history has simply not prepared us for transformational challenges. Local corporate bodies, industries and business has to see how useful change tends to be associated with an eight stage change process that creates power and motivation sufficient to overwhelm the forces resisting it. The methods used in successful transformations are based on one crucial perception: that a significant change will not happen for many reasons. Kotter (1996), summarizes the steps producing a successful change of any magnitude which could be applied in the local community.
Using increased credibility to change all systems, structures and policies that do not fit together and do not fit the transformation vision.
Local business and industry look at hiring, promoting or developing people who can implement the change vision. Creating better performance through customer-and productivity-oriented behavior, more and better leadership, and more effective management.
When implementing this is aware that people under pressure to show quick results will often try to jump ahead - it could two or four stages - in a major change effort. Other traps to consider do not fail to reinforce earlier stages as you progress through, as a result of a sense of urgency weakens or the bipartisan group breaks up. It will be necessary to remove the self imposed pressure, firms and organizations put themselves under, because they feel the need to produce. Whyalla Economic Development Board monitoring this change process need to inform the business, industry or corporate body that will be implementing the multiple steps and possibly multiple projects, the end result is often complicated, untidy, dynamic, and frightening to those managers, directors and individuals. Question: So why would an intelligent person rely too much on simple, linear, analytical processes? It is important for the Whyalla Economic Development Board to distinguish between management and leadership. Kotter (1996), leadership is a set of processes that creates organizations in the first place or adapts them to significantly changing circumstances.
When examining Figure 2 it highlights that successful transformation is 70 to 90 per cent leadership and only 10 to 30 per cent management. Establishing direction: developing a vision of the future - often the distant future- and strategies for producing the changes needed to achieve that vision. Aligning People: communicating direction in words and deeds to all those whose cooperation may be needed so as to influence the creation of teams and coalitions that understand the vision and strategies and accept their validity. Motivating and inspiring: energizing people to overcome major political, bureaucratic, and resource barriers to change by satisfying basic, but often unfulfilled, human needs. Produces a degree of predictability and order has the potential to produce the short-term results expected by the various stakeholders. Produces change, often to a dramatic degree, and has the potential to produce extremely useful change. Over many years the local community has developed many business and industries, with other corporate bodies, who have been entrenched in management practices. Kotter (1996), believes this emphasis on management has often been institutionalized in our business and corporate cultures that discourages both managers, staff and employees to lead.
In the local community it appears to be a combination of cultures that resist change and managers who have not been taught how create change is causing problems and barriers. It will require a lot of time and energy to ensure a return on investment by the Whyalla Economic Development Board communicating a new sense of direction to the local community. Whyalla Economic Development Board leading by example will not be able to declare victory too soon but think in the terms of the celebrating short term gains but ensuring the long term objectives are met. Kotter (1996), transformations take sacrifice, dedication, and creativity, none of which usually comes with pressure. The time is now for the Whyalla Economic Development Board to start the change process inside the local business, industry and corporate bodies in Whyalla, as it would become less of a problem if the business environment would soon slow down and stabilize.


With global pressure influencing the local business and industry sector credible evidence suggests the opposite: the rate of external and environmental movement will continue to grow and the pressures on local industry and business to transform themselves will continue to grow beyond 2000.
Whyalla Economic Development Board understand that the only rational solution is to learn more about what creates successful change and pass that knowledge onto the local community via seminars, forums and training sessions to all members of the community who are interested in expanding economic development initiatives. The end result for the community how quickly you improve the quality of products and services available to those who need it, business and industry increase productivity, lower costs, and importantly innovate. Innovation is an important linkage to a change program especially for the local business and industry including corporate bodies. The Whyalla Economic Development Board need to convince and inspire our leaders of the Whyalla Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as our small and medium sized industries and businesses that transforming themselves into innovate enterprises is a vital step for sustained export growth leading to creating employment opportunities in the community. Then it requires a bipartisan approach made up of political leaders, industry, business and community organizations to address the formulation of an agenda in an Economic Development Forum.
Whyalla Economic Development Board must provide an environment for local firms and organizations to experiment and learn about establishing linkages for innovation. This may require a government kick-start to implement this process through demonstration programs. Once the agenda is set by the Economic Development Forum, government needs to systematically identify barriers to change and act quickly with the Whyalla Economic Development Board to remove them. Whyalla working through the Whyalla Economic Development Board needs a Leadership Development Plan which will provide our future business, industry and community leaders with a program which emphasizes the critical importance of a change, creativity, innovation, people skills, motivation and enterprise. It also needs the urgent collaboration of business, industry, government and community leaders to grapple with the challenge of being part of a regional economy in a global market place where capital and talent are freely moving across international borders. As a community and in the industry and business sector they must reduce their dependence on governments. There is an urgent need for us to work together to create and develop a more enterprising community.
To gauge the success of the Leadership Development Program the Whyalla Economic Development Board with our community leaders have to provide a framework which supports the development of the Whyalla future manager to achieve leadership skills. Whyalla Economic Development Board be seen actively adopting quality best practice management practices by experimentation programs in the local community. Whyalla Economic Development Board to encourage business and industry, including community leaders to seek continuous improvement in leadership management development training through its links to government. In closing, Whyalla needs leadership programs which stress the critical importance of change, creativity, innovation, people skills, motivation and enterprise.
The future can only be successful through the leadership of people from business, industry, universities, all tiers of government and community which will participate in creating our future, championing it, once it is developed and importantly pursued its implementation.
Manufacturing Council (1993), The Wealth of Ideas - How Linkages Help Sustain Innovation and Growth. Review, (1996), BHP’s Vision and Values, John Prescott, BHP Managing Director, Vol 74, pp22. R Schermerhorn, Jr (1993), Management for Productivity, 4th Edition, John Wiley & Sons, New York, pp408, 410, G8 Glossary. FREE browser upgrades are available for the latest versions of Firefox, Chrome, Safari or Internet Explorer. Whenever smart and well-intentioned people avoid confronting obstacles, they disempower other businesses and industries and undermine change. Local businesses and industries have to either assume that good things will happen or become caught up with a grand vision that do not worry much about the short term. For example new products that customers want, new approaches to labor relations that help make a firm more competitive. They will need to agree on the strategies needed to achieve the agenda which is put in place. Kotter (1990), From A Force For Change: How Leadership Differs From Management, The Free Press.



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