Senior Business Strategist Geoff Abbott joined the team at Business Benchmark Group in October 2015. A seasoned senior executive; business leader; consultant; and business coach, Geoff brings an inquiring mind and a wealth of experience to the team. He’s succeeded as a senior executive in manufacturing, banking and finance, heavy engineering, and in the Public Sector. He’s lived the business cycles of growth, steady state and downsizing; created functions, re-shaped businesses and worked to ensure clarity, accountability and value creation. He’s thrived in family businesses, parent companies, subsidiaries; and takeovers and divestments.
Geoff’s early career included working in Industrial Relations representing the employer in pay and conditions claims, dismissal reinstatement cases, and award interpretations in both State and Federal systems. His strength was his negotiating skills and pragmatic approach to achieving win: win outcomes. He knows how to build and excel a high performance team
Career promotions included working in increasingly senior roles in heavy engineering in the power generation and distribution industry in Tasmania, Queensland and NSW. Roles included leading and managing HR, Finance, Supply, Safety, Workforce planning, Job sizing, Remuneration, Training & Development, Employee Assistance and Organisation Development
He headed up the HR function in the Brisbane City Council (10,000 employees) and was part of the leadership team that improved the financial management, operational performance and service quality across the Council.
He was head hunted for the role of Chief Manager, later General Manager Group HR, in Australia’s 5th largest bank. In addition to impact across subsidiary companies and global HR strategies, he was a member of the Board’s Appointments and Remuneration Committee and led major improvement projects in Performance Management across multiple functions, and Remuneration setting; and improving Customer service at significantly lower cost. Aligning retail, corporate and commercial banking activities through a major organisation development strategy led to improved systems, accountability and clarity for customers.
Geoff moved to Telstra where he was accountable for the HR value add for a group of 28,600 staff across Australia. He was a member of 2 significant change projects which improved performance at lower cost, enhanced alignment internally resulting in service reliability and improved time to market with new products. He presented to the Board HR Committee to improve individual and team capability; and the identification and growth of high potential staff and future leaders.
He worked as Chief Operating Officer in food manufacturing where he led a team that grew the business, exported to the USA and built a new factory to cope with forecast increased demand. Reducing waste, implementing operational planning with better alignment between sales, manufacturing and inventory led to improved margins, lower inventory and improved confidence.
Geoff set up business and for over 15 years he grew a team and consulted and coached to clients in SA, Victoria, NSW, Queensland and Alabama, USA. He worked with businesses to improve performance through – effective leadership and management practices; getting more value from overheads; improving customer service; increasing sales; and ensuring alignment and teamwork. He’s facilitated workshops in business planning, strategic priorities and execution actions Follow on activities meant better integrated systems, processes and organisation. He’s achieved this through coaching in 1 on 1, group and paired settings, returning between 21 to 400 times ROI.
Geoff is married and enjoys his family life – with a daughter who lives in the USA (thank goodness for Skype) and a son (and grandson) in Melbourne, Geoff’s interests extend to footy, business innovations, electronics and working out at Heavy Haulers.