Relationships have played a key role in the ongoing success of Richard Joseph in a career that has spanned over 40 years. But he says that success has less to do with the actual management of the business and is more reflective of the staff he empowered and brought along with him.

Richard has, through savvy and just a touch of innate ability, come to understand it is people who make businesses profitable. He found himself the cornerstone of successful businesses in an international career spanning more than 40 years. But it was the lessons he has learned from family and friends alongside belief in others that has gotten him there.

Richard was born and raised in Dunedin before venturing to the other side of the Tasman to work for College Mercantile Pty Ltd in Melbourne in 1973. A few years later he was offered the position of General Manager of The Victorian Credit Bureau in Melbourne. This is where he learnt that when you involve staff in decision making it gives them a sense of significance, a sense that they matter, which unleashes latent discretionary effort and they commit to the business because they want to not because they have to.

That commitment by staff was a key factor in turning the Victorian Credit Bureau around. When Richard took on the role of General Manager the business was haemorrhaging money, a legacy of the autocratic leadership style of the previous owner, weak systems and processes and staff disengagement. “The staff knew what changes needed to be made to make it a healthy business so I encouraged them to voice their ideas and within six months the business had reached break even, within twelve months it was profitable and within two years we had embarked on an ambitious expansion strategy”.

Following the birth of their daughter Kate, Richard and his wife Lyn decided to return ‘home’ to Dunedin to be around family. Within a couple of months of arriving back in Dunedin, Richard and a friend started a company called Protocol Credit Bureau Ltd (PCB). PCB merged with three other companies to form Creditcorp, a public company with 14 branches throughout New Zealand.

He was the inaugural president of the NZ Credit and Finance Institute (NZCFI) from 1985 – 1989, in which time his focus was on positioning that organisation for future growth. NZCFI has gone from strength to strength in terms of membership and has been a key adviser to government and industry groups on credit related legislation, educational qualifications and industry standards.

Richard left CreditCorp to pursue his calling in the field of leadership training and personal development. Twenty-eight years ago, he formed Richard Joseph & Associates Ltd, a management consulting company based in Dunedin, with a network of associates throughout Australasia and beyond. This company employs Richard’s particular philosophy of enhancing the performance of organisations by developing the potential of the people within the organisation.

Surviving and thriving for that period of time in a high attrition and highly competitive industry such as management consulting, is no mean feat. He is proud of the fact that 95% of RJ & Assoc business is either repeat or referred. “We pay a lot of attention to what our clients want and then customise programmes to fit those requirements. We adopt a long-term partnership approach which has resulted in many loyal and enduring relationships and friendships being formed over the years”.

The present day finds Richard at the head of Richard Joseph and Associates, where he and his close-knit staff coach and consult a myriad of businesses throughout NZ. He is confident about the future of his company, with a team of skillful, talented and enthusiastic young women who pretty much run things now. Richard believes we live in the best city, in the best country in the world and is grateful to all the people who have made Richard Joseph & Associates what it is today.

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