Business By Design (Not Circumstance)
“It is not the strongest nor the fastest of a species that survives; but the ones most adaptable to change.” Charles Darwin
The structure of business is changing. Global competition, demanding customers, and shrinking margins are all impacting how we are able to make money.
Your only competitive advantage is your people.
It has been said that, ‘People resist change’. In actuality, “People resist the uncertainty of change.” Our role as business leaders, managers and coaches is to allow people to see the true value of change and how important it really is.
When changes arrive on the scene, we hear such comments as, ‘flavour of the month’ or ‘this too shall pass’. This typical ‘right or wrong’ paradigm is costing us money!
Making money today requires investing time in thinking out execution strategies and understanding the forces of changes, by everyone within an organization. Organizations require aligned, connected and competent people to both understand how the business makes money and how to execute strategies.
A new look at business is allowing everyone a ‘stake in the outcome’. This statement may sound radical, but for many of us, this is our only option. Our challenge as leaders is to understand what people are committed to and what is important to them. Are they truly in the game?
Imagine an organization where people are able to act on initiative, and creativity. They are not afraid to make mistakes (we only learn when we make a mistake), and they all have a hand in designing the future.
Two fundamental elements of the business are required. The first is an encompassing Desired Future that everyone speaks daily. You find this future in language on the floor, instead of hanging in a lobby.
Here is a test: Listen to conversations in your organization. Do you hear conversations about the past, or about a possible future?
The second key element is a true understanding of the Current Reality that exists within the business. This reality comes from the discipline to scrutinize what is really happening both inside and outside the organization. Facing the truth and having everyone speak from this truth is essential. A number of elements that get in the way of this step include, assumptions, hidden agendas, trust, ego and fear. (List is really much longer than this.) Effective business leaders can truly identify stories versus reality.
The tension between the Desired Future and the Current Reality creates and advancing structure versus one of stagnation. The critics and cynics in ‘the stands’ are left behind.