- Posted by James Canada
Peter Drucker once said, “The past is not sufficient to explain the future.” The world of today is vastly different from the world of yesterday.
Change is the only constant.
This new world is fast-paced, where little is static, and organizations must “learn to dance” to new tunes. The old concept of business as usual is no longer the norm.
Oblivious to the need for change, many organizations are sluggish, slow-moving, and unresponsive. Change, and the ability to adapt to how change impacts us, is the role of survivors of tomorrow. To remain competitive, companies are faced with increasing productivity dramatically without increasing costs.
Competition is brutal in today’s marketplace. Many organizations try to compete by conforming to new budget requirements, which means cutting costs and laying people off. This is so common in American business that we adopted everyday diet metaphors to describe these actions. You hear phrases such as, “trimming the fat,” and “becoming lean, fit and ready to compete,” on a regular basis. Management must realize that there may be other consequences to “trimming the fat” as it relates to the customer.
Customer service personnel are so busy that they rush transactions, causing mistakes and leaving the customer feeling unimportant. New product ideas languish. Risk-taking stops because the culture of cost cutting emphasizes the certainties of cutting cost over the uncertainties and expense of trying something new.
Astute leaders can “learn to dance” to the new tunes only if they learn to accelerate change by involving their staff. Employees are the people who do the work, and will make the changes happen. Re-engineering change in you and your company is vital to implementing the change that is inevitable today, tomorrow, and in the future.
Radical Service Shift
Some executives and managers have started to make a radical shift in their thinking. They spend little time concerning themselves with cost cutting and downsizing. Instead, they understand that in the new economics of the 21st century, front-line workers and customers both need to be the center of management concern. We have to stop running our organizations with 20th century or even occasionally 19th century management styles and philosophies. We have to change our focus to our customers and employee’s needs.
In these companies, managers pay attention to the factors that drive profitability in a new service paradigm: investment in people; improvements in training for everyone; technology that supports front-line workers; better recruiting practices; and, installations of compensation programs that they link to performance for employees at every level.
Change brings out the need to know our being, as well as our doing. An organization’s greatest investment is in its employees. Employees do the heart of the work. The first customer is the company’s employee and the second customer is the external customer.
While the shift from an agricultural to an industrial society took 100 years, the present restructuring from an industrial to an information society took only two decades…we must anticipate the future.
– John Naisbitt
Jim is an operations, business development and program/project management leader with Executive Management experience in both Service and Manufacturing environments.
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