“We’ve stripped out costs, tightened up our process and become lean… and we still need more!”
What’s The Next Dimension for Business Leaders?
Most businesses have made some radical changes over the last few years. The recession has, of course, been the catalyst. It’s focused our minds, made us become leaner, meaner and more effective. Companies have been challenged to cut costs, tighten their processes and do more with less. As a result, most business leaders would probably say that their organisations are in better shape and being run with a greater degree of scrutiny. However, the forecast for the next few years look pretty bleak. Clearly more is required.
Some businesses have found that a number of their competitors have fallen by the wayside and that the market has opened up slightly. Theoretically, that should be beneficial. However, it also means that those who remain in the market are the organisations that have had the ability to weather the storm too. No doubt, they have made similar changes. They’ve adapted, re-positioned, cut costs, addressed the market and improved their processes too.
Evolutionary scientists know that competitive advantages are lost very quickly. If you survive because you are a fast runner (and all the slower runners got eaten), you’re left competing with the other fast runners. Speed is no longer a competitive advantage. So, what do you do next? Where can you gain the edge on those around you?
Many of the changes that have been made in business to date are mechanical in nature. Companies have addressed financial issues, efficiencies, leaner processes, and so forth. The next dimension for many, I believe, is the human dimension. I know that many organisations have stripped out some of the ‘dead wood’ and some have re-organised their teams. However, these changes are still mechanical. To date, I have seen relatively few businesses that have looked to gain a true competitive advantage through their people. The human dimension presents a raft of relatively untapped opportunities for companies to gain a significant competitive advantage.
How do your people think? How would you like them to think? Would a change in thinking within your team, give you an edge?
How do they respond to challenges? How mentally tough are they? How creative are they? How focused, confident and motivated? If you scored their personal performance on a daily basis, would they average an 8 or 9 out of 10, or a 6 or 7? What might happen if you had a team that consistently performed at their peak? What would happen if they were more passionate?
Imagine if the leaders in your business adopted some of the characteristics that set world-class performers apart from their peers. Would that give you a competitive advantage?
If you believe that your business would gain an edge through the human dimension, drop me a line.