Renaissance Brings Your Business Out of the Dark Ages
How incredibly ironic is it that in today’s advanced global business economy we find most businesses are in the Dark Ages when it comes to increasing profits for their organization?
The effects of this failed leadership and management under-achievement are seen in the results: lackluster bottom-line results, poor staff morale, declining employee loyalty and unproductive time and energy dedicated to ineffective meetings, deployment of money, utilization of resources, and opportunities not effectively capitalized upon (realize lost opportunity costs are exponential).
In the end, revenue is vital for a company, but it’s all for nothing without the right margins.
- Why do most businesses fail at revenue and profit growth?
- Why is quality lead generation and sales force effectiveness always a problem?
- Are you constantly looking for “star players” to add to your team to fix your problems?
- In what ways do profits relate to how your employees & customers feel about your company and its leadership, management and support?
- How much is innovation and customer experience excellence ingrained in your strategies and tactics?
Chances are, you weren’t able to easily or satisfactorily answer that group of questions about the very lifeblood of your business’s keys to success. In today’s fast-paced global business world, you will sadly, but inevitably, find that the majority of business leaders are chasing their tails; scrambling ineffectively to keep up with the changing landscape of business. That’s certainly true at least in the sense that they constantly fight the economy, competition, employee resistance, internal politics, external trends, evolving customer demands, cash flow issues, innovation issues and customer experience challenges. Not to mention that sometimes in business, things just go wrong. And none of those issues even addresses their core business processes like how effectively and efficiently they manufacture their ‘widget’, and in this context that widget could be a product or a service. Just as Europe needed to emerge from the Dark Ages centuries ago, today’s business leadership must emerge from the business Dark Ages into the bright light of the demands placed upon us all in this new digital age.
As a result of all the challenges to sustaining a business and growing it, leaders must constantly look to transform their businesses, lifting them to the next level and allowing them to succeed and prosper in the face of unprecedented change both across virtually every industry and on a global scale never before experienced. Unfortunately, most leaders really do not know what the next level is or how to get there. Most companies are stuck in the rut of trying the same old solutions over and over again to grow revenues and profits, only to be left wondering why it doesn’t work.
There is, however, good news for the leaders of businesses struggling with such dilemmas. There is a solution, and it is called RENAISSANCE. Just as the world embraced a new era of enlightenment as it emerged from the Dark Ages, so too can businesses transform and evolve to the next paradigm of performance and profit. The best part is that this can happen through better quality and care with your existing people and customers. Growth stems from within.
- All businesses like to say “our employees are our best asset” or “the customer is king”, but how often is this actually the case in the real world of business?
- If hooked up to a polygraph machine, would employees and customers agree that your business makes them feel like those two statements are actually true rather than simply overused business platitudes?
Introducing A New Approach… Renaissance
Reengineer… you seek change, so the process starts with a conscious decision and a rational change plan to leverage your existing structure using innovation. This will be a custom plan for your company and customer experience. Spending more money to win business is not the goal. Spending the same or less money to win business and keep customers is the goal, and it is achievable. Planning and development are critical steps and require senior executive leadership backing the process and managing the results. Most important of all, though, is buy-in from your people so the Theory of Constraints and Accelerant Theory can be implemented as key underpinnings of the process.
Energize… change means involving all your people, prospects and customers. Change means resistance to change is attacking you before you even get start the change process. Getting the buy-in with the right people, and building a foundation for the plan that has champions involved, is critical to your success. Excitement and optimism is a must from all levels of management and throughout the organization to impact behaviors. This is not just a new strategy; it’s a cultural change, and as such needs to permeate the entirety of the business. Remember, just because “change is the only constant in life” doesn’t mean people like change, in fact, typically, most of your staff will be initially resistant. One surprising secret is that the biggest resistor to change is often times you!
Nominate… people follow leaders as part of instinctive human nature. Sociological studies consistently indicate that 80% to 90% of people are natural followers, which means they tend to seek leadership. To manifest planned change and impact behaviors, these people need identified champions that lead them, based on executive leadership’s vision, so the organization must align strategic direction from the top to the bottom. Champions need clear expectations, training, support, and mentoring so they can communicate the acquired knowledge to your front line people (train the trainers). Only people can raise the performance bar in your organization, not technology, which is simply a tool. And people will only raise the bar if you empower them to do so in a vested manner that allows them to buy-in and bring innovation.
Apply Integrated Shared Services (Selling) … shared services is, of course, a well-established business practice to make businesses more efficient and lean. Maximizing your people’s time on their specific ‘mission critical’ tasks is your secret weapon. The key to leveraging what you already have is in allowing your people to focus on what you expect and reward them for. For example, your salespeople need more time with buyers, not focused on administrative tasks. Your marketing people need more time focused on tasks that create more face time for your sellers and buyers to be able to interact. Administration and support personnel pay is less than pay to top performers in marketing and sales, yet top performer time studies reveal lots of time spent on non-mission critical tasks. This is a classic scenario involving working smarter, not harder.
Accelerate… when it is time to execute your plan, speed is vital as is the need to make sure reward & recognition is functioning properly. The plan must have regimented communication in place, and support at all levels of the company, with clear expectations and accountability for every objective being implemented by the entire team. Vertical communication from top-to-bottom, and timely individual accountability tied to measurable results, maintain your people’s buy-in, but only if reward & recognition are aligned. Despite the need for prompt action, this is a major cultural shift. As such, it is imperative to plan at least one-to-two years for your transformation to completely manifest, even though you will establish and pass milestone markers along the way that impact the bottom line.
Negate… overcoming barriers and resistance will be necessary from start to finish for your program. Three types of barriers will exist. Remember that “only babies with wet diapers like change”. People naturally resist change and will be the first category of barriers to identify and alleviate in the re-engineering, energizing and nominating steps. The second resistance category involves the internal process and procedural barriers to change. This is why buy-in and vertical communication makes or breaks your plan. The third resistance category involves external challenges and marketplace barriers. The power to negate barriers and resistance comes from identifying and better understanding all barriers and the root causes of the underlying resistance so the plan evolves and can overcome these challenges.
Communicate… the number one complaint and problem employees and managers raise in companies across the globe is communication. Even organizations with terrific internal communication engines typically fall short in some areas. From start to completion, your program’s success hangs in the balance depending on how well you communicate. The goal must be to focus on vertical communication of aligned objectives from top-to-bottom and be sure to include customers, because doing so enables transformation to flourish through your people. Getting all the groups, teams, units, or divisions to communicate and work together has to be addressed in any transformation. Special attention to communication strategy and tactics must be custom designed upfront and improved along the way to support your expectations of your people’s performance and the customer experience.
Evolve… planning and doing are two different animals. People execute best when they feel they are part of the plan’s creation. With proper attention to the previous 8 steps, execution will be the critical final element required for your organization to be positioned for success. Having a unifying program/plan name along with a designated time frame is essential to evolving your business. Certifying your people’s progress along the path of implementation is also vital. The greatest tactic at your disposal will be bringing the accountability of expectations full circle with advanced development of metrics, KPI (key performance indicators) and dashboards. Sales results come from successful activities in key customer contact/experience areas so successful plans must focus and measure these areas.
It’s time for a RENAISSANCE in your business in order to overcome excuses and bring results in the form of stellar bottom-line results, high employee morale & retention, increased employee loyalty, and a higher standard of effectiveness across the length and breadth of your organization. Call C-Level Global to start your organization’s Renaissance today.