06 Nov. 2012 | Comments (0)
- Knowledge- It is our pace of learning that drives our pace of change. Leaders must make investments that enable a growth of ideas, innovation, and creative solutions to new problems. Learning must be a daily activity and embedded in the job. Forget the old fashioned training programs. Invest, instead, in those things that increase learning on the job and provide unique experiences, such as staff rotations and peer dialogue.
- Customer intelligence - Customers today are more aware and better informed than ever, and a globalized world means businesses are no longer protected by domestic boundaries. You now compete both on quality and price with the best in the world. How should you respond? By letting customers drive your change. Listen carefully to them. Involve their ideas and feedback in product development, and don’t waste money educating them. Instead, invest your money learning from them.
- Relationships - Invest in your alliances. The mantra of today’s economic world is “we win together, and we lose alone.” Find your allies, cooperate to increase your reach, and reduce your cost. Outsource and reduce overheads. A lean and collaborative business that plays to its strengths has a better chance of navigating the future, when compared to a siloed, lumbering megalith. In this new world, collaboration trumps complexity any day.
- Experimentation - For 30 years, authors and consulting firms have tried to convince us that success can be copied. By adopting a GE process, we can become the next GE. Sounds incredulous, but it’s true. We have spent billions of dollars and millions of hours trying to be someone else. The age of best practices is dead. The age of experimentation is upon us. Now, invest the same money and time in trying to be your best self. Invest in developing your own methods, products, and strategy. Remember, inquisitiveness is still a virtue, but copy less and experiment more.
- The Employment Contract –Arguably, this factor is the most important of the five. Today, data tells us that the contract between employee and employer is at its weakest point in recent history. In good years, voluntary employee attrition goes through the roof, and in bad years, layoffs do the same. Trust is eroding, and eroding fast. This situation needs our focus and investment – and just throwing more money at talent isn’t the answer. If they don’t enjoy coming to work, more money may make their bodies turn up, but their minds will still be in bed.