Clear the decks.
This naval, not novel, analogy is the call of many business leaders at present.
The current marketplace provides a timely and substantial opportunity to remove barriers and filters as the first steps to improving productivity, efficiency and effectiveness.
The analogy does not extend to a diving submarine or to businesses which are or are about to go underwater.
Structural, operational, personnel impediments are contributing to suboptimal performance levels.
REMOVE THE BARRIERS
Significantly, detailed reviews of and refinements to the internal aspects of businesses typically accord immediate and appreciable savings. Competitiveness improves, profit margins increase and importantly, strategic flexibility broadens.
The marketing message is simple:
“It is one thing to know the competitor.
It is best to first know thy self.”
Far too many public and private sector entities, large and small, throughout the world and in Australia in particular, suffer the adverse consequences of territorialism and silos.
Prospects for leveraged increases in revenue, customer satisfaction, loyalty, repeat and referral business “fall” between the cracks or are repelled by imaginary, perceptual and internally self imposed walls.
A change of focus, attitude and underlying culture effects a change to prospects. In the words of Alvin Toffler, the first international futurologist and author of generational
shifting book, “Future Shock “(1970):
“Old information looked at through
new perspectives creates new information”.
Greater and more collegiate internal endeavours, complemented by select and discrete external strategic alliances facilitate the establishment and maintenance of additional revenue and profit streams.
Delineations of clients and end users, or customers and consumers provide for a better understanding of the marketplace, of needs, wants and aspirations, as well as thebases for value and competitive advantage.
Ships, yachts and motor boats perform best when barnacles and flotsam are removed and hull lines are sleek. A redesign of the physical and operational architecture of an entity offers the same outcomes.
WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL
Among the consequences of creeping globalism are more complex commercial, industrial, financial and political infrastructures. The scope and capacity to control and influence many marketplace variables are limited.
However, changes to the internal aspects of an entity are within the remit of owners, managers and teammembers.
Take for example the ongoing enhancements and refinements of the supply chains of supermarkets in particular and retailers in general. Banks too have the essentials in hand for sustainable growth and increasing economic strength.
Conversely, many major mining exporters suffer the adverse economic competitive, relationship and operational consequences of obsolete and inadequate rail, freight and port facilities.
Therefore, emphasis should be given to refining and, in some instances, redefining operational philosophies and procedures. The primary intent will be to improve efficiencies, lower costs and increase marketplace impact with existing or less resources.
A “seamless” organisation structure is a virtue. It provides advantages for external and internal customers. In the latter instance team members develop a perspective and sensitivity to the contributions, needs, values and drives of those who contribute to a single, integrated set of endeavours.
Territorialism and self interest are redressed. A whole new orientation is developed, which transcends operational parameters and limitations. The underlying driving force which emerges is to satisfy client and customer needs and expectations.
The sense of team, crew if you will, and the value of others is promoted.
Anyone who has visited and inspected rural areas in which decaying silos, often with no ceilings or rooves, are located, will recall the limited vision possible as one's view turns to the sky.
Silos in organisations create similar scenarios. Horizontal perspectives broaden one's mind, perspectives and scope.
The current marketplace rewards those business owners and managers who exhibit and maintain true leadership attributes of leading values rather than people.
An integral part of the implementation of the strategic initiatives detailed in this text is the respect leaders accord team members by detailed explanations of what is required and the probable consequences.
Great skippers of high performance yachts and boats respect and adhere to the need to inform, involve and recognise crewmembers.
So, go ahead. Clear the decks. God bless for clear sailing.