Success waits for no one. Moreover, everyone needs to value success for it to be attainable and sustainable.
Dispel immediately the myth that the Global Financial Crisis is behind us and that we will all profit from the evitable cyclical upturn which is bound to arrive shortly.
Nothing is inevitable! Just ask the players from the soccer (football) teams which were eliminated early from the World Cup series in South Africa. Similar lessons were had for the 127 losers in each of the respective men's and women's Wimbledon Tennis championships.
The best laid plans of men and mice, complemented by analysis of each competitor, account for little if one's strategies are too predictable, risk averse and mainstream. Some else was at play.
The fundamental attributes of success in the contemporary, dynamic marketplace are flexibility, malleability, responsiveness, anticipation, assertiveness and above all else, spontaneity and a better understanding of the values of those with whom one wishes to deal.
In short, set game plans have limited application. Centralised decision making is slow, cumbersome and disadvantageous. Delegated authority is a virtue.
Deftness of foot and mind are to be valued, for it will be rewarded.... on the football ground, around the tennis court and in offices, shops and plants throughout the world.
The fluidity of current market forces has been instrumental in an orientation to the “Why” and “What”, rather than the “How” focus in business transactions.
Confidence in one's team members enables leaders to address the desired, optimal and minimal “bottom line” and outcomes. Look no further than the Italian and French football (soccer) teams for examples of the relevance and importance of the team cohesion and shared values.
How the goal is achieved is less important, subject to adherence of accepted and established corporate philosophies and principles, together with respect for the prevailing social mores.
An acid test in the measure and comprehension of both the “Why” and “What” and the “How” is the ability of all team members to honestly and accurately respond with, “I understand”.
Many instances of suboptimal performance or inappropriate behaviour arise because teams, groups and individuals “do not understand”.
FAMILY BUSINESS VALUES
The essence of the ongoing success of family based businesses is not ownership, nor appointments to senior positions of family members.
It is the underlying values and sense of family that most contribute to cohesion, stability among the employees, customer satisfaction and sustainable competitive advantage.
People, stakeholders if you will, value and respect a sense of belonging, regardless of the ownership and shareholding structure.
Therefore, more care, attention and effort are needed by business leaders to promote and inculcate family values throughout an entity. The emotional and emotive rewards and returns will be reflected in the attainment of key performance indicators.
Members of better “families” talk, share, support, contribute and exhibit pride in being part. Titles and positional power account for little. Everyone knows who is the boss.
What matters most is doing the right thing ......for everyone. In business parlance that is a “Win-Win” situation.
A POSITIVE PRECEDENT
Within one week of Julia Gillard being installed as Prime Minister of Australia, media reports appeared with the headlines:-
“PM TO CLEAR THE DECKS”
The new incumbent identified the need to finalise or remove from the political agenda the issue of financial stimuli, centring on home insulation, the Better Education Revolution building program and the Emissions Trading Scheme proposal. She also declared intent to negotiate a mutually acceptable resolution with the mining industry regarding the contentious Resource Super Profits Tax legislation. A deadline of 10 days was set for the finalisation of the negotiations.
The expressions and actions reflect the words of a nationalistic song:-
“We are one, we are Australians”
Those are great values.
It is typical for Australians and those of other nationalities to come together in support of their respective national Olympic Games competitors, football, basketball, netball, cricket and general sporting teams. Consequently, it seems little to ask for everyone to “do the right thing” and contribute to the sense of and enjoy the benefits and advantages, which are innate to a “family” sentiment in business.
Sustainable success in business often begins with effective recruitment processes.
In “tight” labour markets, where employment rates are at or near full, it can be difficult to attract appealing job applicants. A strong focus on the available position, its duties, responsibilities, salary and employment conditions can elicit an enormous response from a non selective audience of aspirants.
Astute companies and Human Resource managers are tending towards marketing the company brand and its innate characteristics as a means for people to “self- screen” their appropriateness for the entity and its values, rather than their aptitude and qualifications for the position.
The process continues with the induction of new recruits into the values of a business. Many mining companies have a strong emphasis on, and commitment to safety, better manufacturing entities promote the importance of occupational health and safety. Clearly, respect for and adherence to values ensures a “better fit” of people into a business.
A GLARING GAP
Internationally, marketers are conducting studies into the relative recent declines in the effectiveness of advertising, marketing, merchandising and promotional campaigns.
Research findings have isolated key casual and contributing factors, which of themselves have been the catalysts, for a new field of market research. “Sentiment Mining” involves the isolation and review of the use and application of key words.
Careful analysis of key and common words used on Facebook and YouTube has actually enabled marketers to develop new, unique and effective profiles of existing and prospective clients and customers.
Insights on word-usage, emotions and specific expressions has enabled improved effectiveness and response rates from advertising, marketing and broader communications.
A better understanding of the values which influence and determine interest in and demand for products and services reinforce and endorse the contention that success is a values thing.