I’ve been pondering something. What if a business had a fitness tracker (e.g., Fitbit) gauging its activity? Although that may sound rather ridiculous, here are a few factors that I feel should be evaluated and monitored.
Busyness versus good business
Numerous companies seem to spend an inordinate amount of time running the place. Each individual within the operation appears plenty busy, but the frenetic energy is not driving the company forward. Instead, the organization is paralyzed. Every person is literally stymied by their own individual projects or activities and the coordination is not productive for the business at large. In other words, they are stagnant.
Siloes rather than collaboration
In this age of email, technology, and time compression, I am convinced that real collaboration is being sacrificed. Rather than face-to-face conversations that can quickly and efficiently resolve a question or move a project to the next level, many rely on email strings (and don’t get me started on the “tone” of some emails and their potential misinterpretation) rather than good, old-fashioned dialogue. In addition, projects are often subdivided into a series of small, individual parts with aggressive timelines which runs the risk of individuals concentrating only on what is in front of them in lieu of remaining focused on the end game and bigger picture. The result of these siloed tasks are likely slow-moving, iterative deliverables as compared to collaboratively-developed breakthroughs.
Accidental instead of intentional
For organizations that lack of focus tends to be more lethargic when implementing change or adapting to emerging trends and market opportunities, their new product development or innovation efforts are often accidental. Conversely, for those companies who are positioning themselves to invent their future, product ideation is intentional and focused. It is this forward-thinking, continually-moving model that prevents the organization and its team from becoming stale and eventually lagging behind the market.
Reactive opposed to proactive
Reactive business strategies are those that take action in response to unanticipated events after they occur. On the other hand, proactive strategies are structured to anticipate possible obstacles and challenges. Although no-one can predict the future, every possibility that lurks around the corner, or be proactively poised in every situation, there is a distinctive difference between these two company constructs. If an organization is truly committed to progressive growth, proactivity is the best path forward.
It’s time to make waves in your business. Don’t risk stagnation — instead imagine an activity tracker monitoring your company that is continually observing your pace, your positive energy, and your company’s ability to move to the next level. What if you quickly implement insights derived from research or you accelerated your marketing plans to create a frenzy of sales activity? What would your company’s score be if 1,000 was optimal for organizations that dictate the pace of business based on today’s competitive environment and rate of change? If your score was predicated on a corporate culture that was constantly evolving, adjusting, adapting, and inventing? I believe such an activity tracker would be eye-opening for most organizations. Change is difficult and risk taking is not easy. However, as Albert Einstein suggested, continuing to do the same thing you’ve always done expecting different results is insanity.
Perhaps you’re curious why I entitled this post “Making Waves.” I wanted to end with a vivid picture that may help you get your company moving and increase its energy. Imagine a small pond that has absolutely no movement. Water stagnation occurs when water stops flowing. In other words, inaction causes stagnation. It’s time to make waves.
Dave Wendland is vice president, strategic relations and co-owner of Hamacher Resource Group, a company focused on improving results across the retail supply chain located near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He directs business development, product innovation and marketing communications activities for the company and has been instrumental in positioning HRG among the industry’s foremost thought leaders. You may contact him at (414) 431-5301 or learn more at Hamacher.com.