Do You Know How Responsive Your Organization Really Is?

What Darwin said about species also applies to business. In today’s overly competitive and ever-changing business environment, only the strong survive.

It’s true. Anyone and everyone is online selling stuff, and to be successful you’ve got to be innovative, adaptable, and responsive.

So, what happens when things don’t go as planned? (Because they always go as planned, right?)

Actually, a better question is this: How do you know things aren’t going as planned?

Issues you should not be having

One way to tell if they are going as planned is that you shouldn’t have these issues:

  • Low innovation and lack of agility to respond to changing conditions;
  • Poor organizational and customer communication;
  • Unclear mission and vision, and stale strategy;
  • Lack of repeat business and brand loyalty;
  • Negative culture and lack of clear identity;
  • Process redundancies and inefficiencies.

WHY should you care about addressing these issues?

Ignoring these problems will not make them go away (no matter how hard you try). It will only negatively impact your productivity and profitability – making you less competitive and impacting your long-term success.

If these issues are not addressed your business may experience:

  • A decline in profits and decreased shareholder or investor value;
  • Increased competitor market share;
  • Continued productivity declines;
  • Ongoing loss of customers.

To be most productive and successful you need to be responsive. Your organization must be agile, and easily adaptable to internal and external changes.

You can’t achieve ongoing productivity and high performance without being agile and responsive. And you can’t achieve ongoing sustainability and profitability until you achieve ongoing productivity and high performance. So, being a responsive organization is an imperative step to long-term success.

But first things first: Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you tackle some of the frequent problems impacting your ability to be more responsive:

Strategy & Process

Review your strategy– is it up to date, actionable, and flexible to changing conditions? Is the strategy tied to your mission and vision? Are your people actually held accountable for execution of the strategy?

In simple terms – does it make sense and support your direction? And your processes: do they support your strategy, enhance product and service delivery, increase customer satisfaction? Are they easy to understand and easy to follow?

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Organization Design

Take a look at how your organization is structured. Do you have the right people in the right place? Does your structure support strategy execution? Is your organization designed to best service your customers?

Does your structure allow for flexibility? Have you looked at other ways to design your organization to help adapt to changing conditions? Is your organization structured in a way that is conducive to supporting your business objectives?

Leadership Development & Coaching

Increased leadership awareness and organizational communication builds trusted relationships. Trusted relationships help employees feel safe to share ideas, concerns and innovations – all increasing productivity and profit.

Not all leaders excel at this. Sometimes it takes a bit of coaching and development. Is your organization open to leadership development and coaching? Do you have a learning culture? Does your organization provide a safe environment for your people to speak up? Are your leaders approachable, honest and transparent? Do you allow for feedback and idea exchange in all directions?

If you’re struggling to solve the profitability and growth equation, stop thinking sales, sales, sales. You need to look inside.

You need to set the stage for true profitability and long-term growth by focusing on your customers and your employees – because being more responsive and productive can help lead you to be more profitable.

This was originally published on the Tolero Think Tank blog.

Scott Span, MSOD, is CEO & Lead Consultant of Tolero Solutions, an Organization Improvement & Strategy firm. He helps clients in achieving success through people, creating organizations that are more responsive, productive and profitable -- organizations where people enjoy working and customers enjoy doing business. 

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