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Five Barriers to Competing Better

by Kevin D. Crone

October 16, 2017
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The proof is in – 71% of employees are partially or totally disengaged and will leave us because they don’t expect to stay, unless we captivate their attention and interest enough in the business and commit to building them.

How much of the business capacity goes when this happens? Most companies who aren’t big mega-monopolies have to provide more value in the marketplace in order to grow their business. Let’s see, we have to do that with disengaged people?  It doesn’t seem smart in the long-term.

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The best solution is to snag your people’s attention and involve them in figuring out with you: what and where the business is going.  Let them play a part in where it’s going and how to get there. Telling will not gain their interest.

Does it take too long to get more results this way? I don’t know, but it seems to me it takes longer to live with long term barriers such as not being able to provide more value to your customers and constantly shrinking the capacity of your organization to provide that value.

Five Long Term Barriers:

  1. Too often managers had the time to do a SWAT analysis but interpreted it around their wants, and not necessarily around the reality in the marketplace. Internal competition over resources, department and personal agendas cause a lack of business reality thinking, and it completely incapacitates an organization on an ongoing basis to do anything progressive in the marketplace.  As a result, even when managers create good strategies few employees are connected to them and can’t carry them out. Instead, their internal focus can be the prime cause of the lack of change towards customers that drives income and higher margins.
  2. Some innovative entrepreneurs get too far ahead of their team.  Customers don’t buy because what you’re offering isn’t matching up or doesn’t seem relevant, or they don’t know about it. Your team can work on all of that, if given the chance.
  3. We all know that the pressure to produce results has gone up since 2008. That means the entire business is 95% structured for the now. It causes reactive, tense, and short term survival thinking. Stories like Bill Gates taking time off to think with his team every year and his declaration that they could be out of business within two years if they don’t, doesn’t resonate with most managers. Why? Survival certainly can cause a much needed sense of urgency but around what?  Where are you going? Where are you huffing and puffing and rushing to? Go ahead and tell me how a clear vision is useless, and you have no time to stop every now and then to figure things out with your team. I’m not just talking about goals around what you want (although that helps), but where the market is going, how is your organization structured to help your customers get there, and is your sales and marketing team connected to it?
  4. Most of what I hear about what is wrong, are operational problems and most teams can’t get around to being about their customer issues. Unless you plan to be buying your services or products, or are willing to bankroll your business, your customer is the only one who can give you money and change your results.  A vision which is about: what you are doing for customers is the only one that matters. You can create one with any team.
  5. Yes, some people can be performing poorly. You can’t coach and train a poor fit or bad hire. Move poor fits. What you can do, is have leaders create the necessary change and then become exceptional leaders. Clearly set expectations, show and coach for performance, make sure strategy shows up on the street in the form of new behaviours and hold people accountable in a genuine, helpful way. Provide training, coaching and development. In other words, be responsible for execution. It’s played on the business field with people and not just in the boardroom.

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Engage your team. Capture their attention in figuring out how to compete better.

Are you open to building and engaging your team to where you need to go to compete and to achieve more results?

What is your first step?

Kevin D. Crone
Chairman
Dale Carnegie Business Group
kdcrone@dalecarnegie.ca
(905) 826-7300

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