So, Are You Really Future Ready?

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Change is constant. We heard that over the years. Things were changing when I was a
young boy. My grandfather told me things were changing when he was young, too. Then
what is new? The normal new is scary! It’s the ever increasing “speed of change” that challenges any business today, big or small.

Let us look at organisational transformation (OT). What is it and why is it necessary?

OT is the process of redesigning, refining and maybe reengineering business vision, strategy and processes to meet the challenges of the dynamically changing market place. Fierce  competition,innovations, market reforms, financial challenges and economic pressures make it inevitable for a business leader to respond by reforming the business.

 

Just like every Indian Army officer’s motto is the IMA Credo, engraved on the entrance of Chetwode Hall since 1932,

“The safety, honour and welfare of your country come first, always and every time. The honour, welfare and comfort of the men you command come next. Your own ease, comfort and safety come last, always and every time,”

the Business Owner’s motto could well be

“The welfare and interest of the customer comes first, always and every time; the success, progress and interest of my team comes next; my own growth and interest come last, always and every time.”

My memory goes back to 1970. The golden words engraved at the entrance of Indian Military Academy’s Chetwode Hall stand out clearly even after 48 years.

Realise how deeply the spirit was embedded in the core values of each of us, that we not only lived with it but breathed it every moment.

Business is, in many ways, similar to the battle field. Victory comes with blood and sweat. Unless a business enterprise is alert and open to mould, as per the future needs of the customer and the changing global market conditions, its survival can be extremely challenged. Innovation, imagination and inventiveness are the power words to keep a business alive in the market place. There is a need to be efficient, effective, and economical. At the same time there is a need to maintain a fine balance between cost and price point, high product and service quality. Therefore, a business needs to embrace transformation in its culture, at all cost.

FIVE TIPS TO FLOURISH

  1. Flexibility. It is wise to be open to changes and take calculated and bold risks when business so demands. Today we have the luxury of easily available data and a plethora of analytical tools, which enable us to predict futuristic trends. A visionary business leader operates ahead of the ‘predictability curve’ to create a flexible, effective and efficient business. He trains and prepares himself for the volatile, uncertain, complex and  ambiguous VUCA business environment and steers his organisations in that direction.
  2. Go Digital –Today when youngsters are asked for their preferred type of leaders, the answers point to various shades of Digital Leaders. While there is a lot of buzz around digitisation, statistics say that only 10% business can say they are fully digital.
  3. Re Strategise– Review your strategy. Is it relevant in the present and future context? Does it warrant a modification? We need to constantly review the business model, study the competition, the market dynamics and the customer needs. Remaining relevant is the key.
  4. Create Leaders and build and grow a high performing team- It is heartening to see how leaders, who can peep in the future, have clearly realised the value of people. ‘People are your greatest assets’ is more often spoken about and far lesser implemented cliche. Career growth plan and a clear intention to implement it is the backbone of retention. Every leader must be given a clear, time bound mandate of grooming his successor. Enhancing productivity through collaboration should be the fashion in the company. Rewards and recognition, fair and square, can be used as trump cards.
  5. Integration –One of the major reasons for lower efficiency of an organisation is the friction losses that exist in an organisation. Unanimity of purpose and alignment of goals is the core fibre of an organisation’s culture. This single factor is responsible for enhancing efficiency and achieving long term goals.

EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE – FROM HIRE TO RETIRE
Experience of employees is the magic that propels an organisation forward. Do they look forward to a weekend or a weekday? And the best is to look at the world through the employee’s lens. The Future Workplace and Beyond.com study entitled found that 83% of HR leaders said “employee experience” is either important or very important to their organization’s success, and they are investing more in training (56%), improving their work spaces (51%), and giving more rewards (47%). Companies are also driven to focus on creating a compelling employee experience as the war for talent heats up. Mercer predicts that 90 % of employers anticipate more competition for talent, especially in India, North America, and Asia. So making the workplace an experience allows companies to embed their culture and values in the workplace and use this to recruit and retain top talent.

What is young generation looking at? Are we keeping a close watch and monitor the pulse of employees? Their morale is critical to the culture building of the organisation. Employee engagement, welfare and well being need to be con-currently aligned with the organisational movement in that direction. This is the differentiator between an outstanding work experience from a mediocre one.

A collaborative approach, maintaining focus on these client’s needs can make a great difference:-

Productive work. People are the happiest when they do what they love doing and get a sense of its relevance to their own and company’s professional goals.

Employees love the feeling of being supported by the management as well their colleagues.

A healthy and positive work environment. This includes career growth and learning opportunities. “Teach to Learn” is something I have tried out in my corporate trainings and it works! At every stage one is given the responsibility of teaching subordinates.
Flexibility in hours of work, work from home, or choosing your work space can be great ideas to experiment with.

Trust, both in their leadership as well as in their peers is the ‘Fevicol’ that binds the team into a cohesive, bonded work force.

Innovation. This is something that needs to be encouraged at all levels. Making mistakes should be freely permitted with necessary filters and monitoring mechanisms.

In the emerging business environment, it is becoming more challenging than ever before to build and maintain an ecosystem that takes care of ongoing organisational transformation, fully integrated with employee engagement and creating an experience that attracts and retains top talent.

Author-Brigadier Sushil Bhasin is a Transformational Coach, Master Trainer, Empowering Educator, and Inspiring Author. He loves achieving and contributing to outcome-focused results by his extreme passion, innovation, creativity, and a deep sense of involvement. He empowers his learners through transformational seminars, keynotes in conferences, customized indoor sessions, energizing outbound programs, and insightful one-to-one personalized coaching. Brig Bhasin has been living his dream of making a difference to others through example, education, and empowerment. www.BrigSushilBhasin.com

 

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