People before strategy; a question you have to decide on
Back in my fathers generation, one bad egg would not have crippled a business, though in these times it would. And so how the world has changed.
As I talk in riddles I think you get what I am alluding to. People within organizations are now more powerful than ever before, yet there is a side of me that thinks that that power is misconstrued. It's not real. It's just something that is fabricated in their mindset, yet can be destroyed by the average person with a brain. The person who sees through the words that are typed onto a screen, and the person with the sour face that is writing 100 words per minute hoping for their story to be heard.
I love what the internet has done. It has made us all smarter, yet for a select few, dumber. We no longer add up in our heads, but instead on our computers. We don't think about the spelling of a word - spellcheck does that for us. We mostly don't even need to worry about grammar, that too is now fixed.
The internet has given us that and a whole lot more.
Our business strategy has been fairly consistent for 10 years, with the added touch of innovation and technology that powers us more than I ever imagined. We write this blog, and a few others. By doing so, we connect with hundreds of thousands of people. According to my Facebook account I have just over one thousand friends, and on twitter, with two accounts 76,000 followers. Not bad for a girl from Charters Towers, but not good if you compare me to some others out there like for instance a rock god or actor or even Richard Branson.
It's all changed, and we as business owners have to change too. We first thought that the golden strategy was the blueprint for our business, but as I renamed Julia Ross Recruitment quite a few years back to Human Directions, I eluded to the fact that this has changed. It's the human direction of a company that makes it a success, or in some cases not. Not strategy as our MBA counterparts may have first told us and probably continue to do so whether we choose to listen or not.
If people are first, then who owns the strategy? What is it that we all want from a strategy that is going to be so aligned that success is guaranteed? Are we all to be part of the strategy or just pawns in a game of chess?
People are everything. They choose what they do and what they do not. If a job is done properly or if it is left half finished. If your customer should do business with you or someone else. If your brand is good or if it is bad. People, yes people... have the power. So what are you as an entrepreneur going to do about it? Are you going to throw that strategy in the bin and start again letting everyone in your organization take control of your destiny? Or are you going to pretend you know everything about what they want and how they feel, and do it yourself with a swot analysis from your small leadership team?
These are questions we must ask ourselves if we truly believe that people come before strategy. Rather than talk the talk and ask journalists to write about it, how about we all start walking the walk, and include everyone from the mail boy through to the accounts clerk in where our business will be in 5 years, 10 years and perhaps even 20.
People before strategy - it's a question we have to decide upon whether we like it or not.