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Season's Good Wishes

Overcome the Negatives of Globalisation

We all know, and it is universally acknowledged, that globalisation has dramatically increased competition and created unprecedented demands to be more responsive to customer needs and to do more with less. Down-sizing, outsourcing and off-shoring are all direct consequences of this.  Another manifestation has been to make organisations flatter, with less layers of management. Yet, while all these steps seem to have been unavoidable, you cannot help but wonder if they haven’t become a fashion. Is it perhaps inevitable that increased competition creates a follow-the-leader mentality, whereby actions instituted by high-profile leaders and organisations, created a standard solution that all businesses need to follow?

Maybe it is and that is just “the way of the world”. However, it is still worth asking the question. Not least because it is also possible, perhaps even probable, that the global reduction in employee engagement is a direct result of all these remedies. And therein lies a paradox, because without engaged employees your chances of remaining competitive are considerably reduced.

It is therefore worth asking the question, “Have our responses to globalisation been appropriate or have they led us down the wrong path?

Whichever way you look at it, increased competition and the rapid rate of change that denotes our modern world, certainly demands that we are more customer-focused. Conventional wisdom has it that this entails being more responsive to customer needs. This, however, can result in too narrow a focus. Superior customer service includes reshaping customer expectations and giving them a product or service that did not even enter their minds. And that is not something that can be done by the “suits” in the executive suite.

Best service_000027097641XSmallAn exceptional customer experience can only be delivered by those who deal with the customer directly and who can truly empathise with the customer’s situation. Thus it is all very well to talk about the need for innovation, but innovation can only happen when you have engaged employees – employees who have that empathy and understanding, and who are empowered to respond as the situation demands.

Unfortunately, down-sizing, outsourcing and off-shoring all work counter to that. They send out the message that your employees are not important, that they do not understand the business and that their opinions have no value. As a result you are effectively sabotaging your own efforts.

So how do you avoid this?

Stop considering your employees as a cost and give them ownership in the business so they can fully understand what the business needs. Then they will act accordingly and you will create the shared values, strategic alignment and organisational integrity that derive from the pride of ownership. The Zealise ownership model will give you all that, and will also enable you to dispense with the conflicting performance measures and remuneration practices that cement silos, inhibit effective teamwork and work against the ethos of the organisation as a single entity that you are striving so hard to achieve.

How much easier your life will be when you have the entire organisation pulling together, rather than struggling with the weight of the world on your shoulders and the sense that you are relying on a reducing few.

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