Like Kodak, Xerox and Black Berry, we can all become blind sided by our own success. And as I have mentioned in my last blog, there are many organizational strengths that can turn into blind spots, if we don’t give them close attention. Thus, in this blog, I am going to provide you with some pointers through which you can keep reinventing your organization, and don’t become the victim of your own success.
Think outside the box: Even though your business is doing excellent, you should always keep looking for improvement opportunities around you, and keep yourself open to change. Make sure to frequently ask these questions to yourself: What business are we in? How do we create value? Who are our new competitors? Where is our market heading? What new behaviors our customers are displaying? Etc. If you have the budget for it, make sure to hire third party contractors every other year to provide their overall opinion on the company’s products, services and overall health. This practice will not only give you an outsider’s unbiased opinion, but it might also give you some improvement opportunities existing within the organization at this time. If you don’t have that much extra cash to spend on, you should at least have the meeting within your senior leadership, twice (or thrice) a year, and ask these specific questions. You will be surprised on what you find out.
Encourage disruptive behavior: In order to continually improve your existing and established processes, you need to create a disruptive culture within your organization, which can help you motivate your employees and encourage them to think outside the box. Obviously, this cultural change is not an overnight process, neither there is a magic wand that can make this happen faster. Some of the subtle ways through which you can implement this cultural change are.. (1) Go undercover. Keep aside one day in a quarter, where you cancel all of your meetings for a day, and let your employees give you the work orders for a day. This approach will not only help you to improve your repo with your employees, but it will also help you identify all of the inefficiencies in your existing processes. (2) Encourage your employees to research about new innovations, and provide them incentives to think outside the box. Give them some training time to learn new things on their own. If possible, try to provide tuition reimbursements. You will be surprised with all the innovative techniques that they bring back with them.
Talk to your existing customers: Most companies are so focused in expanding their business and going after new customers that they sometimes forget to value their existing customers. Surprisingly, some of the best ideas come from your own customers rather than your employees. And hence, it is very important to listen to your existing customers than completely focusing your attention on growing your business by acquiring new customers. Obviously, your customers are not always going to tell you what are the risks that your business is going to face in the future, but you can at least estimate those risks based on your customer’s feedback. Take T-Mobile for example, when they started to listen to their customers, they changed the entire mobile industry through their “uncarrier” movement. On the contrary, look at Black Berry; if they would have listened to their customers and recognized the need for touch-phone touch with the third party app development support, then they wouldn’t be in this difficult financial situation today.
Obviously, no one can eliminate all blind spots that your organization will face, but you can take proactive steps to lessen risks associated with it. I hope, my blog can help you in minimizing these risk factors. Let me know, if you have any other ideas through which we can eliminate our organizational blind spots further. Thanks – Bhavin Gandhi