Is it ever 'Business as Usual"?
This morning I attended a presentation put on by the Family Business Alliance. I was prepared for a program that was informative and well done, but what I observed was something much more than that. I typically avoid attending programs that cover the usual “hot topics”. I find it is often difficult to get as much value from them as I should, primarily because it is difficult to put their ideas into the context of what my clients urgently need. The end result is that after a few hours and more so, after a few days, I’ve generally forgotten most of the salient points discussed.
However, today I was impressed in that the critical points were ones that can provide great value to an organization over time and therefore are worth revisiting on a regular basis. Although, the audience today was made up primarily of family owned businesses, and the discussion revolved in that realm, the truths seemed to have application to most organizations.
The speaker was Greg McCann, author, professor, and business owner. Throughout his presentation he would say, “If you are taking notes, write this down.” and so we would. One such item I liked a lot: Culture will defeat strategy every time. I also heard some wise insights mentioned by the audience. One of those that I thought highly insightful concerned why a member attended the various events. He said, “It was not so much about what he learned, but that such events usually got him thinking.” To me this was very notable. So many of us just want someone to give us the answer and so we seek out the “Hot Topic” discussion.
Change is Upon Us.
A few years ago, I started keeping a list each January describing what I perceived as change over the prior year. Although interesting to me, I’ve discovered how inadequate my practice is. During todays program we viewed a You-Tube clip to emphasize the “exponential” change that is surrounding us. Watch this and you’ll see why I may have to revamp my practice.
The real point about the video is that we have to be visionary about our businesses, where we are going and how we are going to get there. Without a plan we will be sitting on the sidelines much sooner than we ever dreamed and it has nothing to do with the recession. A strategic plan is an absolute necessity. As part of that plan you have to identify your strategic advantage, who is responsible to look after and manage the advantage and also the plan itself.
And remember that culture trumps strategy, so they have to be aligned. Communication and actions are the keys to management of culture. So, if you see today as getting back to business as usual, you are what they call 'Dead Meat'.