Businesses appear to be operating by new rules to secure their future success. New methods and new core competencies are emerging and the pace of change is fast. Some things, however, remain constant and the winners will be those organisations who can adapt to the shifting landscape and still hold true to what they stand for. Here I unpack and discuss some of the elements of success.
Standing For Something
There is a saying “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything”. The very best organisations are crystal clear about what they stand for and why they must exist. Their vision and mission is underpinned by a common set of values, one’s that galvanise and empower the organisation’s people. It sounds obvious but this clarity and focus is what separates the winners from the “also rans” in business today.
Ambition And Learning
Setting the bar high is something that winners are not afraid to do. Failure is not the primary concern but stretching the organisation and learning. The idea of learning organisations was once confined to the management text books read by MBA’s but now we see real examples who have a learning agenda and a fast fail mentality. Companies such as Shop Direct, the online retailer with brands including Very and Littlewood’s have developed in-house learning capabilities with the help of UX labs and an extensive test programme. The operate to the mantra “Fail fast, fail cheaply and fail often”.
Brands have evolved from merely marking ownership and guaranteeing quality to inviting belonging and finally enabling action. Disruptive brands such as AirBnB and Uber are changing the way services are offered and consumers use. They create communities and blur the lines of brand ownership allowing consumers to add their own narrative to the brand.
New Leadership Qualities
The days of command and control are gone. The new generation of leaders have to inspire with optimistic visions of the future. They have to be an innovator and a generator of ideas and embrace the diversity of their constituency. They also have to coach, empower and allow the potential of their organisation to be released. Intelligence is important but the leadership challenge is now much richer, it is about head, heart and guts leadership. The measure of a leader is not just in the financial reports of the organisation but in the engagement level of its people.
With the pace of technological change It is sometimes easy to forget that we are dealing with people. Companies forgetting this do it at their peril. When you consider successful retailers such as Ikea and John Lewis it is clearly evident that the consumer and their people are at the heart of their organisation and central to their values.
On reflection then, it seems like the new rules are indeed the enduring ones that, in the fast world we live in, are sometimes forgotten or relegated in some way. If we can reignite these sometimes forgotten skills we will not only be creating successful businesses, we will also be adding to the world.
This guest blog was provided by Bernard Page from Lead Idea
25 years experience in marketing will help me quickly get under the skin of your marketing challenge and provide workable, commercial solutions for your organisation. I listen carefully and take the time to understand the critical issues and develop a personalised, honest response designed to drive enduring value at speed.
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