Matthew and Janice are emerging entrepreneurs who recently went into business together. During a lunch meeting at a local restaurant they began to discuss their future profit projections and how well their business is performing six-months after its opening. What began as a conversation about dollars and profit margins quickly turned into a debate over the Great Recession, and the benefits of transforming an organization primarily driven by profit, into an organization led by purpose-driven employees.
Matthew prefers to discuss profit strategy, profit projections, and profit margins regardless of the current economic conditions impacting revenue. He firmly believes that the organization can be financially resilient during economic turmoil if a profit strategy is developed.
Janice believes in maximizing human capital; not necessarily every employee, but those who’ve demonstrated passion, dedication and an unwavering commitment because of their belief in the values of the organization. She is confident that if people change, the organization will change and weather any economic instability.
Rose, a well-respected manager, joined in and shared her perspective on the importance of organizational transformation that must be internally-driven by people, and not solely motivated by bottom lines. She believes that if human capital is not leveraged properly within an organization, transformation can never occur and the development of a profit/revenue strategy will be insufficient. The most successful brands implement organizational transformation designed to change people and not organizational structures.
Rose and Janice are correct. The engine in every economy is people. Purpose-driven, passionate, talented, and dedicated employees make transformation successful. As a business manager or entrepreneur, you evaluate what is in your control and what you can influence. You can’t control market conditions, inflation, and the decline of the economy. But you can control the growth of people and the emphasis you place on having a transformed workforce during a prospering or a declining economy.
When you embark on your leadership journey to foster a transformative work environment, it is critical that you ensure consistency for long-term success. There are four keys to reproducible results for business leaders, entrepreneurs and executives to consider on the path to transformation.
1. Committed employees
During any transformational process, it is imperative the organization understand that people power the change. Every dimension of a transformational company is tightly connected to its people because they are the greatest asset of any business.
When your workforce feels, and truly believes, they have a direct stake in the future of the company, they become invaluable assets toward your the goals of your cultural change.
2. The culture
Every organization must learn to be intentional about the attitudes, behaviors, values and guiding principles it broadcasts. Whatever a leader broadcasts becomes its organizational culture. Organizational culture is built upon Convictions, Conduct and Character. If the manager or leader is unable to demonstrate these three C’s, it will create bad attitudes, unwanted behaviors, limited perspectives, and difficult working environment.
Developing a positive culture requires a committed and consistent articulation of its values that contribute to the social and psychological environment of any organization. A culture that includes expectations, experiences and a shared philosophy by all provides guidance on how an organization interacts with its employees and its customer (in a larger context, its community and society). In essence, organizational culture is simply the temperament of an enterprise led by its leader who is skilled with setting the temperature. The temperament of the leader will determine the culture of an organization. A strong organizational culture becomes the GPS when an organization loses it way!
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3. Performance increase
Every organization wants a greater ROI. Greater output and increased productivity come at minimal cost when employees are engaged and there is a strong culture. It is leveraging the capabilities of its workforce to generate greater output. The better the alignment with vision and value, the more likely people will rise to greater output. The components of a productive and high-performing organization include decisive and quick decision-making, fast to-market strategy, and the ability to maintain momentum. Leaders must be skilled at energizing the workforce to achieve greater productivity. Motivated workers are more productive.
4. New product innovation
Creativity and ingenuity must be at the forefront of product innovation. Employees want to have an impact. The best way for that to occur is to allow them to participate in innovative projects; let them get their hands dirty.
Ideas are important, but being part of implementing them is a more exciting and meaningful growth opportunity for your employees.
Additionally, provide your employees the resources to be innovative in their work. When given the right tools and resources, the best employees will instinctively challenge themselves to be more innovative; they will perform better. When an organization has a transformational culture innovation occurs.
Organizations that are successful in their transformational endeavors are people-centered, purpose-driven, solution-focused, service-oriented, profit-savvy, and positioned to create lasting change. The challenge in business leadership or entrepreneurism nowadays is the ability to be resolute and steadfast in a business climate that appears to promote profit above partnership with consumers to create lasting change in and around the community.
Organizations are more likely to face adversity in difficult economic conditions if they are primarily driven by profit. Investment in people must be at the center of any transformational organization.