Making a profit is no longer sufficient. Your shareholders want you to beat expectations today and have an eye on the future. Your customers ask for solutions, not products. Your employees wonder how they can outmaneuver big players and agile start-ups at the same time. The list continues but the principle is clear: your company is pulled in different, sometimes opposing directions.
Learning from two extremes of success – large companies that excelled for more than 100 years and entrepreneurial entities worth at least $1 billion – will help you to excel in this environment. What do they have in common? The Alumni Association Network hosted Professor Christian Stadler of Warwick Business School, as he addressed the differences between successful and unsuccessful businesses.
Successful Business have the following in common:
1. Master Innovation and Execution
The innovation stories in businesses are epitomized by the quality of their new products and how these products respond to the market needs. Ultimately, this is driven by the choices of the people hired in the company. Iconic leaders such as Steve Jobs exemplify this element. Secondly, all the innovation is done in one campus / one location. A close connection of colleagues who work on similar projects has proven to improve the quality of work, as well as hastening the product design phase. Lastly, it is the execution and not necessarily the idea; that propels the company forward. It is the execution is what makes or breaks the success of companies.
2. Fight Bureaucracy
Successful organisations fight ferociously the trappings of bureaucracy. How can organisations ensure that they do not get trapped by bureaucracy?
a) Very successful organisations have small, but key performance indicators; for instance, Dell’s key KPI was measured by the time it took for employees to respond to customer requests.
b) Facilitate or allow initiatives outside the usual structures of the business
c) The leader must set priorities on what is key for the organisation.
Other initiatives can be; instilling some sense of pride in your employees, investing in them by paying them well.
3. Passion for the Frontline
What is the key performance metric and how does the passion of the leaders translate to how they perform on the job? Easy, Display a passion for your product!
4. Be a Great boss but not a Charismatic leader
Charisma can bear both profitable and unprofitable performances. Being a team player and taking up a conservative approach might be profitable than the company being ran under the influence of one person.
About the Alumni Knowledge Session:
Through an ever-endearing devotion to continuous learning, Strathmore Business School alumni knowledge series is a platform for the vibrant alumni body to access knowledge and to nurture their networks.