25 Apr

What is your competitive advantage?

When I ask business owners “What is your competitive advantage?” they are very quick to provide a long list including their pricing structure, advanced technology or the quality of their raw materials. These are all good and well, but it is seldom that I hear them highlight their people as a competitive advantage in their business. 
Why is that? Why do business owners overlook probably one of the most important assets in their business? 

Perhaps it’s because working with human beings is damn hard work and if not managed correctly, employees can hinder business process and business success. However if you treat, respect and manage you team well and look upon them as an asset, it can be one of the best things you could do for your business. High-performing, focused and motivated employees can be an exceptionally difficult resource to imitate. This allows your business to stand out in the crowd and yes, good company culture attracts positive clients. 

So how do you move your human resources, your employees from just being a resource in your business, or filling up a seat, to actually performing and living up to the position’s and business’s expectations? How do you get the most out of your team so they can be seen as a sustainable competitive advantage?
Gallup has provided us with the statistics that only 15% of the global workforce is engaged at work. Just imagine if you could increase this percentage. What would that do for you and your business? What would happen if you started treated your people like key assets, how would that change their attitudes and engagement levels? 

Well, firstly it starts with you. Understanding your role as a business owners. You are the visionary, whether you like it or not. You are the main driver in your business. You are not just working in the buisness anymore, you are working on the business, guiding, directing, disciplining and coaching your team. Yes, that is your job.

Secondly, understanding that your human being plan is as or even more important than your marketing and financial plans. Without incredible people working to their optimum, you can market your business until the sun don’t shine and you will get nowhere. It’s a mindset change. Think people first. How can you get them engaged, focused and loving their jobs. This will only motivate them to work harder and smarter for you and the business. Then move to your marketing plan. 

If your team is not currently a competitive advantage in your business, you are missing out. What do you need to change to make this happen? 

17 Nov

What culture do you want during times of change?

Imagine your business had been given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to launch a new product/service, which if successfully carried out, would result in huge growth for your brand and cause a major increase in revenue.

But in order to capitalise on this opportunity, your business would need to undergo a number of changes, and by that I mean your team would need to undergo some changes. They would be expected to take on additional work, they might need to re-locate to other parts of the country and there would be a possibility of merging with another business in order to successfully achieve this rollout.

How is the visualisation exercise working out for you? Are you feeling positive or apprehensive? What’s the first thing that pops into your mind? There may be many concerns, ideas, issues, but I’m guessing that one of your first thoughts is how would your team members take the news?

This is a problem that many business owners have to deal with on a regular basis – successfully implementing change into their businesses. Sometimes its large scale change, and sometimes its small scale. How are some businesses able to implement change well, yet others can’t and face huge problems?

One of the biggest influences in your business are your people. Depending on how they react to and manage the change, will determine how successful your change implementation process will be. To successfully implement change you want a high performance culture in your business.

You want:

  1. Flexible and highly adaptive individuals
  2. A team who are optimistic and see change from the very beginning as an opportunity for growth and success
  3. Confident team players who believe in the product and service and buy into the business purpose
  4. Motivated, energised and engaged individuals
  5. Team members who understand and get the “bigger picture”

Do you have a high performance culture in your business? Do you have a high performance team?

It’s no good trying to implement changes in your business if you don’t have the culture right. And its no use trying to improve the culture at the same time as you implement the change. This type of implementation is not a sprint, its an marathon. The investment into your business culture should actually start from the day of your business inception or as close to it as possible. Remember that people’s behaviour, belief systems and habits don’t just change overnight, it takes time. In some instances, it would be time that you wouldn’t have the luxury of having, especially in the middle of a change initiative.

So while you are busy planning great growth and innovation within your business, think about your team members and whether or not they can happily facilitate and drive these changes for you. Perhaps you need to work on your people and building a high performance team before implementing a change initiative.

Need some assistance? Contact Nicole at nicole@tikumu.co.nz