Leading From the Boardroom to Boiler Room (Part 2)
Many associates do not have a basic education and understanding of how a business operates. Share insights on the basics of your business and the metrics that impact success.
We covered a lot of C.R.A.P. (clarity, realistic expectations, accountability and processes) last month and provided some high-level guidance and thought leadership (hopefully). This may help guide your thinking this year as a systems integrator, distributor, product supplier and perhaps an end user. Let’s recap, shall we?
You have provided better clarity on your business direction and vision, right? Yes, this does take time away from working “in the business” vs. “on your business,” which is challenging. However, a crucial step to clear your head is to get out of the firefighting mode and look out for your associates, customers and company.
Gauge progress of this step by asking your technicians, sales and warehouse people how they would describe your company’s vision in their own words. When you get different answers and impressions, understand that clarity of vision and communication may need a bit of work.
Those working in the boiler room need a clear understanding of their roles. Fail here and your castle will be on a sandy foundation with a drained moat of raiders for your talent assets.
Have you ever had a valued associate leave your organization that caught you by surprise? You are not alone. Why did they leave? Exit surveys often have a common theme. They don’t see a career path forward, are unclear of their role and disconnected from their supervisors. Vision and Communication 101 training can correct this.
Changes take time, especially when those who need to implement changes must keep up with their current workload. Working in the boiler room is a tough and grimy job. Not much communication with the captain of the ship, however, they do power your ship.
How do you shorten timelines while keeping them realistic? Engage the people who must implement changes by involving them in your change process. Let their voices be heard and listen to their challenges. Taking ownership will enable their adoption and support.
Is your vision realistic based on current realities, current industry threats and itinerary of your journey expectations? Have you shared Business 101 with your team? Many associates do not have a basic education and understanding of how a business operates. Share insights on the basics of your business and the metrics that impact success.
When associates gain a bigger picture of how their actions and decisions impact the whole team, they will be more committed toward your team’s success. If their input, suggestions, and insights improve customer satisfaction and business results, acknowledge, and reward them. Being recognized is often more powerful than financial rewards when they fulfill your company vision.
Accountability for change management is a companywide matter. What I have learned is that change directed from the top down without adequate troop feedback that is not carefully evaluated and acknowledged … well good luck with that accountability thing. Communication should be your primary focus if you want accountability at all levels. Where to start?
We recommend beginning with a simple assessment (DiSC) to get the team on the same communication page. It removes a great deal of drama while enabling solid discourse of innovative input from the boardroom and boiler room. This step is foundational for honest communication and discussion on your workflow processes. Honest discussion will find the gaps in your delivery processes, large and small.
Focus on the small gaps to provide momentum and energy for early team wins. Tackle the larger gaps that will take more time and investment from a strategic perspective in a one- to two-year timeline. Making big strategic decisions such as CRM or ERP require more careful consideration and team input.
With stronger communication and free flowing input with your early successes, you will gain valuable insights to the challenges ahead. Making these big strategic, expensive decisions without boiler room input will lead to, “Sir, iceberg ahead,” Titanic results.
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