Whether a small or large firm, the responsibility to make a profit in a changing market remains tied up amongst the many obligations you may incur. It has become increasingly important to not only consider the speed at which a firm implements their strategies for profit, but also the effectiveness of their response to changes in the business environment. The following four key foundations of responsiveness are essential to drive a successful and profitable business strategy.
1. Seeking renewal
Seeking renewal for products, services and systems is the first key to performing as a responsive firm. With the rapid evolvement and thus influence of social media, products and services can be deemed outdated within a short time-frame of the launch. This is society saying they want more, they want better and they want it now. A firm that is constantly seeking renewal to improve their products and services can effectively cater to hungry consumers.
Renewal is not merely about changing all aspects of an organisation in hopes that you will keep up with the market, but rather the identification of issues and effective responses. This spreads further into any organisation in regards to their systems and processes which must be renewed, or otherwise be left behind. As Francis Bacon said “He who will not apply new remedies must expect new evils; for time is the greatest innovator.” A stagnant firm is aging, whilst a renewing firm is increasing their responsiveness. The more responsive a firm can be to the internal and external issues that occur, the higher their propensity to remain competitive in our modern day dynamic market.
2. Vision which motivates
As in any area of life, teams achieve more when working towards a common goal. It is vital to create the feeling of excitement and anticipation when working towards the vision of the future. A leader’s ability to effectively visualise and communicate goals for the future will directly affect the motivation of employees within the firm. Without their wholehearted support of the vision, it will be difficult to achieve any goals. It is therefore an essential aspect of responsiveness to have a vision so great it encourages motivation, teamwork and a thirst for success within the business. If your people have the visual as to how the firm fits into the future, their efforts will be positively directed towards reaching this goal which will consequentially create a feeling of community within your organisation.
A strong sense of community within the workplace is the third foundation of building a responsive firm. A community consists of a group of people that share a common outlook on values and beliefs, which allows them to work harmoniously towards an agreed goal. It is of course naïve to expect that all people within a firm will agree on everything, so it is important to discover the values that best suit the firm’s needs. With mutual respect for these values and the firm’s leader alike, the journey to reach the vision will become a more easily achieved goal. Fostering a single community that encourages the connection among all members is pivotal in any firm, and this will ultimately be the difference between a strong or weak focus on the firm’s vision.
How would an organisation ever improve if no new suggestions were made, and no one challenged the systematic processes that are in place? It is essential for all people to feel comfortable expressing their ideas and opinions which may be different from how the business currently operates, as this gives the opportunity for innovation and new ideas. Developing a culture within an organisation where dissent is encouraged helps to question the systematic processes that people become quickly become accustomed to. The challenging of these processes is pivotal to produce ideas that will better an organisation, and consequentially follow the path of renewal as mentioned previously. Being content and relying on the standard systems is safe, but innovative ideas are what create a leading business in the market. Dissent is often blocked by the prospect of failure, however failure should not be frowned upon. Instead it can be used an opportunity to assist an organisation’s learning journey, and enables the reflection of better practices in the future.
The four foundations that are relative to responsiveness will assist organisations in achieving their financial goals in the changing market we are facing now, and into the future. An organisation should be focused on seeking renewal, creating a common vision that is motivational, fostering a sense of community and encouraging a culture of dissent. These foundations will help to develop and implement flexible and responsive strategies, which will result in making profit in a dynamic market. Standing still is no longer a viable option, so organisations must be constantly working towards achieving their goals to stay relevant in the market.
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