Preparing for the Upswing & a Change in Direction
Sunday 21 July 2013
From an organisational perspective it is pretty common for senior managers to spend significant energy considering when to upgrade plant and equipment, be it machinery, vehicles or IT infrastructure. The upgrades can occur on the run (in response to a surge in demand for instance), as a result of necessity (say as a result of a breakdown or unexpected damage) or as a planned development. The farming sector are very good at upgrading equipment in response to expected demand whilst also having a great handle on plant servicing and repairs. The current manufacturing sector is more cautious and most will upgrade as needed, holding off for as long as possible until confident a surge in demand is emerging. But what about your people? How many organisations 'upgrade' their people talent in time?
The interesting thing for me is that whilst new machinery can be up and running quickly or new IT can roll out with an incumbent system in place, the people elements can take a little longer. Which poses the question, at what point do you prepare your people for a change or an upswing?
Training and people development ought to be an ongoing thing. Sadly, it's not. Formal and informal training elements can be developed and programmed. In much the same way as you maintain plant and equipment, maintenance and upgrading of the capabilities of your staff ought to occur consistently. There are THREE core areas that you can focus on: Strategic capability; Operational capability; and Execution capability. You'll note that for most organisations, the belief is that 'execution' is the role of 'Operation'. NOTHING can be further from the truth. The Organisational Evolution Model highlights the flaws in thinking that 'Ops' is where things get executed.
So the time to prepare for the upswing and changes in direction, is NOW. And tomorrow, and the day after that. Training is not a cost centre, its a development centre. If you put it off you'll constantly be playing catch up to competitors who are already 'ready'. Significantly, by the time an opportunity is spotted it'll have likely sailed by before you can respond effectively. So be smart - Strategic, Operational, and Execution training ought to be a constant area of development.
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Monday 27 February 2017
It's been a significantly busy couple of months looking at how Industries and Government Agencies are preparing for change. The Companies versus Climate Change conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in November/December, and a meeting with the Political Science Department at the University of Hawaii (Manoa) in January show that positive action is happening, despite some of the headlines
Saturday 31 December 2016
Many of you know that each year I make an observation about what I think the year will bring. The track record suggests I'm usually a couple of years ahead of the curve. With that said I'm calling 2017
Monday 12 December 2016
In Ft. Lauderdale USA I recently attending a delightful provocatively named 'Companies Versus Climate Change' conference. And the message is clear - companies, BIG well known companies are tackling the issues of climate change, sustainability and their carbon footprints and both making and saving VAST sums of dollars. The simple take away message from the presentations over the three days could not have been more explicit - tackling climate change pays off big time!