Behavioural Change

Derek Bishop

Director

Taking control of your business strategy

Date added: 20th Jan 2016
Category: Behavioural Change

Sooner or later we have to take control, to decide and define a business strategy which will deliver strong outcomes and then to instil a belief and behaviour culture in our organisations which will deliver excellence.

Talk time management and sooner or later the excuse ‘I didn’t have time’ comes into the equation.  And when it does the response is generally “why”.  Why didn’t you have time?  Are you genuinely so busy that certain tasks seem to go by the wayside; are you a great procrastinator, putting off until tomorrow that should be done today; or is it simply that your priorities leave certain tasks languishing at the bottom of the pile?

It’s an interesting question, and one which has been highlighted recently by the approach which certain individuals take to filing self-assessment tax returns. With the filing and payment deadline of 31st of January rapidly approaching HMRC have published their annual list of top 10 excuses for not filing on time. Topping this year’s list was the ‘rat ate my paperwork’ excuse, pushing those poor hungry dogs who are generally blamed for lack of tax returns or homework down into fourth place.

Now we know that completing tax returns doesn’t generally rank alongside people’s favourite occupations. If it did, we would all be looking to file our returns as soon as the tax year ended at the beginning of April. So we wait until the last minute until there is no alternative and that leaves some 25,000 of us submitting returns on New Year’s Eve with thousands of others breaking off from Christmas celebrations to file submissions online or to come up with an acceptable excuse.

Sadly, this attitude can also spill over into other business areas. Leaders who should be monitoring and acting to boost levels of employee engagement refrain from taking action until disengagement levels have risen to a dangerous extent; businesses which should be innovating to retain market share sit idly by while disruptors change the marketplace; and regulators who should be intervening to halt cultural failings which lead to poor customer outcomes do little until forced to act in the face of public outcry.

We can’t keep making excuses. Sooner or later we have to take control, to decide and define a business strategy which will deliver strong outcomes and then to instil a belief and behaviour culture in our organisations which will deliver excellence. Our customers deserve better service, our employees deserve better care, and our investors deserve better returns. None of this will happen unless excuses stop and actions start.

2016 has started in turmoil. The markets are volatile, there is concern over the price of oil and other commodities, and the outlook for various sectors of the world is giving cause for concern. Is this an excuse for poor delivery or is it a time to take and shape the markets? Those who have lived through the fires of the last recession, who have shaken up their cultures and their strategies to embrace a proactive and innovative model know that this year may be challenging but it is one which brings tremendous opportunity. These are the businesses which have taken control of their own destiny, which have embraced collaboration and adaptability and deep customer insight in a quest to deliver game changing solutions.

Which side of the divide are you on? Are you already preparing your excuses or are you stepping up to create an innovative future? The time to take control and act is now.

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