People are your competitive edge
The greatest asset you have is people. Whether at a personal level or at a business level we simply have to nurture people to see the successes of our individual and corporate lives unfold.
A scenario will help obviate my thinking here. Imagine the scenario of your family and friends. Review the level of successes and happiness that you enjoy with them. Any lack of commitment to those people around you generates consequential failures in the communication system of the relationships. Notice that I specifically state: “commitment to the PEOPLE”. It is not the relationship that you commit to, it is the person. The relationship and its state of health are merely symptomatic of the level of your commitment to another human being.
The same is evident when looking at ourselves and, as I will shortly explain, the insight into the dynamics of companies.
Failure to bond with yourself, as a person, ultimately leaves you mechanical, robotic, hardened, emotionless and internalized fears creep in as a result of your own disengagement. These fears are the consequences of the lack of internal understanding, acknowledgement and self-belief, manifesting as subtle or overt aggression and diversionary behaviours. Take the time to observe this in people around you. This is the polarity of human behavior….if one takes away the happiness, the only next available space to occupy is fear.
By extrapolation, the same exists in companies. Very often we see middle and senior management, including stakeholders, demonstrating that they are interested in managing and developing their staff. However, upon deeper analysis it becomes very evident that they are, to all good intentions, simply managing and nurturing the relationship phenomena. This is as a result of the teachings that relationship management is imperative. We think differently. We say it’s the PEOPLE that require personal development and growth and from that develops the illuminated relationship as a positive consequence. Understanding your people and what they are about at a personal level is critical to your success. Let the brilliant relationship unfold from that.
This application of energy to the person, applies to both the internal customer (your staff) and the external customer (your client). Management’s dedication and commitment to these people as your most vital assets is where ultimately the dividends are seen in business.
Let me give an example that I , as a “Joe Public” consumer, see in the differences between two of South Africa’s leading retail giants.
The first company (Company A), has staff who engage with me at their checkout points, no matter the branch, no matter the time of day, with smiles and every effort to communicate with me at a personalized level. Clearly Company A’s staff have been developed and enlightened about their importance as front-liners in a manner that has led them to personal buy-in to this activity. They are stimulating my level of importance, I know that at a rational level, but as a consequence I shop there all the time. They have got me also to a level of buy-in. A job well done by Company A!
The second company (Company B), is the contra. I am aware of the efforts that Company B has made historically with its numerous staff benefits and many etceteras. Company B has clearly worked hard at these internal relationships with their staff. However, there is no buy-in evident to me as Joe Public, which I explained exists at their competitor. Company B has checkout staff who are miserable, no matter the branch, no matter the time of day, and to be quite honest their misery manifests as apathetic and manner-less dispositions towards clientele. The people have become negative assets, and simply, negative assets = liabilities.
I gave Company B many shopping days, many banknotes, and much patience until the osmosis of their staff attitude eventually made me understand that I, as a person, was not valuable to them. Company B made me feel like they were only after the content of my wallet. As a person, I felt somewhat differently. I no longer ever step foot inside the doors of Company B. I am a customer lost to them.
Is this scenario of Company B one that your company is facing or potentially will be facing unless the people dynamic I have explained is given due consideration?
In conclusion, by improving the way that internal and external people are engaged with and grown, companies see the following results: reduced overheads and costs, improved team interaction, creative solutions forthcoming to solve problems, and vision buy-in from all levels in the organisation, including their clients. This is truly when talent is being developed, retained and provides the competitive edge.
Our motto is: “We think differently. We develop people.”
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