The clock is ticking louder: South African businesses must drive real change in performance, innovation, & engagement

How often do companies feel utter frustration trying to get their management teams and workforces to do one or more of the following?

  1. Perform tasks and work duties at higher levels of performance and aligned with the organisational values and vision
  2. Overcome problems as a reasonable expectation, and tackling more strategic problem solving requirements with gusto, confidence and enthusiasm
  3. Engage proactively inside and outside the organisation with a sense of purpose and drive.

During a session today we debated and brainstormed these pertinent topics. The relevancy of these matters at this point in time, as a continuum of economic slow-down, is being driven by the demands for businesses to achieve higher productivity and competitive behaviour styles. Added to that, the elevated price sensitivities in the marketplace, are inhibiting fiscal inflation of sales values, as well as disallowing discretionary price increases. These competition-driven downward pressures on the top line are squeezing the entire income statement, and ruptures will and are occurring in overheads. These are high risk ruptures, with runaway bills on band-aid short-term solutions to maintain false longevity. Further, the scale of these ruptures for business operating in the current climate are sufficiently large for companies to bleed out and their sustainability becoming marginal, at the very least.

The question is, “Are companies able to identify the root-cause human component factors that are inhibiting performance, innovation, problem solving and engagement behaviour?”
The answer we are seeing is, “No”. Simply answered by the evidence that companies without innovation and competitive brilliancy are being wiped out by competitors located elsewhere in the global village.

At Polarity we’ve identified that these root causes exist outside of businesses, yet we acknowledge that there is an expectation that businesses have to solve the symptoms that they have to endure.

The solution exists in identifying fear-based behaviour(s), analysing it, embedding a philosophy and culture to shift it quickly and applying a relentless healthy pressure on a people based interactive approach to stimulate the environment. Disengagement, problem solving apathy and low performance are symptoms of environmental variables that need to be defined, refined and calibrated on an ongoing basis to eradicate these symptoms.

Variables that will impact organisations are:

  • physical environment – its impact on mental and emotional intelligence stability and resilience, and the knock-on failure effect through an organisation when pressure is applied
  • mental constructs of the workforce – considering that workforces are being drawn from a resource pool that looks and behaves very differently from the earlier pool that business senior management and owners generally came from
  • the reality of the failings in our cumbersome primary and secondary education systems in aligning and keeping abreast of world trends which vehemently demand high creative outputs in rapidly shifting landscapes
  • the poor understanding of subtleties arising out of demographic  diversity
  • the impacts of poor stress management and the knock on effects that bludgeon successful communication, strategic foresight, and expectation management.

To overcome these effects requires senior management and stakeholder courage.  There is an emotional bravery that underscores organisations that leapfrog competitors during economic slowdowns. Few senior management embrace the screams of their organisation’s desire to change, yet ironically demand the highest levels of change and shift from workers.  This can never be achieved because workers simply mimic the example they observe in their reporting lines.

Contact us for an insightful talk to your company on these matters in more detail.

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Telephone: +27 (0)11 792 5394

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