Is Employing All Your Employees Limiting Your Brands Growth?
So I have been having a think today about why some companies seek, almost constantly, help and advice on how to create change, whilst others just get on with it. And I think asking yourself if you want to employ all your employees might be part of the answer. Because it points to, as a business, having a constrictive or expansive core to your DNA
Now I’m not going to advocate that what follows is a complete answer to this question of driving change. But it seems to me to be a feature of many of the companies we talk to, so is an important factor that should feature highly when your are looking to get things done.
And that is the ‘context’ in which your are operating.
The model shows a difference in the attitude that companies have that can, in my view, make a significant difference if they are looking to offer products and services in today’s multi-channel retail world. Though to be honest I think it points to potential cultural change requirement for many people and businesses today.
Contained & Controlled or Virtualised & Directed?
What I’m getting at here is a fundamental difference on how we think we can build great companies. In the past we have had to limit our expectations to those we could recruit and manage to create a business capable of creating and servicing a product. So we have created processes, structures and ways of working that, in my view, can be constrictive – usually identified as silo-ed.
But now, there really is no need. I’m not talking about using consensus to arrive at every decision, but I do think the opportunity exists to think about how you might be able to change your business if you look to new ways of working that can open your knowledge pool to the whole virtualised world.
Just think what that might do for the reach, richness of information and people you would have access too when making decisions. It free’s your core team up to do what great companies have long been recognised for – Creating highly emotionally engaging products and services.
Is It That Easy?
To be clear, what I am advocating here is not something most companies are going to be open to. Human nature says we want to control things, and the more senior a person, the more likely they are to want to control, and that’s a difficult behaviour to overcome. What I am talking about here though is directing that need to control outwards, towards an environment of increasing richness and accessibility. One that you can harness to guide your decisions, or even provide direct support. And changing the emphasis from controlling activities to directing them.
So All Very Good In Theory – But It’s Just That
One of the problems with talking about new things, is they have no real world examples to provide a ‘comfort’ factor. In this case there are already early examples of this type of behaviour (I suspect there are loads more in ‘young’ start up’s). You need only to look at companies such as Giffgaff. An example of a business creating & harnessing a ‘community’ to disrupt an established marketplace.
Now in its fourth year, created by a small team, but to a substantial level, run by it’s customers. This is a business that recognised that with the growth of information, and more importantly the ability to access and share that information, a behaviour driven by the explosion of social media applications, they did not need to limit their thinking about how to find great experts to work for them, to the traditional employed mindset.
I think this is the start of a fundamental change. One where companies can focus on creating great ideas, and the concentrate on employing managers who can ‘direct’ a wider virtualised pool of brand fans, who in return for a fair reward (This may not always be cash – people are motivated in many different ways) deliver a brand experience that our traditional business cannot hope to match.
Control Or Direct
I think for me the fundamental question is do you think you get a better result by controlling a small group of individuals or by directing a virtually limitless pool of talent, when your trying to deliver a great brand?
Because now you have a choice.