I’m back from a training and workshop with a new American customer addressing “vision and customer strategy “. Located in the Midwest, this medium size company, with its 340 employees, has been experiencing a very strong growth of its turnover with a doubling of its workforce over the last 3 years. The Chairman and the HR asked me for an applied training enabling them to optimize their commercial and operational approach in very specialized technological sectors and also to coach the CODIR in their medium-term vision.
First personal experience on such a level in the country of Uncle Sam, this very interactive and dynamic training with 35 engineers and managers from different departments (R & D, production, engineering, planning, quality, HR, finance …) allowed me to measure once again all the benefit of climbing towards some altitude, a “sight at 30000 feet” as say the Quebecois.
Usually, the SWOT analysis enables a collective intelligence approach to capitalize on strengths, identify potential business opportunities, evaluate and act to reduce risk and better understand threats which could jeopardize the future of the company. I realize that if it is easy enough for the staff to develop the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities, the exercise becomes more complex when come the possible pitfalls …
To be able to exchange on one’s fears is, as Will Schutz explains in the so famous “Human Element”, a key criterion in communicating for a performing team.
Daring to question himself requires from the company owner and its managers some humility and openness that I have unfortunately rarely encountered in my 25 industrial life experience. The leitmotif “we will succeed because we have the best experts and the best products” is not a necessary and sufficient condition for an economic success.
While the development of a vision is essential for achieving the broad objectives, it also requires a clear deployment at all levels of the company, an exemplarity (acting as a model) from all managers toward their collaborators, and regular monitoring and adjustment if necessary over time (every 3 to 6 months seeming to me a good frequency).
It is also thanks to the geostationary satellite that we can better understand what happens at daisy level …
Richard, 22 November 2016