Any business today needs to have confidence in the data that's used to report financial results, set future performance expectations, evaluate risk, and understand customer interests. By creating standards, disciplines, and governance around data that goes all the way down to the item level, and by using technology effectively to access it in real time, business leaders and managers can have confidence that the information they use to make decisions is as accurate and insightful as possible.
Leaders so often turn to quick wins—swapping tap water for bottled water, eliminating non-essential travel and the like—with little regard for their efficacy, lasting impact, or unintended consequences. Successful organizations go below the tip of the iceberg, navigating the complexity inherent in the business, to make needed changes to the business model that can have a lasting impact.
There are several ways to do this:
- Take advantage of technology that can enable the business to run more efficiently
- Review the overall people strategy in order to meet future talent and skills requirements
- Ensure your procurement process is actually adding value by saving time and costs, rather than creating fragmented purchasing and black holes of spending.
Find and retain the skills your organization needs. Build disciplines and processes that allow you to be in control of the business. And understand how to harness risk to your advantage.
Be bold. If not now, when will you make major changes that could transform the way that you operate? In the past, there was perhaps too much focus on refinancing rather than reengineering; now is the time to make considered and sustainable change.
Consider the organization as a single unit. It’s not about how to make HR or IT run more efficiently, but how to make the business, as a whole, more efficient over the longer term. Stay the course, embed the right behaviours in your business, and you will increase the likelihood of a more sustainable and profitable future.