Hurry Sundown, please, for all the current economic, social and political upheaval. Would you disagree? I have never been one for boredom or routine. But a little bit of routine and structure to our days would be a huge relief.
Still, is there any data that shows the imminent return of routine and structure in business with employees offered linear career paths offered for their obeisance to a single corporation...I think they’re gone. For now. (History always repeats itself, but for the next generation...it’s good as gone.)
What does the future hold for business?
Leaner, but not meaner. Here are some of the principles that collaborate together to make the future of business leaner, but not meaner.
Streamlined Decision-Making. Global competition, with its requirement for an on-demand innovation supply, will not wait for the slow, plodding layered, decision-making process of global brands. There isn’t time for it. It adds no value. The decision-makers will be the ones who deliver the results from their decisions now. No longer is there a need for layers of bureaucracy to hide the decision-makers from their decisions.
Brand Decision-Makers are the Brand's New Owners. Pushing the decision-making into the hands of the people who deliver and answer for their decisions, or their brand promises, pushes ownership of the brand into their hands.
True Ownership. It is now collaborative ownership among parties with skin in the game. It is built on trust and communication, participation and collaboration, accountability and ownership. Confrontational ownership, based on the owners respective mistrust and lack of communication, accountability and transparency with each other are the marks of the fraudulent ownership society we were sold.
Collaboration, Collaboration...Collaboration. Those who can constantly create and communicate with a never-ending array of partners, vendors, functional skills and yes customers...will be those who see success in the future. This trend is labeled Foreverism by Trendwatching. It’s the trend of the consumer to embrace conversations, lifestyles and products that are ‘never done’.
Those who master standardized tests will suffer in this new economy. The skills required here are skills to constantly create, communicate and collaborate. The only standardized trait here is change. The challenges, the skills, the opportunities, the products and markets...will always be changing. What set of standardized skills will work well here?
Everyone’s a Partner. Customers, employees, partners, vendors and sometimes even competitors will work together as partners. Those businesses who can create, communicate and collaborate with each partner in ways that will add the most value for each partner will be the brands that survive.
Everyone Has Choices. All potential partners have...choices. And with social media tools they can research and connect with those potential partners...today, this afternoon, before you finish reading this post.
Tools are Available. Most are free. These are tools like wikis that allow for immediate collaboration internally with an existing crew or externally with the ever-changing roster of participants. Social media tools like blogs, twitter, and podcasting allow a brand’s owners to take further ownership and create it in their own image, with meaning that matters for them and their partners. Warning: woe unto the brand who spurns a partner or co-owner. That creative, expansion, nature of social media to spread a brand’s message can be used just as easily to...spread a brand’s message and destroy it.
The future for business, for our lives, is leaner...but not meaner.
That gives me hope. What about you?
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About the Author: Zane Safrit's passion is small business and the operations' excellence required to deliver a product that creates word-of-mouth, customer referrals and instills pride in those whose passion created it. He previously served as CEO of Conference Calls Unlimited. Zane’s blog can be found at here.