In business we are constantly looking for “that edge”. It might be how special we make our clients feel, it might be how we differentiate our product, how we run the office, or the kind of people we recruit. We are looking for those extra “1 percenters” that add up to real tangible value. And it is a constant process that requires us to investigate and analyse every part of the organisation.
Some companies adopt a disciplined approach of performing strategic assessments and SWOT analysis on a regular basis. But for others, they are forced into action during times of change.
Recently I was excited to discover that the local Australian Rules football team (the Adelaide Crows) appointed a new CEO (Andrew Fagan) who was neither a local lad (unless you count the first 3 years of his life!) or from an Australian Rules background. Indeed he came from a Rugby Union background – similar shaped ball but that is where the similarities start and end! Interestingly Mr. Fagan is quoted as saying that “I came in completely devoid of baggage, associations and partnerships”.(1)
The Adelaide Crows have appointed a clever guy with an aptitude to learn and to make things happen. Only time will tell whether it is a stroke of genius or not, but I have to take my hat off to such innovative thinking. By bringing in someone from a completely different background every part of the business will be scrutinised and questioned. Nothing will be assumed. The “stupid questions” will be asked (and it is amazing how often this brings about the “stupid answers”). Every person in that organisation will be made accountable for their actions. They will all be asked about their role and what the CEO can do to help them achieve more. Fresh ideas will be introduced and brainstorming sessions will stimulate new thoughts and approaches. It might be the catalyst to give the business “the edge” that it needs.
Often it is the very fabric of an organisation’s culture that makes change difficult to achieve. But sometimes we are forced to change. Demand might create a need to recruit for a new post. A senior person might resign from a role (or be given the nod!). An expecting mother will take some time off for maternity leave. A special project might be identified that requires external help.
What an amazing opportunity all of these situations create. The only question you need to ask yourself is whether you are bold enough to make this change a positive step that will enable your business to innovate, develop and improve.
Maybe change is a time for change!
(1) Source: The Advertiser 25 October 2014