Businesses are dealing with increasingly complicated processes when looking to adapt and make changes. Regulatory, legal and human concerns can influence an initiative, and sometimes completely derail it. Management teams need to consider a widening range of factors when making decisions, particularly when it comes to dealing with the people working within their business. A general trend is to look towards technology and further automation in the business environment, but that approach can have blinders to the human factor at the core of these businesses.
Unlike robots placed on the factory floor and turned on with the push of a button, the people within a business require significantly more investment. They cannot simply be dragged and dropped, and cannot be programmed to follow commands without deviation. Without taking into account the human factor, companies can fall at the first hurdle.
Since the Industrial Revolution, businesses trended towards the tried and true top-down models, with a central decision-making hub driving all innovation and direction. This style might have succeeded in an environment a century ago, but the business world has transformed significantly since then.
Today businesses have very different challenge on their hands – how to engage and drive people and teams in a more nuanced and complex environment in order to contribute and be productive. The way businesses approach change must also follow suit, but there are many challenges on the road to adaptation and development.
The speed at which information travels is something that can take companies by surprise. In the modern world there is no longer a binary form of communication, it is something that grows and evolves through a whole range of different modes and can quickly feel like it is spinning out of control, potentially exacerbating a problem.
The speed at which news travels and can develop is something businesses should consider earnestly. News travels faster than ever before and often takes on a life of its own.
Modern business leaders face many challenges that didn’t even exist a few decades ago. While we may be working towards greater automation, it is the people in the business that cannot be forgotten, particularly when making changes.
So it’s important to ask yourself questions before launching a new initiative. How do you account for the human impact as you implement new strategies? Where are your solutions coming from and who is involved in their development?
As Henry Ford once said: “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”