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Conducting business in a turbulent environment

Today’s business environment is still turbulent and uncertain with unprecedented events leading us to ways of business that are unlike anything we have dealt with before. The Oliver Group stays in constant connection with clients and continues to uncover methods to provide value and support leaders through their new competitive landscape. There are many pressures on leaders and while some companies are growing, the majority are struggling to maintain their foothold or losing ground. We are, however, hearing common themes that might be helpful to others.

What we hear from clients: turbulence

“Organizations are reviewing their leadership pipelines.” Companies are trying to better understand the passages that leaders take as they manage others or groups of managers.  At each passage, leaders need to be prepared to manage their time, values and people differently.

“Companies are taking a fresh look at their values.” We have many clients taking a look about how they prioritize issues internally and externally, especially when there are difficult trade-offs.  Simply listing values as aspirations isn’t enough; bringing them to life with a strategic plan helps a company to live its values and truly motivate staff and clients to execute the mission.

“We are strengthening our team by reorganizing it.” Many clients are shifting around roles in their organizations in order better leverage their team’s strengths. We are not seeing as much major reorganization lately as changes in roles and responsibilities to play to individual strengths and organizational needs.

“We are working on team building to make our company stronger.” Many of our clients are looking at the people they have and paying the group some extra attention. Having strong relationships and communications among your team members is important, especially amid so much change.

“It seems harder to motivate our team to achieve than ever before.” Employees aren’t just motivated by their compensation package and the fact that they have employment. They are motivated by work that meets their behavioral needs. We have clients examining morale levels among individuals in the organizations, and they are retooling roles and projects to encourage achievement and foster motivation. As roles are shifted around, activities shift to suit particular individual skill and motivator sets, that will also appropriately challenge those people.

“I am working harder than ever for the same or less revenue.” As businesses require more effort, this encroaches on personal lives and many executives are physically tired and they are trying to create strategies to be more efficient with their time. They reach out to The Oliver Group as someone to share their worries and opportunities.

“It is not easy to predict the future, especially three to five years out.” The Oliver Group is doing more strategic planning with clients but focusing on a shorter time frame of a year or less in some cases.

“My leadership team needs some extra attention these days.” There is a focus on leadership and sales teams in particular, and giving them tools to be more effective is top priority. When leaders perform, they are being promoted quickly. Many times they aren´t prepared for their next role. They need coaching, leadership education, business knowledge, etc. to perform in the next role.Keeping leaders engaged is harder than ever and they are the single most valuable resource for growth. Development dollars are being freed up for this group, which is the ultimate measure of a company´s focus. Current work expectations and pressure on leaders not being sustainable in the long term is the message given to the CEO. GDP has increased 7.9% in the United States with a decreased employment and increased goals. The work pace is much too fast to keep up, even for those who love challenge and are stimulated by variety.

“I´m more confident in the economy, but I´m going to still wait and see before I do anything different.” The Oliver Group doesn´t see many leaders changing the course or taking risks that might be beneficial for the long term. They are still “heads down” in the day-to-day operations so that they can be profitable. We are working in a permanent state of crisis and change is held back by this state.

“Finding talent that matches needs is harder than ever.” Why is it that there are more people looking for a job, but we continue to struggle to find the right people for our openings? When people are removed from their positions for one reason or another, our executive search team finds that these individuals don´t have the necessary competencies or talent to perform in organizations newly created roles. It really is difficult to find the right match.

When you think about your own company and leadership, ask yourself the following questions: What is different about your role now with the changes in the economy and your business? What forces are now impacting the business and concerning you? Is work shifting?

Article by Jennifer Mackin.

Image courtesy of Pixabay.

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