Is it me or are the days feeling noticeably shorter already? There are pluses and minuses to the end of summer. Kids are back at school, the weather is cooling down and companies are planning for next year. Depending on your viewpoint, all of these can be good or bad. It is also the end of the year when companies in the US start to really look at what the outlook is for the next year, and what resources they need to achieve their goals.
For many, this end of year 'planning' is unfortunate, since this often relates to cost cutting and downsizing. And as the news already starts to leak out about large corporations across the country shedding staff, I know that the end of the year can really be a time for corporate change. But why can't change occasionally be a good thing? We rarely hear about companies planning to improve business processes, bring in new trainers to help employee development, or add new websites to improve online customer service.
Unlike politics, where it seems politicians rarely have time to do anything positive before they are back on the road for re-election, companies could take the option for longer-term planning and change. The reality of the situation is that stock price drives decisions, and Wall Street and the City vote on a daily basis how we should feel. How often does the Board of Directors vote in favor of the CEO with long term goals at the expense of short term stock price?
At this end of the year I would love to see companies present a positive approach to their investors. Aim for growth, by changing things that help attract new customers more easily, retain customers who buy more, and develop employees to be more productive happily (and not just through fear for their jobs). And I mean present this approach as real strategies, not just investor spin.
I'm already working with companies making changes for the better, so I hope this is a sign of renewed fortunes in the economy. Business processes, employee development, software and marketing all go hand in hand. Let's consider how we can work with next year's forecasts for a turn-around in fortunes, by using the tools we have available for real, positive change.
A post from the Improving It blog
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