Article By: Chris Varley
In today’s highly competitive commercial world, creating competitive advantage is essential. No longer is it just having the USP, process efficiency or even information that will achieve competitive advantage. Now people are playing an even more important role in creating competitive advantage. Every business involves people making decisions and taking action, therefore it is important that the people involved with an organisation, are acting as a cohesive force if competitive advantage is to be achieved.
Within organisations there will always be “issues” that arise between people, functions, departments and contractors, that will have the effect of inhibiting efficiency and effectiveness and thus competitive advantage.
Most of these “issues” can be put down to one word – communication.
Everyone involved will have a slightly different perception or “take” on what they are reading, seeing or hearing depending on the circumstances in which the communication is being given or received.
Addressing issues is creating competitive advantage:
By identifying the “issue”, gathering those involved and applying LogoVisual Thinking, the different perceptions of the issue and the perceived effects; on the individual, the department, the organisation and any external influences can be identified.
The interaction that results from applying LVT creates a greater awareness of the “issue” by all involved.
Creating Competitive Advantage Solutions
- Identify the “issue” which is inhibiting performance
- Identify who and what is involved
- Create an interactive workshop using LVT with an external facilitator, who will bring an independent perspective to the exercise
- Allocate responsibility and accountability (including timelines) for the outcomes
- Review after appropriate time frame has elapsed and adapt outcomes if necessary
The Context – new MD of a well known racecourse was concerned at falling revenues and rising costs.
The Issue – MD did not feel that he had a team committed to achieving the corporate objectives and that something of a silo mentality existed between departments and senior management.
The Solution – Created two “Ways of Working” work shops with the Heads of Department.
Day 1 using LVT, identified all the issues and “festering sores”. Nothing was precluded, including process, people, personalities, responsibilities, environment, timeframes etc.
From the “clusters” which resulted, responsibilities were allocated.
Two-week reflection period for further discussion involving other people where necessary.
Day 2 each department Director reported back on their thoughts findings and action plan from the reflection period.
The Result – improved Way of Working from better understanding of the issues and what was needed from everyone in the organisation to achieve a significant improvement in results.
Improved communication between Heads of Department. Silo mentality reduced. Improved year end results achieved
Chris Varley has extensive “hands on” experience at all levels in “blue chip” international companies and SME’s of making change happen through improving communication.
Turning disparate groups into cohesive forces to achieve new objectives.
Qualified business performance coach working in different business cultures.