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22 July 2013

Business Doesn’t Occur in a Vacuum

Business Doesn't Occur in a Vacuum.

Business Doesn’t Occur in a Vacuum.

Outside elements, personalities, bias, preferences, mistakes—these forces that impact business decisions cannot be compartmentalized and made without experiencing the application of external forces.

So why do corporations still operate in departmental silos that stifle creativity, efficiency, productivity and profitability?

As it turns out, no, no one ever asked me. However, I’ve turned every organization I’ve been involved with on its ear to some degree by reverse engineering the sales-marketing-production-operations relationships. If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes the whole organization to move business forward and grow revenue.

A Sale is neither the beginning, nor the end of a process. It’s a cycle that should involve everyone in the business.

Starting from the end result—how customers really use the products, why they really need the products—I created operations processes around the promises that businesses made to customers. I created marketing directed at the needs of the customers and focused sales efforts around finding and solving the problems of the customers; but I never did this alone. The key to successfully dismantling the top down silo structure is to inspire colleagues and get their “buy in” at all different levels, in all different departments. The input of people who have the opportunity to touch and impact either the customers or the product has tremendous value in the output of their actions.

To be included is validating, even inspiring, and it leads to more ownership and collaboration in an organization.

No one asked me. And I didn’t ask permission. Together, we evolved the culture of the organization—the collective mindset of who does what and most importantly, why. Inspired, included and involved, we implemented behaviors that exemplified the culture—practicing the actions that move business forward. Then we created strategies that employed those behaviors—leveraging the new vision and collective resources. Those strategies were directed to execute the behaviors, creating the culture of a Selling Organization and charging the entire organization and its members with the responsibility of moving business forward.

Just as important as reaching new goals and achieving growth in the organization is the celebration of success, adapting to the market, and reflecting the impact of each and every member’s role in moving the business forward.

If your position is the owner of the company, the owner of the region, division, department, or only one process, you CAN make a difference—whether it’s company wide or in your own corner of the company, if you decide to own it and share without boundaries, good things will happen.

Until next time . . . keep kickin’ butt!
—sks

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