Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Weather Outside is Frightful!

Don’t let this holiday song provide a foundation theme for 2008! You certainly can tell it is winter by the methodology being used by the weather forecasters to panic the local residents into spending hours at the grocery store buying all the necessities for a mid 1950’s blizzard. I sit there listening to them tell me that the potential for the front moving rapidly from the South up the coast colliding with the Arctic air being driven down by a Canadian high located over some Lake near Michigan should produce a tremendous snowstorm that supposedly we have all been waiting for. I wake up the next morning and I find a “dusting” if anything but the result of the forecast is that WAWA has sold more milk and bread compared to previous snow storm announcements (for those not in the Philadelphia market, WAWA is the leading convenience store where you buy milk and bread) We are starting to hear the same thing about a global recession. After conducting their annual S.W.O.T., it has now become part of everyone’s strategic plan to list an economic recession as the major external threat that may affect their business success for the upcoming year. I guess we better get in line at your local WAWA to buy cost reduction measures, recession-proof armor, revenue producing fairy dust, and more. Unfortunately, I can feel the cost-cutting measures starting to unfold as I am writing this article.

There is no question that the economy may more than likely turn “chilly” in the upcoming year and the predictions for the real estate market continue to appear “frigid”. Forecasters are predicting that there is a heightened interest in career development and paying down personal debt. Business leaders have learned in 2007 that employee loyalty is waning as employer commitment begins to weaken. The generational shift in ownership in small businesses and the retirement rush is the corporate environment has begun and will accelerate in 2008. Economic trends are being characterized by shorter job tenures, changing generational values, scarce talent, and a surplus of vacant positions.
Statistically it is well documented that these trends are real. These trends are affecting all levels within an organization and we need to focus on the acquisition of talent, identification and development of leaders within an organization, and the retention of good employees. Survey after survey demonstrates that most businesses believe there is a current shortage of quality leadership talent in the workforce and they measure personality or behavioral styles when identifying future leaders. It is also well documented that most companies have not implemented an adequate leadership development plan and not focused on the emotional intelligence of the future leader.
The real concern for me is that most companies still do not realize that their people offer them the most competitive advantage in any economic climate.
First, it is important that you do not let the business weatherpersons scare you into a cost-cutting frenzy in that areas of business that means the most to your employees. Second, leadership and career development cannot be achieved without an effective training and development process. Not a program, but a process! I ask you to be innovative in the selection of your tools and products for this process and of course, make sure they are cost – effective but most importantly, produce the desired results or behavioral change that your company needs to be more competitive in 2008. Don’t let the forecasters scare you into cutting the processes that will mean the difference for your future.

Innovative Leadership offers training and development for all levels of your employees. Executive Coaching, Manager Training, and even Customer Service. Get more competitive and make a difference with these programs and processes. Contact us to get started today!

No comments: