Nobody knows more about your company than you and your team. Together you know what works best and how to make the organization operate successfully. Or ... at least you think you know. You might want to check how the competition handles things. A fresh view on your organization from a third party can also be valuable. And how will you implement those changes and improvements in your organization? Do you simply impose it to your people or do you help them with this?
Learn from your competitor
You won’t find two identical companies, in that respect the organization you work for is unique. But there are, of course, companies that struggle with the exact same challenges like you do. Often these are your competitors and / or industry peers. Therefore, if possible, try to find out more about how they work. What do their processes look like? Which automation tools do they use? What is the company structure like? In which areas do they score better than you and why is that? It does not mean that you should copy what the competitor does. Learn from the competition, see what the ‘best practices’ in your industry are and translate this into workable solutions for your organization.
“You should learn from your competitor, but never copy. Copy and you die.”
Jack Ma – oprichter Alibaba Group
A look from the outside
As an entrepreneur you are busy. The daily work consumes a lot of time, so you have less time to work on improving the business. In that case, a fresh view from the outside can help you. Someone who looks at your situation independently, helps you make the right choices and ensures that you work more successfully. Especially when you have been working in an organization for a long time, you can get stuck in certain thinking patterns and fail to think 'out-of-the-box'. The vision of someone from the outside can then be enlightening.
Changes need to be managed
How you deal with changes in your organization is crucial for the success you achieve. Are you pushing new procedures, despite the resistance you get? Do you impose new rules without discussing this with others? It is unlikely that this will turn into a success. You need to manage changes. Inform your colleagues in time, ask them for feedback, let them co-decide if possible, see if people support your measures, explain your decisions, help people to get used to the change and jump in where necessary. This way you increase the likelihood of your change being accepted and thus turning into a success.
Looking at the competitor and listening to others is useful, but make sure to remain yourself. It is often the creativity, self-will or perseverance of one or more people in the organization that has ensured success in the past and will continue to bring in success. Be open to other opinions, but be convinced of your own strength as well!
Philip van Kemenade is marketing manager at Dysel and is in contact with software end users every day.