“Our people matter”

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Bullshit is still rife in corporate life in 2018.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the corporate vision and strategy – in particular, for any corporate seeking to ‘transform’ itself over the next few years to ‘disrupt’ itself, lest it be ‘disrupted’.

Bullshit words and phrases obfuscate or euphemise what the company is really seeking to do, and therefore how its people should feel and act.

Words like ‘transform’ or ‘transformation’ are of course euphemisms that typically mean: “make better use of technology so that we can do more with less people”.

Oh, what a difference it would make if corporate CEOs and execs could simply and plainly say this, whilst at the same time reassuring their people that good people – working on the right things – are vital to the the company’s success, and valued accordingly.

Something along these lines, perhaps?:

Our people matter now more than ever.

  • A highly engaged team is critical to our future success
  • That said, we will be aggressively pursuing two things:
    1. Redesigning our business so that our people only do the things it makes sense for them to do.
    2. Redesigning our business to ensure we are delivering the best possible customer experience.
  • Yes, this means that means that robots, automation, digitisation, customer self-service etc. will eventually do many of the things our people do today. It also means that we need to think constantly about what’s best for others, rather than simply what’s best for us.
  • Consequently, we need our people to:
    • Be capable of embracing change – open to upskilling, re-training, and taking on new roles and challenges. Committed to continuous improvement for self, as well as company.
    • Become customer-centric – understand how/why customer experience matters, and be clear what they can do each day to improve it.
  • We will actively help our people to do both of these things. Our future depends on it.

With people at the heart of our business, our strategy is two-fold:

  1. Get better every day at doing the things our company is known for today; and
  2. Actively seek out new things our company could be known for tomorrow.

At some point, your job is likely to move from (1) to (2).
At some point, our customers might know us more for (2) than (1).

But for now, and the foreseeable future, we are committed to giving both aspects of our strategy the level of attention, investment and support that each deserves.

We know it will be a balancing act, but we’re confident that if we continue to put our people first, they’ll help us to get it right.

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