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Transforming the bottom line by going back to the future!

We’re all in business and we’re all constantly searching for the same thing. Something magical with the power to create profit without changing our products, services or customers.

The good news is that I’ve found it! And it may not be quite what you were expecting. It’s been around longer than any technology. It requires no market intelligence. And there’s not a hashtag or emoji in sight! Even better, is that there’s a simple three-step plan to harness it. Or should I say ‘them’.

Because the opportunity is to be found in our people. Particularly our managers who have the ability to take our culture, our people and our performance to new levels.

Like all the greatest opportunities, it has been caused by change. People like us who are running big businesses are (on average) getting older. Yet, in Asia, 70% of employees are Millennials. Elsewhere in the world that number is over 30%. Between them and the directors who pay their wages lies a huge gulf in culture, expectations and values.

The ‘C’ suite within so many businesses remains linear and traditional. They have grown-up in a world where the numbers come first, and the culture comes a distant second at best. Employees, on the other hand, are more agile and value-led. They choose to work in ethical, progressive and consultative environments. Only 18% feel that their companies are good at developing leaders. They are uninspired by the ‘same old’ approach to HR, training and culture. They are desperate to find something newer, better, and more empathetic and they are willing to move jobs to find it.

This presents an incredible opportunity. The vast majority of businesses are not bridging the culture gap. They have focused on what their customers want, without making a similar adjustment to the ever-changing needs of their employees.

This is so easy to change. Many great businesses have already done it. The majority are run by Millennials. They recognise that, even in the age of technology, people remain our greatest asset, and can produce the greatest returns of all. Each has delivered on each of these three simple steps:
• They have a clear corporate vision embracing everything they do
• With an agility that allows their people to flourish
• And an empathy that allows them to embrace, not repel, their people

In that setting, managers can be empowered to motivate and engage. We can help those who are more experienced develop more current skills through coaching and mentoring rather than box-ticking and lecturing. They, in turn, can harness the talent within our Millennial and Generation Z workforce.
Investing in a new app may be sexier, but developing our people will have a much deeper and more meaningful impact on the bottom line.

I know how busy you are, and how much information you are asked to absorb. It’s so easy to push it to one side. But I really hope this thought piece makes you think and act. It addresses fundamental issues that are holding back so many businesses and presents a better way forward.

You can find a summary of our research and recommendations in our thought paper Better managers, better business.

I hope you find it useful. Please do let me know either way – I am always learning, and I’m genuinely interested in your thoughts, views and opinions, connect with me here – You can also join the conversation on LinkedIn.

Our Managing People series can help your managers make your business better, check it out.