The business forum | Dear managers, beware of the waves

I’m not talking here about the waves that disturb the tranquility of a beautiful peaceful lake near your cottage or the waves of California that we only see in Netflix series, no! I’m talking about business waves, trends and fashions that (obviously) pass as quickly as a gust of wind.

Why not take advantage of this summer period to ask yourself the right questions: as a manager, am I letting myself be carried away by the wave?

I have the impression that there is a competition on social networks between professionals from all walks of life. The winner will be the person who manages to include the most buzzwords in a single post.

We are in an era where we look so much for “our” differentiating element that we seem to get lost in it. All the terms are used, in all the sauces and no matter that the general message lacks clarity, we will have gathered all the words that make people talk!

We talk about a learning organization, an agile company, inclusive leadership, conscious leadership which has now replaced the concept of benevolence, digital transformation, to name a few. It’s an infernal hubbub where everyone gets lost. Terms so scattered that we no longer see the overall picture or the real problem we are trying to solve. From my point of view, it is a decoy.

I am thinking in particular of agile management: for years some companies have been stubbornly implementing it within their organization as a panacea that would solve all the problems, since traditional management was failing. In doing so, by persisting in implementing a new management model, nothing was resolved: the problem was postponed until later.

Other interesting phenomena, the manager who is told to implement principles favoring the employer brand, to advocate the model of the “liberated company”, to enhance the customer experience as much as possible or to welcome artificial intelligence in his daily activities… while the manager has difficulty managing his current data! And there, if he does not comply, the manager has the impression that everyone is surfing the wave, except him, and that he has just missed a precious opportunity to shine.

But is all this really useful for his organization? We too often forget to ask ourselves this question: what is the objective that I am trying to achieve? What is the central element of this issue?

It’s as if the company is finding it increasingly difficult to tell the difference between the problem and the cause of it. We bought the most beautiful windsurf board and we absolutely want to catch the next wave when there is no wind!

This internal critical look becomes, from my point of view, essential in order to ensure that it works despite everything that is said elsewhere. The first step should be to let go of these distractions in order to focus on the crux of the matter: what is not working within the company or that one seeks to improve? What is the impact on day-to-day operations if nothing is done? What are my competitors currently doing? What’s holding us back from realizing the vision set for our team at the start of the year?

Subsequently, the idea is to make a complete mapping of the skills possessed by the members of your work teams. Are these skills sufficient to solve the targeted problem? Gather your teams and discuss it with them. If they need to strengthen their skills or learn new ones, train them! After all, competence will always be the most important molecule in your organization. She is vital.

From now on, avoid reading everything you see on social networks. It’s often more scary than anything else. Gather your team and clear things up. You have noticed several symptoms over the past few months, it is now up to you all to diagnose the disease. Just go ahead and say, “Here’s the problem I’m noticing and I’d like us to work on it together. »

If the skills needed to solve the problem are not in your team, training your employees will be your first strategy. And please, avoid being influenced by complete strangers on the web who will tell you about all these technological mirages that will absolutely not benefit you. Take a necessary step back from all these platforms.

Otherwise, if you don’t try to solve a problem through skill building, the rest will be just risk. You’ll just be trying an approach that probably isn’t right for your business.

In this summer period, do not wait for the next wave that everyone is talking about when there is no wind. Don’t waste your time, focus on what you can control.

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