How well do you know your Business ?

How well do you know your Business ?

By Simon Thorpe, Expressions


The higher up the organisation you are the less in touch you can become with the organisation. You rely on your middle management team to inform you about what is going on.

It is true that the main role of the senior team is to steer the direction of the organisation and to chart the strategic route map to arrive at the desired destination, but how well do you know your organisation ?

You may have seen the TV series ‘Undercover Boss’ where the senior person literally goes undercover disguising themselves as a new operative working within various functions of the business. Typically what is uncovered is that strategically set directives and processes are not being transferred to the front line.

There are operational issues that prevent the organisation achieving the vision and there are some unsung heroes within the organisation who are not always recognised and valued for the contribution they bring each and every day. Whilst I appreciate there are often layers of people between the front line and the CEO, why are their findings on undercover boss a surprise to them ? Are they being shielded from the reality of the situation ?

Are they so far removed from the day to day business operations that they are a stranger in their own business ? Or are their middle management team not effecting the decisions made at senior level. The CEO remains 100% accountable for the business and so trust is a key issue for this to be effective. But are your managers effective in their roles ? All too often people have the job title of manager because they have been there the longest or they are the best at the technical aspects of the business. This is no reason to promote to a position of managerial authority.

The CMI conducted research across the UK workforce in 2011 and found that 80% of employees left their manager, not the organisation.

So here are your 5 to Thrive tips

1. Challenge your managers to report back on the operational successes with supporting evidence 2. Challenge your managers to bring 3-5 real areas where there is genuine opportunity to improve performance within your organisation aligned to achieving the vision
3. Challenge your managers to identify a selection of front line operatives (in all areas of the organisation) who are living the values and making a difference in the role they play
4. Challenge your managers to identify their individual team members by understanding them not as Human Resources, but as Human Beings
5. Manage By Wandering Around (MBWA). Get back to the core of your organisation by allocating valuable time with your front line staff. Go on field accompaniments, shadow a shift, hold informal employee forums You will always be busy, but ask yourself the money question… “Are you busy or are you Effective” ?


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