The corporate world is undergoing unprecedented change and at incredible speed. Digital technology is dramatically lowering the barriers to entry in every market, changing the way business operates, increasing competition and accelerating the need for innovation and much faster decision making.
As Josh Bersin has discussed extensively, CEOs have to operate within an environment that is constantly changing, meaning they need to build agile, flexible organisational structures that are one step ahead of the competition. Employees need to be engaged and mobilised, customers have to receive a superior experience across their journey and companies need to instantly understand what is happening in their markets if they are to react quickly enough to seize opportunities. The ultimate aim of collecting insight from customers and employees is to improve both the top line and organisational effectiveness to drive a better #bottomline.
Insight is critical to competing and thriving in every market – it directly impacts your bottom line. And the good news is that people – your employees, customers and survey respondents – all want to share and engage. The difficulty is making sure that you are able to listen, engage and act wisely on what they are saying. The very complexity of business means that there are barriers between the voice of your people and the ears of your organisation.
Driven by the need to compete, organisations today undergo frequent, often extreme, restructures, while businesses have access to a bewildering array of demographic data about their customers and prospects. Finding the right people to ask and listen to therefore becomes an important process that needs executive commitment.
When you’ve identified who you want to talk to, the challenges don’t stop. It is not enough to connect to people through surveys alone – they want to give feedback in ways that go beyond quantitative surveys in order to tell you how they really feel. And they increasingly want to do this through their smartphone, when it is convenient or timely for them. Traditional annual surveys simply aren’t fast enough to capture the insight that you need.
What executives need is to find ways of breaking down these barriers and to listen to their people, whenever and wherever they speak. Using feedback wisely is critical to every business’s #bottomline. They need to cut through complexity to map hierarchies in minutes, not weeks, enabling them to pinpoint and engage with the right audiences in the right way. Cost and time have to be reduced, and the interval between feedback collection and business decision making shortened dramatically if they are to remain competitive. I believe this is the big challenge for business over the coming years – your people are talking, but are you able to listen and implement the right actions?