In my years of experience, I’ve become sure of a few things: One being that most systems integrators just don’t execute well on their strategic and/or business plans.
Perhaps, as engineers and technology enthusiasts, that’s inherently built into us. Companies that do execute well are the companies that are growing and showing sizable profits.
Making money is the goal – and the companies successfully doing that seem to have better project processes in place that allow them to spot trouble before it’s too late. They also have better discipline regarding what jobs they chase, and seem to have a keen sense of purpose in every facet of business. The entire team seems to understand the need to out-perform the competition.
I’ve visited many companies that employ experts on managing (i.e. managing the facility and inventory, managing their WIP, percentage of completion, AP/AR, vendor partners, projects, etc.). But these same people forget to lead, motivate, inspire, and communicate. In the past, we never used to do any of this, and we still did just fine. But times have changed.
Execution is a constant balance between vision, purpose, and action. Action without a sense of purpose develops into a situation where the business doesn’t adapt to the changes occurring around them. It leads to idle time in an era where we have no margin for error in our labor estimates. These businesses eventually fail due to employee turnover, obsolete skills sets, or low productivity.
Likewise, a clear vision and strong sense of purpose without action is useless. If the vision belongs to one or two senior people, and isn’t shared or communicated to the frontline employees, it is basically useless. Developing a team with a shared sense of purpose and aligned with the senior management is the very best scenario, leading to long-term success.
A shared purpose helps translate vision into action. Decision-making goes from weeks to minutes. The level of trust skyrockets. Action replaces the fear of making mistakes. Employees participate rather than hide. Problems surface rather than get buried.
These are the companies that are growing and prospering in today’s business climate. They execute well on every project because they have the tools they need and the support of leadership, and they understand the purpose of every task they’re given.
Years ago, making sure frontline employees understood the company’s values, culture, vision, purpose, and goals never even crossed my mind. Today, it’s not an option – it’s a must. -Chuck Wilson, NSCA Executive Director