At the start of 2016 we had seen news headlines, which may have sent alarm bells ringing across businesses and individuals alike. Suggestions that this could be the year when the world tumbles back into economic crisis were fuelled by share prices plunging, oil prices reaching their lowest level in 11 years and global giants like China facing slowdown. So it might seem incredibly inappropriate to offer an article shaped around improving performance, but just exactly what do we mean by performance?
Everyone likes a good story
Some ten years ago I headed up the marketing for a major manufacturing group supplying tile & stone and floor coverings to the retail, contract and DIY sectors. At that time I was sitting comfortably with over 20 years experience in the industry and running one of the most successful campaigns across all core sectors. The easy thing would have been to carry on doing more of the same, building on experience and success, but then the change! I decided to set up my own management consultancy and steer my own course. Anyone involved in change knows it is not an easy option and yet it is sometimes change that helps us to discover new ways forward, new opportunities, new goals, new perspectives and new rewards. Ten years on I have worked with many business leaders, senior executives and management teams in identifying their courageous goals, creating strategies and implementation plans which are much more about them than me.
Performance is not always more of the same
Perhaps whether it’s great economic giants like China, or markets like the oil industry, it is also time for change. As we continue to grasp for even more growth and wealth creation it is inevitable that, whether we like it or not, we will be faced with change. In business perhaps we can become too comfortable expecting the contract sector to always offer us the same old familiar cake that we have known and loved for years. The reality is that many more competitors want a slice and in some cases are prepared to change the rules to achieve it. You can’t afford to take your eye of what is happening in the market place, how it is changing and where and how you can best adapt to achieve your goals.
For the individual performance is just that, it’s about the unique individual. I sometimes question whether marketing has lost its way when sometimes it seems that we associate big brands like Google, Facebook, Shell and Starbucks with success. All those years ago part of the principle of marketing that appealed to me was that it was about understanding the needs and desires of the individual or customer. If we all are prepared to settle for the same, the comfortable life where change simply doesn’t happen then clearly we are in the process of a global meltdown.
Performance is not simply about growth but understanding your very own potential, your own unique courageous goals and finding your personal journey plan to fulfil them. As individual business leaders, and managers each of us can make a difference and having braved the change, we are able to experience a change in performance for the better.
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