Uncertainty: The Business Survival Game

Uncertainty: The Business Survival Game

Business uncertainty is the unknown in the organization and in the field of business relevant to company operation. While uncertainty cannot be measured, a business can take steps to protect the future of its employees and customers.

The Business Environment and Evolution

With the on-going – or should I say, never-ending? – Brexit debate (…end October 2019 was not it, after all!), and the uncertainty in the way this story is yet to evolve, it is no surprise that markets dealing with British business environments are somewhat cautious. But of course, this is only one aspect of current affairs we have all heard about, that is a cause for uncertainty.

Moving on to the business environment, regularly changing operational and market demands, updates to regulations and legislation, changes in public or enterprise policies, changes in the leadership of organisations, and other similar situations bring on the need for a constant catch-up game.

In response, organisations need to review strategies and objectives, and subsequently process activities. Some of these changes are responded to reactively, other organisations try to be smarter and tend to treat this more proactively. This turmoil and demand for evolutionary development only make matters more difficult to manage.

One of the typical symptoms is that people get scuffled in keeping up with what is expected of them. A few identified risks are an inevitable deterioration of performance and an experience of difficulty in keeping up; leading to potential frustration…perhaps also the resignation of key personnel. This no doubt creates voids and weaknesses within the structure. That is when competitors get on the strike! When your organisation is drained of the right resources (and the expertise they carry with them as a result of years of loyalty and experience building).

Organisations need to maintain a rolling, constantly reviewed plan of action. Perhaps a five-year plan may be too long reaching? A shorter-term plan that is more plausible? A plan which is regularly reviewed and updated to ensure it is continually aligned with ever-changing requirements.

The Effect of Gen Y in the Workforce

One of the more concerning issues being identified by local entrepreneurs is the knock-on effect of the Gen Y and expat culture in terms of job-hopping opportunities being sought.

Deloitte surveyed 10,455 Gen Y – born between 1983 and December 1994 from 36 countries – and found that 43 per cent of millennials plan to leave their current jobs within two years and only 28 per cent have plans to stay beyond five years.

Today’s workforce is becoming highly diluted, unlike in the past where training employees would span a few weeks, but employers knew they could possibly retain them for years, if not decades. Most Gen Y abandons their employer before they had the time to return the maximum value. Hence the importance for companies to have processes and systems that can adapt to the high turnover, retain knowledge and guarantee business continuity.

With the exodus being a constant battle to fight, possible mitigation is to seek ways to retain business information and to make tasks as independent of an individual as possible. In an ideal scenario, a new employee could seamlessly resume the work of his/her predecessor almost instantaneously.

The keywords here are process simplification and standardisation. As a result of this trend business managers should no longer rely on the loyalty of employees but on the soundness of their internal systems.

Uncertainty, fluidity and transformation

Immaterial of the executional model of the business, the value and quality of the ultimate service/product offering must not affect the customer experience. Maximising on efficiency and effectiveness of the operations are significant factors for success.

With the constant factor of change and turnover of workforce discussed above, acting against sustained stability, the uncertainty and fluidity status within the business environment calls for careful management of the situation at hand.

It is high time that organisations realise the need to transform their business model, not only to one that is more aligned with the current demands, but furthermore: a model that is capable to evolve to the other unknowns brought about by the future state. Holding on to the traditional business model is a fate that sees its days being counted out fast.

Top management needs to accept the fact that operational activities need constant review and evolution to the everchanging environment. We feel that the simplification of processes and restricting these to the core value-adding activities simplifies the effort of evolution. When it comes to the technology component, legacy solutions may be a challenge to move around, make changes or adaptations. However, through the application of more flexible technology tools, a mixed integration model may facilitate the automation of specific activities and tasks. With simplified methodologies, fully defined and streamlined processes to optimise execution effort, and with the right level of technology to facilitate the operational aspects, future organisational survival stands a better chance.

At BEAT, we believe in bringing value where it matters. Through our approaches and methodologies, we work with the clients to introduce the right level of transformation best suited to the business.

Click here to learn more about our advisory services or send us an email.

by Ing. Joseph Micallef, Chief Operations Officer / Partner at BEAT Limited

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