Are You Prepared for the New Era of Business?
All leaders today have been caught in a time where business is transitioning to a new phase. Now is the time to ensure you are prepared for the new era.
There is no question that business is changing. We are starting to find that the tools we once used no longer work. Gone are days where setting targets for each worker was enough to motivate them. Now, people want more from their day job.
They want to be themselves and grow as a person at work. With new tools entering the business world every day, it can be difficult for leaders to understand it all.
On one hand, leaders want to do what is right and implement them. However, they also have to focus on the most vital things. That is driving results into the business.
There is a balance to be made, and leaders struggle with it all the time. Our businesses are becoming more complex, and the world of competition is harder to navigate.
However, I would argue that this balance is a result of a new transition our businesses are going through. As leaders, we are living in a very fortunate time to be in between two phases of the world of work. It allows us to shape it for future generations.
Nevertheless, it is not easy. Yes, we are fortunate, but it is hard at the same time. With a new era comes new challenges, and we are the ones people look to navigate them.
So, what is the new era of business, and why is it important? Finally, how can leaders begin moving forward by making the right decisions? Well, that is what I hope to answer briefly in this short article.
A Brief History of Business
To understand the phase we are entering, we must know where we were. Each era in business has served as essential milestones to the way we operate today. Understanding these phases will not only help you navigate better, but it may also inform you of what is coming next.
Era 1: Get Dirty to Get the Job Done
The first era of business was the most basic of them all. There was not much knowledge, and Henry Ford had not come along with the division of labour yet. So, we were still using our hands to create products for our customers.
Whether making clay pots, cleaning or building sheds, we got dirty to make our money. Although not the most satisfying, this era is vital to the business world. It highlighted a few vital things:
- You must have a skill: Those with a specific skill such as lumberjacks, carpenters or shoemakers excelled in this economy. And guess what, today, it remains true. Having a craft you can call your own and becoming good at it sells.
- We all need each other: The carpenter could not exist without the lumberjack. The stores could not exist without the farmers. We learned very quickly that if we are to survive, we must be diverse enough to lean on others work. Companies today understand this and ensure they have a diversified range of skills and people to build the best organisations.
Era 2: Why Use Your Hands When You Can Use Your Brain
Soon after, Henry Ford came along with this concept allowing him to produce at a much faster rate. Of course, everyone was still using their hands, but people began to see the value of ideas and knowledge.
Soon after this, we saw tonnes of ideas being produced to make our lives easier. Using the laws of physics and electronics, people could make machinery. And people began to encourage idea generation by their employees.
This era taught us that ideas play an essential role in generating more capital for our businesses. And we have been stuck in this era for quite some time. Companies still spend much of their time trying to scale their business through using existing knowledge.
A good thing is, it encourages people to continue to generate ideas and build for the future. Workers now have a bit more control over their daily lives, and they do not have to be stuck with their mundane tasks. Although these tasks are necessary, they can think up an idea and shape the future of an organisation.
However, with all the good this era has brought, we are starting to see another shift. And that shift is worrying because now it is harder to measure for leaders.
A New Era: Use Your Heart Instead
Although thinking up new ideas is great, people now want to do things for themselves. Even worse, people want to be themselves at work and express their passion. Well, it is not a bad thing, but as leaders, how do we manage that?
In the first era, performance was linked to output. In the second, ideas and propelling results forward through innovation. However, this new era calls for a new strategy.
People want to feel included in the big decisions made. They want meaningful work. And they want to define their time and work on things that interest them.
It sounds like an impossible task to me, especially as organisations are still set up with the old era ethos. So, how do leaders begin creating this environment to draw talent and build great organisations?
Navigating the New Era
In this era, the best leaders will not be those who build strategies for the most output. Neither will they be the ones who think up bright and creative innovative ideas.
Although these things will remain present and are necessary for driving results, they will not be at the forefront. The best leaders will learn how to touch the heart of those who they work with.
They will learn the art of becoming friends with their team rather than just colleagues. They will check up on the team outside of working hours. They may even do family outings and take part in recreational activities together.
To start navigating this era, you have to learn how to empower your employees from within. Leaders will need to take part in active listening and ensure they do their best to keep their team happy, not the other way round.
So, if you are a leader, start touching your team where it matters. Connect with them on a deeper level and put extra time into your interactions with them. It is no longer all about what you can do or what you know. Instead, it is all about what you love.
I am a Visionary and Writer who seeks to enrich society by challenging how we do business today to lead to a world of better leaders and opportunities tomorrow.