Business Best Practices, Our Thoughts

Looking Forward: A Transformative 2020

Jan 7, 2020

Hello, 2020. You’re a sight for sore eyes!

2019 is officially behind us along with an entire decade. A milestone like that tends to round up all the feels. Some just look back on the year while many others have made nostalgia from the whole decade the newest trend on social. Either way the sound of people acknowledging their successes and failures of the past is still lingering. Some would argue the old cliche “never look back” might get you farther than nostalgia. Whatever your plan is to do better next year, it’s time to wrap it up and look forward. 2020 is bound to be a year of great change and growth; 10x better than last year, right? I challenge you to make sure of that. So, how are you going to make that happen?

Make it Happen- 2020 Success.

We always hear things like “the best is yet to come,” but at the end of the day, year, or decade, what did you do to bring that to fruition? Yes, it it true that we have to work together to make the BIG things happen but every day is full of individual decisions. So if your goal is growth, what will you do today to own your impact? 2020 is going to bring a bigger collision of technology and human life than any of us have ever seen before and it’s going to make a huge impact on what we are capable of as individuals, societies, and businesses. If you haven’t heard yet the Fourth Industrial Revolution is on the rise, and if you don’t know what that means for you — your way of life, your way of business — stick around for the rest of this article as we dive into What Success Looks Like in this new year, new decade, new era, and how you can make it happen for your business.

The Shift from Return (ROI) Focused to People Focused.    

Leaders in communities and business are finally realizing that people – HUMANS – are one of the most essential components influencing success (but technology is a close 2nd- more to come on that!). By arranging the “business model” around the needs of real people, productivity increases; distractions and confrontations decrease; ROI is greater. With external distractions like money, childcare, and healthcare reduced, they can put more time, energy, and commitment into their work. So, a people-first approach is best for relationships, communities, and businesses. How is your business changing its model to be people-centric?

The Rise of The Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Human capability magnified with technology brings The Fourth Industrial Revolution– a term coined by Klaus Schwab representing change that is driven by integration of digital, biological, and physical innovations. This represents things that we see every day like digital assistants and the use of technology in healthcare but transcending this concept into the use of technology and cloud-based systems in practically every aspect of human life. This can be used to create a more employee-focused working environment by using this technology to help employees do their everyday tasks, opening them up for more creativity, innovation, and productivity. The purpose of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is not by any means to remove employees from business but to enhance employees’ ability to reach their full potential. 

Measuring Success: A Change in Perspective

If you were to ask business leaders fifty years ago what success in business meant to them, you would get a completely different answer than if you were to ask that same question today. It used to be simple and something like “make money,” and if you asked the same question to passer-byers the answer would be almost one and the same, “make a living.” Everything that was once considered to be “optional” in business such as Marketing, Social Responsibility, and Employee Satisfaction is now considered to be essential components to a successful business. We can’t continue measuring business success or personal success by how much money is made. Sustainability requires much more than that. As you set your personal or business goals for 2020 (and the next 10 years if that’s how you roll), challenge yourself to consider these Top Five Measures of Success.

The Top Five Measures of Success According to Deloitte:

  1. Societal Impact

Business – Companies that have been around for a while are mostly built to make a profit and if it benefits people too, well that’s just a perk, but what if your actual business model was built around societal impact. What if you were a social enterprise first?

Personal – What if your individual goals were built around improving the lives of others first and your own life second? There’s something to be said about this measure alone. I think your perspective about this will lead to success in the 4 other aspects.

  1. Customer Satisfaction

Business – Obviously, Customer Satisfaction is a big influencer in business success, because after all, unhappy customers = unsatisfactory sales. You will no longer be successful without the word of others vouching for you. This is your credibility and shows your impact.

Personal – Who are your customers? Your friends, your family, the people around you… Yourself! This speaks to how well you achieve #1. Of course, you shouldn’t let the opinions of others control you, but welcoming honest constructive feedback will be crucial to your growth.

  1. Employee Satisfaction/ Retention

Business – As stated earlier, employees are essential. People – real live humans – are essential. No business is going to last with low employee satisfaction. Low retention rates can cost a business a small (or sometimes large) fortune on lost productivity and time alone. Increased employee satisfaction will make a business money on several fronts, including increased productivity and decreased time spent on employee acquisition and training.

Personal – At the individual level, what do you invest in yourself, your training, your health? How do you ensure you’re preventing burnt out? How honest are you with yourself and how do you treat yourself? You are your employee. How do you reward yourself? How do you stay disciplined and consistent?

  1. Financial Performance

Business – It is a no-brainer that a business must pay its’ bills. However, thinking back to 50 years ago and just “making money,” just because a business makes money doesn’t mean that they are financially performing. What does it do with that money? How does it take that money and work to improve measures 1-3? For true Financial Performance, the money a business makes must move full circle and be invested for improvements of other measures.

Personal – Instant gratification versus long term growth. This morning I started my day playing “Would You Rather?” a timeless game that I’m sure even 50 years ago was used to fill the time, inspire conversation, or break the ice at a party. Would you rather be given $1,000 right now or be given $50 a month for the rest of your life? Would you rather be given $1,000 dollars or have the charity of your choice be given $10,000 dollars?

  1. Regulatory Adherence

Business- Regulations and rules are a large part of any business’ operations. They can seem daunting at times, but necessary nonetheless. When a business doesn’t follow the rules, not only do they usually have to pay out rather large sums of money, but they also loose some of their social capital. The hit to your reputation, depending on circumstance, could be hard to recover from as well. Additionally, nobody wants to buy from a company that has been caught with their hand in the cookie jar either. If you’re a business owner, there is a good chance you didn’t go into business because you are a subject matter expert of all things running a business (Compliance is tricky!). It’s more likely your passion that led you to open your business. This is an area that you definitely want to enlist partners/ consultants.

Personal- Man is it hard for people to give second chances. Do you have set standards that you live by? Sure, we have legal guidelines and laws implicating us, but what are your personal guidelines? How do you set boundaries to ensure your protection and also your growth? How do you hold yourself accountable?

Here is a free checklist for Employers/ Business Owners outlining these top five measures of success for the modern workforce. A printable version can be found here

Top-Measures-of-Performance-Success-Checklist 2020 Top Five Measures of Success

Use this checklist to keep your business on the right track. Whether you have 1 employee or 100, business in general is ever-changing and it is our job to find ways to adapt in order to succeed. With powerful human capital management technology, let’s adapt together to make 2020 a transformative year of growth and success!