Our thoughts, views, and experiences
A very successful real estate sales agent once used the slogan “Don’t Get a Divorce … Just Get a Bigger House” on billboards. Sadly that’s the type of logic that many people follow when their marriage is not working. Let’s have a child, let’s have another child or let’s renovate the kitchen are examples of other things couples do to “fix” their problems. Fixing a relationship starts with getting to the heart of what’s not working and that requires concrete and courageous steps.
When family relationships are not working well, we want and feel compelled to do something to solve the problem; the same is true with businesses. When a business is not working well (e.g. when the leadership team doesn’t trust one another, when processes are broken, employee turnover is high and you’re losing key customers) leadership needs to do something to solve the problem.
Often the choice to solve the problem is to turn to technology solutions. This could include various ERP’s, Finance, Sales or CRM solutions. I’ve often heard leaders say they can’t successfully compete because they don’t have the technology platforms to support their business needs. It’s true that insufficient technology solutions can hurt companies, but most business failures are caused by people related issues, like lack of vision and strategy, poor planning, misaligned business processes and leadership not listening to employees and customers.
A technology solution is only a tool (or series of tools), and it does not become a business accelerator or corporate problem solver unless it includes a successful business integration. Quite often, companies only hire a systems integrator and don’t engage business integrators. They miss the opportunity or feel they don’t need support to enable it. Often I’ve heard business leaders say “we’ve got that covered” or “all we need is the technology; our people will pick it up and run with it.” If only that was reality.
Any large change, which includes the implementation of a new technology solution, can bring risks, uncertainty, resistance and a great deal of fear throughout all levels of the organization. They must be managed through business integration support. Planned and orchestrated integration can bring tremendous rewards, insights, return of investment and incredible competitive advantages.
The key to excellent integration support is to create a complete business solution that incorporates policies, procedures, roles, responsibilities, accountabilities, and ways of working across the organization.
Before embarking on the technology implementation, businesses need to create a vision for success, gain an understanding of where they are, what may be holding them back and the real problems that need solving to validate that this is the right solution for the business. If your processes are broken or not in line with the new technology and departments and employees work in silos (not cross-functionally), a pure technology solution is not going to solve the problem on its own.
If your management team is dysfunctional, lacking trust and not effectively communicating with one another or with their teams, any system functionality gained by implementing a new technology toolset will not provide the expected results and benefits.
Companies are in a constant state of change – it’s essential for survival. Having a properly integrated technology system can be a real competitive advantage but business integration is the key ingredient.
Want to fix your company, start looking inward and not for a single magic bullet. The technology solution may sound like a great idea, but it won’t solve the whole problem if it’s not the right solution or is implemented poorly, just like a couple having another kid or doing a kitchen renovation will not save a marriage.