Starting Over

Philosopher Albert Camus famously wrote a tale about the absurdity of life to which modern managers can relate.  The Myth of Sisyphus is a Greek myth in which the hero, Sisyphus, is forced to roll a boulder up and down a mountain for eternity.  While Camus’ point was directed at life in general, it can be applied to the incomplete efforts of managers trying to implement change.  Many managers fall into the trap of making only minor changes, only to be forced to roll the boulder back up the hill the next time an unexpected obstacle arises.

The world is changing and new obstacles face managers on a regular basis.  A common dilemma of today’s manager is the Evolving customer demands, increasing competition, and a changing global landscape are forcing businesses to rethink the way they operate.  Many entrepreneurs often think that they are just one great product away from solving all of their problems.  However, great products don’t make great companies.  Rather, great companies create great products.  The primary difference between thriving companies and those that disappear into the ether, is that innovative companies understand how to do their work better.  This is the most fundamental point to consider when formulating a strategy to improve your business.

So, how can you implement the change necessary to make your business work better?  First, you must recognize that it isn’t a one-man operation.  No individual in your organization will participate in every function or process, so it is critical that managers buy in to your philosophy across the board.  Simply fixing individual tasks will fall short and not completely do the trick.  In fact, a micro focus will virtually guarantee failure.  Rather, you should focus on your processes as a whole.

Second, you must decide which individual, or group of individuals, will be in charge of overseeing processes.  And you can’t just settle for tinkering that will leave the primary corporate framework in place.  It must start from the top and essentially be viewed as “starting over”.   Innovative managers are able to forget the status-quo and idealize what the company should look like if they were to start over today, and implement the changes necessary to realize the idealized vision.  You must go back to square one and invent better processes of accomplishing your work.

If you can figure out how to re-invent your company holistically, you can avoid being sent back to the bottom of the mountain time and time again.

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