The two projects that I’ve just about finished have produced some real food for thought. Who would have thought that horticulture and aerospace had much in common.
But they do. Both involve supply chain work, both involve accreditations and both are groping towards how you run a business effectively and make use of the tools for collaboration and marketing that are available to us in this strange new business landscape.
The horticultural project has led to me writing a whole new document that wasn’t on the original agenda. As well as writing the main Growing Jobs report I’d foolishly volunteered to write up the evidence base. However this didn’t stay theoretical for long.
One of the things that really struck me right at the end of the case studies was the way in which the larger horticultural companies – the ones that play in the supply chain – have been adopting lean.
We need some of that here in the nursery. We’ve got the guys a really good training course from the local Horticultural College and the next step is to look at lean. We’re going through that Dawn of Formality transition – the one where you have to do things properly and behave like a real company with HR and all of that stuff that we set up in business to get away from 😉
Writing the paper forced me to look at the evidence for HOW you would implement high performance work practices and how it all started to link with Stafford Beer’s viable systems model and smart working.
To plagiarise Lenin – Smart Working is Lean plus Broadband. Hold that thought – I’ll come back to it another day.
Anyway business is a series of transitions
Getting off the ground, getting noticed, recruiting staff, putting in systems, building a management team, getting ready to scale etc etc.
Getting through them is all about how well you learn – and how well you implement it.
To finish up with, here’s a short list of things that companies struggle with as they approach transitions.
- •A strategic vision of markets, competitors and the way forward
- •The ability to communicate it if they had it
- •Acquiring Professional Management Expertise particularly in marketing, IT, new product development and a balanced scorecard approach
- •Lack of structured HR and training
- •Networking is short term and ad hoc – aimed at leads rather than acquiring strategic partners.
Next time we’ll have a quick look at some indicators for companies that seem to be getting their act together