3/30/2012 5:17 PM
Some companies come through hard times stronger than ever. As I was perusing a recent issue of my favorite magazine—you guessed it, Harvard Business Review—I found an article that touched on three companies that have beaten the odds through growth, productivity, and healthy profits.
How did they do it? “Instead of focusing on one goal, employees shape a collective ambition: a shared sense of purpose, how the company will fulfill it and track progress, and how leaders and others will behave every day as they achieve and sustain excellence.”
I began to think about how this can be applied to our consulting practice in real estate, and any other industry needing help in goal-attainment. The companies mentioned in this particular article, Sephora, Four Seasons, and Danone ( a French food giant), did not make revenue their primary focus. “These companies don’t fall into the trap of pursuing a single ambition, such as profits; instead, their employees collaborate to shape a collective ambition that supersedes individual goals and takes into account the key elements required to achieve and sustain excellence.”
This reminded me of the pursuit of calling on our clients with a broader focus of serving, partnering, and collaborating to reach end goals beyond the so-called “success of the sale or deal.” What can we offer beyond competitive price points and free rent? Collaborating and partnering allows us to reach goals that go beyond the obvious—that take a closer look at what drives their current results and what will drive better results in the future.
If I am speaking with a consumer products company about their real estate, there is an appreciation that develops if I understand the goals of brand equity versus volume versus margins, and how all three will drive stock for their shareholders. A more effective planning discussion takes place, and the client is able to share beyond what he/she thought they were able. It’s a matter of taking the time to understand their language, corporate objectives, and then drill down to how real estate can help in all or some areas of their company.
Internally, companies are making a paradigm shift in focusing on organizational changes, processes, and implementations that are sustainable, as stated by those companies who beat the odds. As service providers, our process and approach must be sustainable and effective as well, to match the current climate.
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