Business Processes and the Leadership Decisions

Medium to large corporate organisations are having to change their approach to business because of the demands of their most important Customers, especially if these Customers are Industry Leaders and operate globally. These Customers are only willing to do business with the companies that have effective Business Processes and demonstrate good Leadership Decisions.

If we look at what makes up the major component parts of an organisation, then we discover the following: Structures – People – Products – Systems – Information – Customers – Relationships and Knowledge. What connects all of these are the Business Processes, which are determined by Leadership Decisions.

All organisations use Business Processes to administer their companies, but careful analysis of the Business Processes, which connect the major component parts of an organisation, are necessary to determine their effectiveness and to see if they reflect good Leadership Decisions.

First let us take Structures – should they be Rigid, which will mean the company could be slow to act, or Flexible, allowing the company to be quick to respond to their Customers needs, or should they be Aligned with your Customer’s Structures, which will mean a more ‘Connected’ relationship and many mutual benefits.

The selection of your People – very careful consideration should be given to this activity and as to who should perform this function, the company’s human resources department, or an outside agency, or should the board of directors make the final decision, especially for Top Management positions, Customer Facing sales positions and Customer Service support positions.

And how do you decide on People payment – against what criteria, by Performance and measurable value to the company, by surveying your Customer’s and determining their Satisfaction with the People that your company provides to them, or with a Bonus for significantly overachieving, in the duties that your company has asked them to perform.

Then there is Product Selection – should your product portfolio be Innovative, which will mean a lot of investment in research, design, development and time to market, or a range of Standardised products that are of consistent high quality, or Specialist products that are influenced by your Customers requirements, or maybe even a mixture of all three.

What is the determination of Product Pricing – by the Volume that your Customers are forecasting to purchase, or by the current Turnover of sales with them, or list pricing with a Discount for their continuity of business.

And then we come to System Selection – the technological recommendations should be closely reviewed by top management to ensure close adherence to your company’s Business Processes and policies, and then selection of the most appropriate Systems by Value, Functionality, Availability and Security.

Information and data gathering – the oxygen of all serious business organisations, this can be with a dedicated Marketing Department project, or by careful usage of Internet research and by the many trusted Personal contacts that your company has established. All organisations forget, until they are reminded, that the biggest source of Information that they have is with the People that they have in their own company.

A very important Business Process and one that needs to be very firmly underpinned by your company’s Leadership Decisions, is the activity of Customer Selection – should they be determined by the Industry that they represent, or the Potential business that they may do, or the Past Spend that they have made. If there is not enough attention paid to this Business Process by your company’s Top Management, then the penalty will be in higher costs, lower profitability and loss of respected Customers who do not wish to be associated with your company’s choice of Customers Selected.

The choosing of Relationships is fundamental to your overall business success – do you choose, Good Customer Relationships that have mutual trust, Bad Customer Relationships that spend a lot with you, but don’t trust you and would easily go to your competitors, if you did not give them their discount, or Political Customers who you must have a relationship with because of who knows them high up in your company, even though they cause more trouble and effort for your business, which increases costs and inevitably spend much less with your company than they should do.

Last, but not least is Knowledge – the life blood of your organisation, there are many sources for the acquisition of Knowledge, but this needs to be accurate and accumulated from trusted sources such as the Knowledge that is provided by your Customers, gathered from within your respective Industry, and even from your Competition. Knowledge is an intangible product, but if you share it with your Customers it is seen as a sign of respect and gives your company the reputation of being an Industry Expert.

The Leadership Decisions are an integral part of each of the Business Processes and can make a huge difference to the success of an organisation and to the continued support of its shareholders, who decide on the ultimate longevity of any company.