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BLOG: Staying ahead through embracing change

Von Chan | May 14, 2013
The key to staying ahead of the competition is to embrace change.

Embrace technology
Technology has significantly influenced the way we do business. Take cloud, for example. The availability of cloud computing and connectivity have enabled companies to tap the benefits of a mobile workforce. However, before we adopt any cloud technology, we have to understand the needs of our employees and then roll out new processes and policies in phases so that there is smooth transition towards a mobile, productive workforce.

This change has also brought about a new set of challenges. One top challenge is to ensure that data security and privacy is protected without hindering the productivity that such new technologies are supposed to increase.

Consider solutions that can free up your staff to spend time with your biggest asset—your customers. Companies should invest in products and services that can save valuable time so that staff can be more productive and more efficient in facing your customers. For example, one of our customers recently deployed our second-generation multifunctional printers which enable users to print directly from their mobile devices and tablets, instead of via a desktop or laptop computer. That is productivity where it matters.

Invest in the right people
While business strategies and appropriate technologies are important to an organisation, finding and keeping the right people is key to driving any business.

Although some companies think that employees should be grateful to have jobs, this attitude on the part of employers is no longer respectable. Job security isn't the main consideration anymore; employees leave in search of career advancement opportunities, and so long as the organisation finds ways to enrich their work experiences, they should stick around for a very long time. I believe that if you invest in any employee, you will be repaid many times over—both in the way they focus attention on driving the business forward, and the lingering positive work ethics they leave behind, even after they have left.

Constant skills upgrading and training is one area that should not be overlooked. This has three main purposes. Firstly, because we value customer relationships, we should give our employees the best possible professional training to provide better customer service. Secondly, because we value our staff and want to empower them to make good decisions, we should train them to do so. This creates ownership on the part of the staff. Lastly, by helping them earn recognition through successful completion of accredited training courses, we create a sense of self-achievement and pride in their roles.

Move as one amidst change
The thought of change often causes confusion among employees. Just as every ship needs a captain, companies need to have a leader who is able to ensure that the organisation moves in the same direction with a common goal and mission. Having a transparent and clear channel between employees and management and allowing room for clarification allows all stakeholders to be on the same page. For example, at Canon, we have monthly town hall sessions to promote dialogue and feedback.

 

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