THE CHAOS OF COMMERCE

Sales organizations have always faced daunting challenges in trying to create seamless workflow processes, but that has never been more the case than it is now. People are living longer, and a single work environment can include employees from four generations. They have not only grown up at different times, but with different values and (frequently) conflicting communication styles. This can create chaos when it comes to setting, communicating, and implementing business priorities.

There was a time when water coolers and coffee makers functioned as the office town squares. Sure, distracted employees lingered while gossiping. But they also shared work-related annoyances and obstacles that empathetic coworkers helped resolve. These days, millennials – and many of their older counterparts – are griping via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.  No one in your company knows they’re frustrated, so no one helps them problem-solve. The resulting chaos obstructs communication between your sales, service, and business operations. Left unchecked, it strips away the uniqueness of your business, its appeal to customers and, ultimately, its value.

Organizational chaos has become so commonplace that is considered something of a new normal. Many businesses try to build into their cultures an appreciation for uncertainty. They seek employees with a high tolerance for ambiguity and who can succeed in high-pressure environments.  But chaos means your business isn’t completely focused on a clear set of goals and objectives. That can result in dissatisfied, disaffected customers who walk out the door never to return.

Chaos is so deeply embedded in some companies that managers and staff alike have stopped noticing it. When they are aware of it, they often believe there is nothing they can do about it, or they end up discouraging imaginative and innovative approaches to problem solving through an over reliance on “conflict resolution” efforts.

Chaos means your business isn’t completely focused on a clear set of goals and objectives. That can result in dissatisfied customers who walk out the door never to return.

The world of commerce is rapidly changing and many businesses are struggling to keep up. In the best of times, the future is never truly predictable, regardless of the quality of the forecasting tools. But chaos within an organization is never a good thing, and companies need a clear vision for the future to avoid it.

Chaos stifles the imagination, which in turn deprives your business of the ability to effectively serve increasingly savvy, ever more demanding customers. Chaos robs your business of the ability to offer value to your customers, allowing you to lose ground to competitors. Chaos weakens employee morale and productivity, undermining sales and service.

Your business needs to be flexible, agile, transformational, and all the other dictums the leadership gurus espouse. Chaos runs counter to those attributes. Controlling chaos requires a thorough understanding of how to best engage with your customers and employees, knowledge of best practices, and the ability to effectively facilitate communication between all involved.

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