April 9, 2020 From the P₃ Files: “As your business emerges from Torpor – are your P.E.O.P.L.E. ready?” A look back on the 2012 Economic Recovery
The economic downturn resulted in a state of torpor for many businesses, corporations and organizations. While there are a number of terms that I could have used to describe the conservative state of businesses, torpor seemed to be the most appropriate descriptor.
Torpor is usually used to describe the deep sleep in which a small animal lowers its metabolic rate so that it consumes less energy while torpid. This is most commonly observed in hummingbirds. As an animal emerges from torpor; it has a new temperature set point, which results in a more efficient use of energy. Torpor differs from hibernation in that it is not voluntary; it is an involuntary reaction to the cold. Animals in a state of torpor are at a disadvantage because there is an inability to react to its environment.
During the past five years, American businesses have operated in a state of torpor, an inability to react to the economic downturn and external environmental pressures. To adapt during this period, businesses took on a conservative approach to operations that focused on evolutionary adaptation towards a “new organization temperature”; thus creating new set points through its P.E.O.P.L.E. It has reshaped its operations for efficiency through staff reductions, streamlining of operations, creating new strategies and assessing its market share.
Emerging from torpor will be a gradual process. Are your P.E.O.P.L.E. ready?
P.E.O.P.L.E. is the operating belief of DB Latimore Professional Services Group, LLC that when policies, procedures and programs (P) are aligned with the efficiencies (E) of tools and systems, we optimize (O) our resources through product affinity (P) and collaborative leadership (L) to enable an engaged (E) workforce.
As you emerge from torpor – take the following strategic assessment of your P.E.O.P.L.E.
P – Evaluate the effectiveness of organizational Policies (rules and guidelines that govern the business operations) and Procedures (steps that employees do to reflect and support policies) to determine the relevance as they relate to the new organizational state. If new policies or procedures have been established, have they been effectively communicated to employees to include a robust timeline of incorporation. Assess historical practices that may hinder organizational progress and create a state of status quo.
E – Efficiency of tools and systems – Are the proper tools and systems in place to allow for maximum productivity. Is there a need to upgrade, refurbish or replace existing equipment? Is the most relevant means of technology in place to advance business operations?
O – Optimization of Resources – Are you exercising the most effective means of resource management focused on flexibility in scheduling people, processes and systems for maximum utilization. Are your functional operations aligned in delivering on the business strategy and applying an integrated approach to business operations?
P – Is your Product still relevant? Have you assessed the organizational impact of emerging businesses in your market space? Have you entered into new markets? Do you know who your new competitors are..? Do your employees and customers understand the strategic direction of the organization and have clear task association of their role to the organizations success?
L – Leadership – do leaders at all levels have the necessary competencies and leadership practices to move the organization forward? Is training required for new leaders appointed during torpor? Have leaders emerged from torpor with the necessary energy to enable an engaged workforce? Are you incorporating a rigorous leadership development program which includes training, coaching, mentoring and practical activities?
E – Are your employees Engaged? Do employees understand the reasons for torpor and feel a part of the organizational evolution and reemergence? Do you have a roadmap to reestablish trust with your workforce? Are you putting in place engagement initiatives or creating a culture for engagement? Are initiatives sustainable? Is your environment inclusive? Finally, pulse the temperature of your workforce. Have they emerged from torpor or are they operating in a tepid state of torpor?
The economic recovery will be slow, but through a strategic approach to organization assessment – torpor will not become your operational strategy.
For more information on strategic organizational assessments using the Productivity Powered by P.E.O.P.L.E. ™ model contact us @ http://dblatimore.com/contact/
DB Latimore Professional Services Group, LLC uses the hummingbird as its logo to represent the potential agility of any workforce. We support the belief that minor adjustments to the way work is defined and delivered will improve the productivity of the performing unit and ultimately the organization. The hummingbird possesses the innate ability to adjust quickly to any situation by shifting its wings in motion either forward, backwards, by hovering and, when necessary, upside down. Our methodology allows you to embed this ability within your organization, and experience significant gains in productivity and performance.