30 November 2016

I’m a big fan of TED talks and every so often come across a speaker that really inspires me.

One such speaker is Jim Hemerling, who is a senior partner at a prestigious American management consulting firm. In a talk that was uploaded last month Jim explains how businesses can keep transforming in a sustainable way to keep up in an era of constant change.

Jim has a fair point when he talks about the transformation of businesses often getting a bad rep. Why do we think of business adapting as being a bad thing? Why do we immediately worry about redundancies and demotivation, when we should instead be looking at the possibility of engaging everyone involved?

Change doesn’t need to be hard and in fact – the transformation of a business can be empowering and energising, as long as you put people first.

Jim brings up some interesting ways of making sure people are at the heart of any change; he talks about having a clear purpose for the change of a business, and clearly communicating this to your team, and he puts forward the fact that it’s essential to instill a culture of continued learning in any successful institution. I couldn’t agree more!

The tech industry is fast-changing and being able to adapt is so important. At UKFast, enabling people with the capabilities they need to success is a huge part of our growth strategy.

In my opinion, so many businesses wait too long to adapt to changes in their markets. That means that, when it comes to needing new skills, their only option is to recruit new people. There is nothing wrong with that, if you need short-term solutions, but I still believe it makes more sense to look at up skilling your existing team to future-proof your business.

We invest in individuals, by offering training and development, as well as investing in teams, by looking at ways to develop talent and leadership skills. This is another interesting point brought up by Jim in his talk: inclusive leadership goes a long way. People should feel comfortable bringing up ideas and receive credit for successes. They should be encouraged to think of a professional trajectory.

I love seeing people develop; it’s one of the best parts of my job. We’ve been able to transform our business and energise our team at the same time, by splitting off key areas. We have been able to keep growing, keep focussed and manage a fast-growing business, while developing and promoting the team from within.

We are once again looking at a host of changes in 2017, but I’m sure the team feels involved and is excited about what lies ahead.

How have you transformed your business in a sustainable way?

Watch Jim’s TED talk here:

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