BioTactics in Action: Start Page

Vol. 1, Issue 7
January 1999 

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border.gif (871 bytes) New Perspectives on Meeting Market Needs by Managing Change within Organizations
by Cay Villars, President, Market Value Concepts.
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t.gif (892 bytes)he last decade of business life for employees has been fraught with restructuring, TQM and other "process enhancements", re-organizations, team management activities, mergers, acquisitions, and layoffs in order for management to achieve the holy grail: revenue growth and increased profitability. Wall Street is doubtful about the ability of many organizations, regardless of the market, to continue to accelerate earnings now that most of the "fat" has been trimmed. So what does this mean for business and for those of us marketing and business development types responsible for delivering products and technologies to fuel growth?

While the "external environment" (competitive, regulatory, etc.) will continue to play a role in our ability to deliver goods and services, the "internal environment" within our organizations will increasingly inhibit us from delivering products required to meet the demands of the market. In the age of information overload and constant changes in the business environment, employees are inundated by new information, stressed by the demands of intense corporate environments and dissatisfied with feeling that their contribution is unappreciated. High tech companies rely on innovation and yet constant changes and the resulting stress can be counter productive to creativity.

It is no surprise that that Dilbert cartoons are so widely accepted as representative of corporate life. While management may accept this as a humorous and unavoidable part of a corporate existence, it is indicative that there are serious underlying problems for organizations that will not be addressed in the long run by external window dressing (e.g. restructuring, team management, flat structures, etc.) to enhance profitability. Have you ever heard your fellow employees correctly interpret changes related to productivity enhancement as a demand for them to do more with fewer resources?  Would be fair to say their response is not overwhelmingly positive?

So why should marketing and business development professionals care about the impact of these changes on fellow employees? How many individuals do you need to influence on a daily basis to get your job done, with no authority to direct them to deliver? Our fellow employees are the people we rely on to help us design, develop, and deliver products to market. In the future the pace of market change, the drive for profitability, and the dissatisfaction of your fellow employees will directly impact your ability to bring products to market that meet customer needs.

Given the rate of change it will be impossible for companies to provide sufficient training and develop new structures and processes fast enough to meet changes (customer desires) in the market place unless they unless willing to look at new approaches in supporting their workforce and in meeting customer needs. (After all, once everyone has merged and distribution has consolidated, what is left?).

And although consolidation seems like a great idea, most of us know that the larger the organization, the slower it moves.  So what opportunities will we have for ensuring our success in the future? 

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