All over the world, businesses are taking new forms and business models are changing nowadays as fast as the speed of light. Businesses are expanding in products, territories, segments and also placing their feet in several industries other than the ones they specialize in. This in itself is a good trend if business owners could conceptualize the ideas of what they want their businesses or business conglomerate(s) to look like and their profits, risks and costs projection, it is also important to look into the lives, mentality and conceptualization of the vision drivers or strategy implementer, that is the company employees.
Over the years, several job roles have undergone several name change and coinage, depending on the age and what is trendy at that time; however we should not also forget to mention the increase in scope of the tasks and functions they tend to perform as the nomenclature changes.
A vivid example could be seen in the metamorphosis of the Human Resource Profession. There was a time they were seen as just folks in charge of Welfare, then they went on to be called Administrators(Offices, then call them the Admin for short.), times played a better one on them and their name change again, thanks to the trendy word of that time; Management. Since there was at that time Financial Management, Operations Management et al. of course we had Personnel Management and towards the end of that Name-Age; Human Resource Management though some other Organizations did coin other sleek names like Talent Management, Human Capital Management, Employee Management and others. We are in a new age and the trendy word now is Business Ownership, and in the profession in our study, the new title is Human Resource Business Partner (HRBP).
Like I mentioned earlier it is not just a matter of changing Job titles and roles to fit into the fad at any point in time in history, their tasks and functions also increased. It is like the dashboard of a car or a big Machine, as a new model come up, new controls, more options more complex issues arises. There would be new indices for measurement and of course new set of challenges to overcome and new set of goals and visions to accomplish. One fact however still remains, THEY ARE EMPLOYEES.
Let’s put the new Fad into consideration; Business Ownership. This is a word that is now thrown around by Management of various Organizations all round to their employees. One would hear such statements in meetings like “There has to be a sense of Business Ownership around here, you need to take the Business like it is your own.”, in some other Organizations, you hear sentences like, “if it were your Business what would you do to change the numbers I am seeing here?”.
Here is the irony, “How many of the Management give the employee the sense of Ownership in their Business?”
All over the world, businesses are taking new forms and business models are changing nowadays as fast as the speed of light. It is no gainsaying that businesses are changing all over the world and also expectations invariably would also be changing even from employees. The Ugly truth is Businesses are not done conventionally again, businesses in some recently Stone Age (Early 2000s) was done conventionally, you can easily predict what would happen if you pull this indices or that one and it was very okay to “Think within the box” to proffer solutions to problems, in fact it was so easy that they have Handbook for possible problems and solutions. Nowadays, Businesses is not like that anymore, you don’t need to just Think within the box, they now have to Think outside the Box and even need to start Thinking in other Shapes than the Box.
Now, herein lies the problem of Business Ownership from Management to employee(Not usually Board), “Think any how you want to think but make sure it is within this context or we would sanction you, however, you just have to make sure you give us terrific results or else we would have to STILL Sanction You.” So how can that synergy of word and action take place?
The truth of the matter is not all Departments would feel the brunt of the call to action like the Sales Department of any organization, though other departments or teams would also have to feel the heat and this is because they are there to achieve targeted goals as it is the cohesion and synergy that keeps the Organization going. Sales Department, however don’t have such luxury, Every Organization, no matter what it is into, is out to make sale, if they are not making sales then they are not in business.
Business Ownership implies making the employees feel like they own the business, looking for ways to bring out the best without being restricted by Rules, politics, Dogma and processes. It is about getting tangible results from the employees and not limiting them with procedures. It is about trusting in your employees that they can achieve and bring in the next business idea or strategy that would catapult the business to a whole new level, or even create a whole new industry in which the Organization never taught could be possible.
The Internet is a washed with a lot of stories of employees who changed the Landscape of products, businesses, strategies and ideas because they were giving the chance to take full ownership without them being held back by Management.
It is my take that if Businesses want employees to take their businesses to the next level, adequate motivation is key to achieving that. Motivation doesn’t necessarily have to be financial as seen by most businesses of the day but it has to do with understanding each of the employees and knowing what makes them tick. It involves keying into their hopes and fears and channeling it positively to the goals, vision and mission of the company.
Business Ownership among employees is a great way to not only develop the employees as Intrapreneurs but also to develop the Business as a whole.