Corporate Success: It’s Not Just About P&L

What makes a company a “Super Company?” Do they even exist? IS it what we would think it is?

In a recently published Fast Company article, author, Stephanie Vozza, notes 5 “Super Skills” people need for jobs of the future. Not surprisingly, they are a Personal Brand, Digital Fluency, A Tribe, Making Sense of Complexity, and Resiliency. At PRISCON, we believe these skills not only apply to people, but to companies as well and they aren’t even in the future, but for now.

Branding, whether for a person or a company, is a very delicate yet incredibly important attribute for success. It needs to represent, in less than a second, the answer to the questions of who do we want to be and how do we want people to feel about us. It can take years to build a brand, and in this time of social media influence, only seconds to destroy it. An organization’s brand is built on business acumen, customer engagement, reliable products, value, and consistency of expectations. While company branding may be seen as a “no-brainer,” remember that whether you are CEO, department leader, or manager of a small project group the brand of your group emanates well beyond the walls of your building and is critical to maintaining success.

Digital fluency is not about language, but more about understanding that technology is an integral and necessary part of any business. It can help us to do things faster, safer, more efficiently and in many cases with greater accuracy than we have in the past. As the leader of a company, it’s important to know which types of technology can contribute to achieving those goals, and to not be afraid to try new technology to find what best suits your needs. And keep in mind, your employees don’t need to be tech gurus, but they do need to be open to learning new skills that are coupled with a digital way of working because technology is not going away any time soon.

In the business world, having a tribe, or resources outside of your company can be incredibly helpful, and having a relationship with those resources can be the difference between incremental growth and multi-level success. In the simplest of terms, it ties back to branding and what kind of company (or department or manager or supplier) you want to be. Not every company can provide everything to every customer. However, being able to connect a customer, or someone calling in with an inquiry, with another company who can offer what you can’t is incredibly helpful to the person on the other end of the phone. Even better, if there’s a relationship with that company, then a referral can work in your favor at a later date. The customer’s experience, good, bad, or otherwise, will contribute to your brand and be part of the answer to the question of how do you want to be seen by others.

Making sense of complexity is part of everyday functioning in a business environment. At the corporate level, making sense of complexity will likely show itself in the form of industry threats, changes, and challenges, institutional or reputational risk, or a new unexpected competitor. The ability to break down complex challenges and continue to deliver your company’s product or service is what drives success in those confusing situations. Many complex problems can be broken down into smaller ones, and when a company can respond quickly and successfully without reacting from a place of panic, those challenges can become opportunities and successes.

Resilience is a determinant of which companies will be around for a few years or a few generations. In the business world, there are no guarantees. An amazing product can be followed by one that is a complete bust. Strong leadership can be replaced by inexperience or poor internal management. The economy can collapse and even when “everyone knows it’s coming” somehow it always seems to be a surprise. The companies that are able to not just prepare for the expected and the unexpected but come back even stronger are the most resilient and will be around the longest. In times of crisis and challenges, take the opportunity to break down the problem, understand what can and cannot be controlled, and then move on with knowledge and a bit more experience in your corporate toolkit. Those companies which are able to follow this type of pattern will come back from challenges with not just knowledge but also new opportunities.

Success in business shows itself at all levels from small groups to industry dominance. These “Super Skills” are not necessarily things that are taught in the classroom as we prepare for our future careers, but learned as we go and learned from as we make mistakes. If technology has taught us anything, it’s that the future is now and we need more than profits to build and project a successful business.