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The Three “I’s” of Tomorrow’s Successful Company

Guest post by Dennis Urbaniak, VP U.S. Diabetes, Sanofi-Aventis Pharmaceuticals

Today if you work in corporate America, massive organizational change is the norm.  There are multiple causes in multiple industries but one common theme across all is a glimpse of recognition that companies need to change how they work in order to survive and drive sustainable growth.

For the majority of the working staff at companies undergoing these changes the transition can be confusing and frightening.  For some, however, these changes can be the most exciting trends to hit the corporate scene in decades.

For leaders within companies charged with forging this new path, one key assessment criteria to help understand who has a forward-looking mindset is to see how individuals respond to changes in Titles, Budgets, and Staff.

A lot of people in companies place a high value on these three things.  It’s no surprise; for years the concept of the climbing the corporate ladder was created as the ambition people should have if they want to be “successful”.  Promotions lead to bigger titles, bigger budgets, bigger staff, bigger offices, bigger compensation, and bigger control.

And all this control and all this “bigger” has led to today’s environment where many corporations need to change how they work in order to survive.  Hmmm, something doesn’t quite fit.

Now it’s time to value something different.  I think we need to replace titles, budgets, and staff with three things that actually matter.  Ideas, Initiative, and Inspiration.

Too soft for you? These softer-sounding traits may have been de-emphasized in the past, but if you just breathed a sigh of relief, then you “get” what the future is about.

Survey after survey of company leaders show they are looking for new ideas and people who can get these new ideas executed in the market to drive performance.  The top three sources of the best ideas in a recent IBM CEO survey were identified as employees, customers, and external business partners.

Winners value contribution, not control. “Bigger” is out. “Smarter” is in.

The best ideas, driven by the best initiative, led by the greatest inspiration will define those companies that successfully survive today and thrive tomorrow. Employees that see this recognize it as the most important opportunity in our business world in decades.  This liberates every employee in the company to contribute an idea that can impact the entire company regardless of where they sit or what it says on their business card.

So if you find yourself presented with a massive organizational change that rocks you to your core, the first thing you may want to ask is: what did I value before and what should I value now?

And for those of you who choose to spend time mourning the loss of an org chart that took up two power point slides, please don’t be offended if the emerging leaders in your company aren’t spending a lot of time with you.  Most likely they are working desperately to find those others who “get it.”

If that describes you, you won’t be hard to find because you will be moving faster, pushing harder, and creating groundswells within the company. Forward-thinking colleagues can’t believe how lucky they are to be in a time where they can completely redefine their careers and their companies.

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