Businesses today operate in a climate of frequent government intervention in the marketplace, and must be prepared to evaluate the changes brought by new regulations, and then respond quickly in order to remain profitable. Regulations may be designed to increase costs or even seek to eliminate a product or service. This may force companies out of the market, or cause them to abandon a profitable line of business, if that product or service becomes too expensive for the company to produce and sell.
For example, the telemarketing industry went through a season of regulation after consumer complaints prompted the Federal Trade Commission to act by mandating that call centers maintain a “do-not-call” registry. While we all benefited temporarily from fewer unsolicited calls, we should also remember that those call centers provided jobs and needed business services, and they were suddenly facing significant costs in order to develop auditable procedures and continue operating.
The do-not-call regulation also temporarily reduced demand for telemarketing services, as client companies shifted to other marketing channels in order to avoid the temporary social stigma of using an unpopular marketing channel. Telemarketing companies who were unable to invest in new procedures, legal talent, and the temporarily reduced marketplace demand—had no choice but to shut down.
Have you noticed that you’ve been receiving more “unsolicited” telemarketing calls again? How can that be? It happened because the telemarketing industry is a for-profit industry operating in our free market. Telemarketers employ some of the most talented executives from our business schools. Just about every company you have a relationship with as a consumer, mails you “privacy notices” so often now that you just throw them away as junk mail. If you want to remain on the “do not call” registries you must examine each of these privacy notices carefully and take the steps outlined therein to keep your name and phone number off their calling lists. By giving you a chance to “opt out”, you are “opting-in” if you don’t respond.
So did the FTC regulations actually reduce “nuisance calls”, or did it just force the free market to innovate new procedures that complied with the new regulation, while remaining resolute in pursuing their ultimate profitability goals? One could argue that the government only succeeded in reducing competition among telemarketing companies by forcing out smaller competitors who didn’t have the team, the will, or the cash reserves to successfully respond to the do-not-call regulations. The barrier to entry into the telemarketing industry was raised, and it is now harder for new companies to enter.
I used the above example, one we’re all familiar with, to demonstrate how innovative companies can engage their employees in a bold effort to source creative responses to regulatory threats to their existence. I call the workplace culture at these innovative companies, a Surging Team culture. A Surging Team culture effectively engages their employees to identify and use innovations to respond to constant threats to company profitability, whether from competitors or from outside forces like the government.
In a free market, a company that can creatively respond to threats; can turn a threat into a marketplace opportunity. Some former competitors may choose to respond to the same threat by abandoning the products or services that suddenly become more costly to produce. This is the wonder of our free market system, which is also quite an enigma for those who attempt to engineer an outcome that the free market would not normally deliver. Companies that have cultivated a Surging Team culture, and who have a base of employees who are prepared to innovate in response to new or increased threats, can use those innovations to maintain their profit objectives even while absorbing increased costs.
In today’s service economy, a company that has learned to maximize the productivity of their workforce, by reducing turnover, tapping into the most highly developed strengths of each of their employees, and motivating them to act like a Surging Team and pursue a common and bold purpose together—these are the companies that will adapt quickly in the face of any marketplace threat, achieve their profit objectives, and always find a way to win.
It is impossible for a company to plan in advance for all possible marketplace threats, but those companies who have developed a Surging Team culture, and who can summon the collective creativity of all its employees in order to identify an innovative response to any and all threats to its profit objectives–are positioned to succeed.
Developing a Surging Team culture at your company will not happen by accident. It takes leaders that are skilled in methods to engage all their employees in a shared and passionate drive to succeed regardless of obstacles. When teams find a way to achieve their objectives, company profits follow close behind. Does your company have the Surging Team culture needed to successfully respond to the next marketplace threat?
BOLDbreak has one purpose, and that is to provide team leaders and company owners the tools and training they need, to develop an unstoppable Surging Team, a team that repeatedly succeeds in achieving difficult and important company objectives. When teams win, increased company profitability follows! Contact me today and let’s discuss the actions that you as the team leader or company owner can take, to prepare your team to respond successfully to marketplace threats.
Until then, Keep Winning!