In business, change is the only constant. Its relentless demands, according to author Terence Farrier, suggest a “systems management” approach, rather than spot solutions or off-the-shelf programs.
Farrier’s ideas are based on his extensive experience advising businesses. He likens a business to a stool with three “legs,” “rungs” running perpendicular to the legs, and a “seat,” which represents business results: e.g., profits and effectiveness. The first leg of the stool is employees. Employees want engagement, but younger workers, in particular, tend to be less engaged, reducing retention. Farrier counsels leveraging the temperament of different generations in the workforce, while also recognizing the cocktail of skills each individual offers.
The next leg is equipment and technology. Adopting new technologies may be necessary for your business, Farrier notes, but let your people—employees and customers—drive your technology decision-making. The third leg represents an operational hierarchy comprised of “Vision,” “Policy,” “Process,” and “Procedures.” Farrier stresses the need for a constant review of the latter three to keep pace with change.
Farrier’s “rungs,” include marketing and thorough timely communication. Companies should consider how they communicate (email, face-to-face, etc.) and what research says about their effectiveness.
To manage each of these facets, Farrier advocates a “systems” approach in which senior leaders periodically review all areas of the company.
Farrier’s approach to management, which takes a long view of company success, is refreshing in a world oriented toward next quarter’s growth. Unfortunately, his presentation is laden with abstract jargon and unnecessarily wordy sentences that bog down the narrative, as in: “Senior leader oversight can produce a systemic and sustainable organizational vision providing employees with loyalty towards their organization, so they might be happier and stay longer.” The author’s consistent misuse of words like “matriculate” and “co-dependent” and his many punctuation errors further impede clarity.
While Farrier’s holistic approach to business is valuable and timely, his book requires editing to enable business leaders to apply his wisdom.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.