A look at Fortune’s 2017 Fastest-Growing Companies list reveals a stark contrast to what you would have seen on a similar model in the 1970’s and 1980’s. In those days, industrials ranked high on the list, and technology was just a blip on the radar. Manufacturing was a stronghold (struggling a bit in some sectors, but still a stronghold), supported by the service sector.
The last two decades have ushered in some major shifts, creating massively different growth models for today’s businesses. Here are some of those shifts.
Shift to Service
The top three industries in the world now are mainly service-based. It is less about tangible products and more about service in these sectors. Not only is service the basis of business, it is the qualifier of business as well. With social media and the internet taking over as the go-to reference and referral points, a company can rise – or fall – with swift velocity based on reviews.
The quality of your service and support matters – and it matters more than ever. Do you have a customer service team that is empowered and engaged to deliver stellar support to every single customer who calls or contacts your company? The frontline of your business is the lifeline of your business.
Shift to Technology
The great digital shift that started two decades ago is now having major impact in the retail industry. Not only are the products increasingly digital, the delivery is as well. Visionaries like Jeff Bezos anticipated this shift and, as a result, Amazon, according to Barron’s, could become the largest company in the U.S. by 2020.
Some retailers are working in catchup mode, creating hybrid models of brick and mortar stores with online presence. Sadly, for many retailers, the shift is too much and too late.
In terms of workforce, this shift has created a whole new face of leadership. The introverted C- and S- wired now have a place and a voice in the direction of a company alongside the more extroverted leaders; and in fact, some of the most successful new companies are led by introverts. Their skills of analysis, detail, and process are cornerstones in today’s market.
Shift to Global Competition
As you can see on the Fortune list, there is growing global competition. This continues to increase the need for international collaboration across leadership teams. This collaboration, carried out effectively, allows for shared resources that strengthen a company’s ability to provide goods and services.
Shift to Expertise
Perhaps one of the biggest shifts is that of hiring specialists versus simply hiring employees. Whether an employee or a contractor, the focus is now on areas of expertise. As such, positions are more leadership focused, where a person leads based on their strengths and skills rather than on position.
As the leader of a company, have you recognized and grown into these shifts? Are you empowering your workforce to lead in these areas of service and technology? Are you investing in training your frontline employees as well as your management teams? The fact is, you are no longer leading employees – at least not if you are an astute leader. You are now leading a team of leaders, where every player counts – because service, expertise, and technology are the rules of the game.
As the CEO of Strength Leader Development, Deb Ingino is a highly sought-after international executive mentor, coach, trainer and speaker. Deb is well versed in global business operations and helps business leaders and their teams to discover and leverage their strengths, so they can create highly collaborative teams that deliver great results. With a refreshingly direct style, Deb helps leaders and their teams to deliver profitable results. Connect with Deb to learn more about her mentorship and coaching programs to equip you with advanced strategies to elevate your results.