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Dorothy, You're Not in 2000 Anymore: Part II - Transitioning - Fear of Change - Lack of Confidence

February 02, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 123

I have chosen Thomas (or Tommy, as he is known by everyone) as the name for this franchise executive that these articles revolve around. Tommy is one of the best - if not the best at what he does. His track record is something to be cherished; he is loved by the network and everyone he comes in contact with. The reader may be best served by my first article, Dorothy, you're not in 2000 anymore to become more familiar with Tommy.

Within his highly successful career, Tommy has studied his working milieu. After all, he is an expert in productivity and operations; his drive to improve both continually pushes him to challenge, experiment, and decide. Tommy has come to the realization that customary methods of corporate performance, at least in certain sectors, have become antiquated if not obsolete, particularly in his situation. The core thought is that Tommy feels in 2011 there is no real need for him to travel to a physical facility to do exactly the same thing that he can do from his Home Office; he feels that having an office at a corporate facility - in his mind an outmoded method - is a waste of productivity and money for the company.

There was a time, Tommy observes, when he could not possibly have at his Home Office all the technological advancements that the company required and provided for him to employ to do his job. This time was back in 2000 and shortly afterwards. Since then however, technology has evolved to the degree that a Home Office today is not significantly different from a corporate office in a physical facility. As a matter of fact, Home Offices today are capable of being even better equipped than a corporate office; most working material can be accessed from anywhere regardless of where they are stored through the magic of networking.

Tommy feels that the commuting and unavoidable distractions at the corporate office detract from his productivity. He is ready to propose a change to his bosses, albeit fearful that their reaction may be a negative one due to the ritual of how things have been all along. And sure enough; when Tommy approached his COO about coming to the corporate office only when necessary, he was immediately tagged with "starting to disengage, lack of interest, and declining commitment to the teamwork concept". His boss had not even thought of the fact that we're not in 2000 anymore. Tommy is not surprised at the reaction; he has known his COO for several years and knew that his boss would have an instinctive resistance to change.

Tommy also knew, based on his many years of experience as a life and business coach to many individuals, that his COO could not grip the proposed change for three elemental reasons: His COO had

(1) a fear of transitioning,(2) a fear of change, and(3) lacked sufficient self-confidence to embrace either.

His COO was too immersed in preserving the career - that of being a COO. And within that realm there was no room for stirring the pot, particularly when the proposed change was so alien, unnecessary.

Confidence and Trust

Whether or not an employee should commute to a corporate office without any real need to do so is something that most traditional and conservative bosses are not quite ready to delve into at this time. It's a shame, because at the pace that technology is moving there is no real need for bosses to spend huge amounts of money paying rent for office space they really don't need any more. Tommy understands the need to impress customers and maintaining the personality of the company by having an imposing and beautiful physical space to call the Headquarters - he gets all that. However he also feels it is time to do more with less, particularly in these days of highly unstable economy. Just take a look around at how much space you see at your offices that you really don't need to be paying rent for.

Unfortunately, the ability of a boss to decide to have employees work from their Home Office a good part of the time is based on two things: Confidence and Trust. Tommy thinks of this as unfortunate because there are a number of bosses out there that would rather look the other way and avoid addressing these two simple terms. They are victims of and heavily dependent on the old notion that to have an effective group of team members they must all be under the same roof, at the same time. Their security in performance is oftentimes based on the fact that Tommy is in his office down the hallway if they need him.

Confidence can be defined as self-assurance or a belief in your own ability to succeed. Trust in this context means to allow somebody to do something, having confidence that the person will behave responsibly or properly. The two are interconnected. A boss cannot trust his/her employees if the boss does not have sufficient confidence in his/her abilities. A boss that lacks confidence has very little or no trust, so the notion of contemplating having the employees work from a remote location is inconceivable because they cannot be seen - because they are going to take advantage of the company; because they are not going to work as hard; because they are going to make mistakes; because the boss will not have immediate access to them - because they cannot be "watched". All of which translates to lack of confidence and lack of trust. So the boss continues to pay the $7,000 per month in rent when in reality they could operate out of a $3,000 a month space and save the company $48,000 per year, not counting utilities and all the other paraphernalia associated with renting and equipping large office spaces.

As far as Tommy is concerned, one would think that a boss that has plenty of confidence could have and should have seen this development already. It is not 2000 any longer. Classrooms in elementary schools have changed, making it nearly impossible for parents to help with homework. College degrees are awarded online. Missiles are deployed from locations thousands of miles from the missile itself. Airplanes fly themselves; people can start cooking, turn lights on and off, view the rooms, record a program on TV and do a number of things by pressing a few buttons on their smart phones hours before they even get home. When was the last time you used the Yellow Pages? A printed map? When was the last time you called 411 - Directory Assistance? So why are so many bosses still operating a Physical Facility as if we were still in 2000?

Even more - During the past three years Tommy has studied and analyzed the need for him to be at his corporate office, based on the type of work he does. The result is that a good 75% of the time he does not need to be there. He can generate better quality work and more productivity from his Home Office.

The other 25% of the time he does need to be at the corporate office to attend meetings that are necessary to plan, disseminate information and obtain feedback and input from his peers. Teamwork is a cooperative effort by a group or team to achieve a common goal - and it is essential. Meetings are important, yes, but at times there is a huge amount of wasted salaries as a result of meetings that are of no consequence. Tommy has rated meetings into two categories:

"MAD" (Make a Decision) Meetings - All is encompassed by the attendees and a decision is made to go forward with a plan or a change, which usually leads to a project. This is where the direction of the company is monitored and go / no-go decisions are clearly made.

"NRP" (No Real Purpose) Meetings - Relatively nothing is accomplished and hours are spent jumping from one topic to another, second guessing, without purpose or resolution. Nobody seems to be in charge. These types of meetings are often peppered with the phrase "let's take that offline", which in Tommy's book really means "I don't want to talk about that right now". So why meet?

Tommy does understand - There are positions where the individual must be at a physical facility to do the job. An Office Manager, a receptionist, a salesperson to receive customers, individuals that use specific equipment that is available only at the corporate office (research & development) and others. But not him; not in his field of expertise. He needs an office to create, maintain and track systems, and he needs to be in the field helping those that have invested in a franchise.

Today Tommy is held back by lack of confidence, fear of transition and change, none of which are his. As he commutes back to his home after 10 hours in a corporate office doing precisely what he could have done in 7 hours from his Home Office and saving 1 hour in commuting and some dollars in gas, he really wonders if we are at par with the times...

Next: Dorothy, we're not in 2000 anymore... Part III - Is this all negative?

Source: EzineArticles
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