Telling the truth about SME life today

Five ways you can do better business

(1) Work with your frenemies

Heard the one about Applerelying on its bitter rival to ensure it can produce its iconic iPhones Unable to source quality alternative parts, Apple relies on its biggest competitor to supply three quarters of the chips for its smartphone. And as the digital revolution gains pace, this kind of collaboration is likely to become more and more commonplace.

These types of mutually beneficial relationships are fuelling a new collaborative culturethat is blurring boundaries between products and businesses. Dont be afraid to explore all opportunities when it comes to collaborating,even if that means working with your biggest competitor.

(2) Dont own anything unnecessary

The sharing economy, which encourages the sharing and pooling of assets such as cars, living space and even domestic tools, has generatedA shift in attitudes to ownership. Consumers are realising that it’s better economically and environmentally to share their assets.

Now this philosophy is transforming business culture. Leaders are seeing the benefits in sharing everything from office space to employees. New platforms are springingup making it easier for businesses to share and swap. Sites such asUpwork can connect you with talented freelancers and companieslikeHOTDESK make finding or offering a place to work a doddle.

So why not reevaluate your business’s approach to ownership and how you find talent It could be a game changer.

Read more about the collaboration revolution:

(3) Be agile

Rigid, long-term planning cycles are no longer suited to the fast moving nature of the digital world. Now it’s not about years, quarters or even months, but weeks, days
and hours.

Agile project managementplaces emphasis on customer-centric thinking, short development cycles, daily micro-planning meetings and constant feedback. At its core, the agile business culture gives employees autonomy and steps away from the standard, slow moving top-to-bottom command structure.

The year 2015 saw a growing number of “traditional” firms adopt agile practicesAnd if your firm isnt already going down this path, then now is the time to take that first step.

(4) Acknowledge the merger between work and life

Some 90 per cent of workers seeorganisations that offer flexible working environments as more attractive. The popularity of hotdesking, working from home or just logging on in a coffee shop,has changed peoples views on how they work. A”wealth of tools and software that make it easier for teams to collaborate and work successfully online has furthered loosened physical ties to offices.

Encouraging more remote working and allowing staff to work unconventional hours if it suits them will boost productivity, cut costs and lead to happier workforces. Kick off by putting the systems in place so your employees can strike the work-life balance that best suits them.

(5) Embrace digital change

Digital thinking isnt an added option anymore. It needs to be at the core of your thinking. Leaving the “tech stuff” to the IT team is not leadership.

Leaders need to hire the digital specialists that will have the vision to keep their company moving forward. Once there, it’s important management fully trust them andremove any obstacles that stop them doing their job to its full potential. Digital delegation is as important of great leadership as hiring the right staff.

Similarly, many firms are now turning to Unified Communications (UC) collaboration tech to not only improve productivity, but also boost the sense of pride among staff, as well as motivation and morale. We took a look at why, despite this, many still fall foul of getting UC right?

Charlotte Sundker is interim CEO andCMO at Hyper Island.



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