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The Human Factor In Strategy

The Clifton Review 


The Clifton Review is a tri-weekly column that examines the question of the Clifton project along with the evolution of the war between two billionaires. We covered the start of this war with articles describing the battle over easement rights, the mysterious burning of a home, the blocks to rebuilding, and countless questionable court filings.

While the 2018 series salutes fashion mogul Peter Nygård’s Golden Jubilee detailing his rags to riches story, his incredible business success over these past fifty years and an inside look at how he did it, The Clifton Review will also continue to address current affairs as they relate to the good of The Bahamas.


The Human Factor In Strategy

By P.J. Malone

It is not enough to simply set business goals and implement strategies to achieve them. You have to consider the factors that can help or hinder your achievement of your goals.

In each implementation, you have to ask the question, ‘how do our structures, systems and processes impact each other with this strategy? More specifically, ‘are they helping or are they hindering our efforts in any way?’

This is especially important to do with respect to human resources. Remember the financial services company who was potentially losing thousands of dollars because their practices and strategies were working against each other?

When they were implementing the strategy of having their sales people focus on selling their financial products to millionaires, they should have reviewed their existing systems. 

They should have asked themselves, ‘what changes do we need, if any, with respect to human resources? What drives our people toward achieving our business goal?’

If they had asked themselves these questions, they would have looked at their practices to make sure nothing hindered their ability to achieve their goal of selling as much of their financial services products as possible. They should have considered the following:

  • What motivates our sales people to sell?
  • Given that our various financial services products are sold by different departments, how can we be sure to sell our differing products across departments?
  • What might stop us from selling the maximum amount of products?

Instead, they promoted individuals with the most connections to millionaires and didn’t think about what impact that might have on other sales people observing that practice. 

Yes, it may have had the intended impact of sales people working to establish relationships with millionaires, but they didn’t consider how it impacted sales across departments.

How did fashion mogul Peter Nygard do things differently to ensure maximum success?

Remember, one of Nygard’s core business goals is to always be the best at what he does. So, he works within his company to make sure that his structure systems and processes always work together to support that goal.

Since products require several areas to make it successful, Nygard created teams made up of the different departments to work together to ensure the products’ success. But, he didn’t stop there.

One of the things the NYGARD company is known for is promoting individuals based on their ability. It ensures he has the best people working toward his goals. It also communicates the message, ‘we care more about your ability than about educational qualifications.’ What this does is engender loyalty and can result in employees working harder. 

Why? Because they can witness it paying off. The corporate world generally places more value on educational qualifications of individuals—not that they shouldn’t because in some jobs, that may be absolutely necessary; however, not everyone has had the opportunity to further their education and obtain those qualifications.

In many companies, individuals with fewer qualifications resign themselves to not being able to move up the corporate ladder as easily as their counterparts with higher education. That can sometimes cause individuals to continuously look outside the company for better work opportunities. 

When advancement opportunities are based on ability, it equalizes the playing field in their minds. If employees feel like they can advance just as easily as their counterparts, the incentive of looking elsewhere for opportunities is taken away and working hard may have value.

We’ll continue to look at how employees can be motivated to work toward business goals.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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