7 outdated habits that are stifling modern businesses

Opinions expressed by entrepreneur Contributors are their own.

As technological advances have changed the pace of business and created structural changes in the environment, policies and practices in many organizations have not changed. Weaved into our minds and corporate cultures are mental models that have not kept pace with the modern era of the New Economy ramp-up. Many of these practices are also obstacles to change and quickly become old symbols. It’s impossible to list them all here, but let’s explore a few broad areas.

See also: 10 bad habits that are preventing your business from succeeding

1. Hiring obsession with cultural fit

Hiring only for the right culture is an outdated recruitment strategy that will cost top talent. When like-minded people are hired instead of people with different perspectives, opinions, or views on how things need to be done, the corporate culture stagnates and decays over time because they don’t have people who challenge the status quo or creativity and innovation advance.

Everyone will learn to work in the company in the legacy environment and skillfully navigate the status quo. While it’s important to hire people who get along with the team and share vision and values, they don’t have to look, feel or act similar to you, just complementing the groupthink mandate masquerading as a cultural fit mandate is.

See also: We all know that there is a lack of diversity in the workplace. Who is responsible?

2. Measurement of presence in the office

Work is an activity, not a place anymore. In a virtual workplace environment, employees can be productive from anywhere. This is an opportunity to make employees more comfortable and increase productivity by leveraging their skills across different locations, time zones and cultures. But leaders often have the mindset that unless they see you in person, your efforts are not fruitful or productive! Manage for deliverables and, if necessary, for milestones. Attempting to accomplish tasks caused by physical presence will not fly in the modern workforce. There may be exceptions, but the norm has changed.

Related topics: What are we losing in the virtual workplace?

3. The annual performance review obligation

The annual performance review is outdated and ineffective. Business moves fast, so your feedback should too! To give employees a sense of continuity in their work environment, they should be continuously guided and coached by you as timely as possible – make improvements easy by focusing on several short and effective coaching or feedback sessions, not on a big administration job at the end of the year. Performance management must adapt to the speed and reality of the business by becoming agile.

4. Hierarchical leadership

Command-and-control leadership was once a highly effective way to produce physical goods in the industrial age. However, it is now important for individuals and teams to work in collaborative conditions that focus on knowledge-based production rather than physical product creation; This requires shared ownership among team members working toward defined goals and coordinating efforts with minimal disruption, confusion, or conflict. A modern workplace invests, nurtures and develops people, taking the voices of team members into account in day-to-day activities.

5. Consensus and input-based culture

Big companies used to be about consensus and agreement. However, trying to get agreement from everyone can slow things down and stifle voices that disagree. Getting people’s input is not the same as building consensus. Given the speed of business, one cannot afford to go by consensus speed. It’s time for lively discussions, quick debates, quick decisions and quick implementation. Organizations need to optimize for speed and agility, rather than allowing consensus to impede decision making or allow inclusion to suffer.

Related: Collaborate or get killed

6. Formal Dress Code

The last century has been about enforcing formal wear like suits, skirts and ties. As the new century unfolds, professional-looking and casual dress codes are accepted, and it is assumed that you don’t win business or add value based on what you wear. Allowing people to be comfortable contributes to a free and positive environment. The meaning of well-dressed may have changed; It’s time to rethink old economy clothing too!

7. Optimization to withstand change and risk

In the old economy, you were taught to build organizations that withstand change and risk. But today’s market dynamics require the reverse thought process of yesteryear. Management through excessive controls to mitigate risk creates agility risk and stifles innovation. To stay current and relevant you need to keep your industry, country and business in context to take calculated risks.

Final Thoughts

We are in the midst of a significant shift in work, the pace of business and the demographics of the workforce. Many of the practices that evolved from the industrial age may not last, but have seeped into our work practices and self-created mental models related to looks, professionalism, productivity, and a misalignment with outcomes. It’s time to drop the baggage!


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