This past year has taught us all a lot. Some of what we’ve learned has been beneficial, and some has been discouraging and downright frightening. Either way, business as usual is a thing of the past, and going “back to normal” probably is not a viable option. Making our way forward – as individuals, as businesses, and as nations -- depends on learning the lessons.
One of journalist Fareed Zakaria’s Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World is that the quality of government is more important than the quantity of government. His analysis covers a larger context in which the pandemic is a part, and he acknowledges the debate that has raged especially in our country over the role of government in our lives. One thing the past year has made abundantly clear, in his analysis, is that we need wise leaders, collaborating governing bodies, and accountability at all levels..
Wisdom, inspiring collaboration
We believe this lesson applies to business, too. Leadership that will carry a business through unstable times requires wisdom, inspiring collaboration throughout the corporate culture, and accountability at all levels.
Wisdom comes from experience paired with a humility that remains open to learning and an ability to connect the dots. Wise decisions are based on data – those dots -- which leads us to a subset of this lesson on the primacy of quality: Having a lot of data is a good thing, but its quality is more important than its quantity. A business’s data had better be accurate and purposeful, or it will be useless at best and deceptive at worst.
It’s difficult, when what is right in front of you requires your full attention, to look at the big picture and think about the future. But a leader knows such thinking and planning are necessary. Doing so requires less time and energy if you already have quality data at your fingertips. A robust CRM system that aggregates data on your customers, interactions with them, and business processes should provide a giant picture window into the current state of your business, help you spot trends, and answer questions about where you want to go.
Collaboration, too, requires a set of facts that are reliable and agreed upon. Otherwise problem solving and new initiatives are both hobbled. And accountability is meaningless if no solid standard exists against which to measure actions. Again, it goes back to the quality of data and your ability to track it. A quality CRM system such as Creatio will provide a structure for both.
Two things are necessary to ensure quality data that will lead to wise decisions. First, you must determine the right questions to ask so you get the information you need, and what protocols will support getting the answers you need. And second, make an informed decision when choosing or upgrading a system. Look for one that will grow with you, adapt to future needs, and accelerate your business progress, not hold you back.
Ask the right questions to get helpful answers.
Your first step is to establish a project team and discuss with them data points you all think are needed to guide strategic decisions. Think bigger than what is currently available and the decisions you are making now. Remember, you are planning for a strong future. When we come alongside organizations as a CRM partner, a significant part of our role is to ask questions that help clarify what constitutes quality data for them. With that clarity to guide us, we can look together at functional requirements of the CRM in order to achieve it. Then we encourage our partners to formulate step by step protocols, or use cases, for how users will interact with the system to ensure consistent information input across the company.
Because of our rapidly changing world, it is wise to invest in a system like Creatio CRM with the capacity to grow with you and adapt fast and easily to serve your changing business needs. Always ask questions about ease of customization when you are contemplating a new solution or upgrading the one you have.
Data is real and meaningful. You can’t run a business on rumor, propaganda, or even a ton of info that is more like trivia because it is not organized in any meaningful way. To navigate a rapid-changing, often disruptive future absolutely requires quality data. Leaders who will be successful in the new normal, whatever that turns out to be, will realize that the quality of their leadership will rely on it, too.
What data will you need to guide your organization through the next few years? Our goal is to help you enhance the quality of your leadership with data you can rely on. Contact us today with your questions and your vision for the future.