Proactive Attitude – Discussion Paper

Proactive Discussion

Does Your Organisation Have a Proactive Attitude?

Managers in businesses of all sizes face unexpected challenges that could mean success or failure for the entire business. How prepared an organisation is for such challenges that determines whether a business will weather the storm or flounder under an unexpected wave.

Being proactive means that businesses have systems in place that allow them to identify threats before they become serious problems, and highlight opportunities well in advance. These systems must be robust, dependable, and have the flexibility to adjust to the new challenges and opportunities in a shifting business landscape.

One electronic system that provides the business visibility and comprehensive traceability required for meaningful foresight and pre-emptive analysis is InformationLeader. An information system like InformationLeader enables your business to not only weather the storm but be prepared to ride its waves to greater heights.

Current Business Attitude

Many businesses have invested significant resources towards their internal and external processes, aiming to increase efficiency and reduce operational costs. This singular focus has meant that while there are short term performance gains, the business reduces its capability to pre-empt crises and identify opportunities.

The focus on efficiency at the lowest cost can also result in constant ‘fire fighting’ – dealing with problems as they come along. The U.S. Department of Labour states that 43% of U.S. businesses will not re-open after a disaster, and that 23% of those that do re-open close down within 2 years.

A reactive business attitude also limits the business’ capacity to fully realise success-driven expansion and competitiveness. A lack of investment in proactive areas of an organisation’s structure and processes limits the business’ ability to identify and correct problems prior to them becoming critical incidents, as well as limit the ability to fully exploit business opportunities as they present themselves.

What is a proactive attitude?

The term ‘proactive’ was first popularised in business by Stephen Covey’s book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. In the book, the term was used to describe someone that takes responsibility for everything in life. A reactive person frequently blamed other people and circumstances for obstacles or problems. The term has since come to mean “to act before a situation becomes a source of confrontation or crisis.”

To put this definition in a business context: A business with a reactive attitude is controlled by external forces, while a business with a proactive attitude takes responsibility for developing situations and uses this initiative to control and indeed exploit the situation, rather than being consumed by it.

Enabling a Proactive Attitude

Businesses need the right tools to implement an attitude change. The main barrier to being proactive is collecting the right information, achieving the right degree of visibility, and having the most powerful analytical tools available to be able to think and act proactively. This barrier can be overcome by the InformationLeader software system.

InformationLeader is a platform for the electronic management of auditable data in a regulated environment. It has been designed from the ground up to provide comprehensive business traceability and visibility. Systems that enable a proactive attitude within a business must meet certain requirements in order to provide a business with the following benefits:

  • The minimised impact of product and service malfunctions. InformationLeader allows businesses to identify trends in real time and receive notice as soon as certain conditions are met. The system accomplishes this by offering customisable alert conditions that instantly notify and inform stakeholders. This provides managers with real time, actionable notifications that is required to create and maintain a proactive attitude.
  • The capability to generate business snapshots, and identify the status of key business components. InformationLeader provides the analytical tools that allow users to track key performance indicators and perform trend analysis over important business units. This is accomplished through extensive reporting capabilities that can present information from all facets of the organisation. This level of visibility and performance monitoring is an integral component of proactive planning.
  • Increased business visibility that can extend along the entire supply chain. InformationLeader is a web based solution, providing organisations with the capability to allow other businesses along the supply chain to access controlled information. Access to information systems along the supply chain provides expanded visibility that allows business to anticipate shortages and adjust inventory levels, rather than scramble to react to a sudden shortage. This can also increase efficiency across the entire supply process.
  • Business traceability that encourages greater responsibility. InformationLeader focuses on complete business visibility and the traceability of information. Each user interaction down to entering information on individual fields on a form is tracked, allowing businesses to be confident in the auditability of all their business interactions. Increased traceability and data validation at the data entry stage also raises reporting accuracy, which in turn increases the accuracy of business plans and forecasting.
  • Preparation for changes in business environments that reduces change management costs. InformationLeader systems are easily customisable. Built in builder modules allow trained users to create, modify, and maintain all aspects of their system, without any programming. An easily customisable system enables a smoother transition to a proactive information system.
  • Proactive analysis – generating useful information enabling pre-emptive analysis rather than being limited to analysing crises after the fact. InformationLeader’s flexibility extends to reporting. InformationLeader uses Crystal Reports as its third party reporting tool. Crystal Reports is the industry leader for business reporting, and is a fully flexible reporting solution. Fully flexible reporting allows businesses to analyse data from different views, allowing for more holistic forecasting and accurate performance analysis.

InformationLeader is a proven system, already providing proactive capabilities to businesses across many industries around the world.

 

Conclusions

Many organisations have invested a large amount of resources towards a reactive attitude in an effort to increase efficiency and lower overall costs. A reactive business attitude, however, limits the organisation’s ability to identify and act on opportunities and take pre-emptive action on developing situations.

A proactive attitude provides numerous business benefits, including the minimised impact of product and service malfunctions, the capability to generate business snapshots, and increased visibility that can extend along the entire supply chain. A proactive attitude also means that businesses are prepared for changes in business environments and can perform pre-emptive analysis.

Realising these benefits requires an electronic system that has been designed with visibility and traceability in mind. One software solution that has all of the features required to implement an attitude change is InformationLeader.

InformationLeader provides the business visibility and comprehensive traceability required for meaningful foresight and pre-emptive analysis in InformationLeader. Information systems like InformationLeader enable your business to not only weather the storm but be prepared to ride its waves to greater heights.