Challenge 24. Resources prove insufficient

Nut to crack: How can you achieve your goals despite a shortage of resources?

In a world where resources are scarce, you will sometimes experience a con- flict between your ambition versus available budgets or the number of full- time equivalents (ftes). How can you do more with less if you feel the means to achieve your goal are insufficient?

Nutcracker: Disruption through collaboration

Nowadays, when work has become more flexible, and the ecosystem in which companies and governments operate is more transparent, it’s possible to use the value and power of collaborative relationships beyond the traditional boundaries of your organisation. The following example illustrates how.

Real-life example: Thinking outside the box

A listed energy supplier wants to become the global market leader in a new segment. The director of a business unit that wishes to grow this segment from 10 to 50 million euros in turnover in three years wants to have a team of sixteen fte in year one and invest in a crm system that will cost another 5 million euros. Unfortunately, he does not get this plan approved by senior management – not because there is no belief but because results are under pressure and the resources are lacking. He wonders how he can still achieve a maximum growth rate with minimum resources.

He turns to external partnerships for access to extra resources. He appoints a small team to focus on exploring, negotiating and implementing collaborative relationships disrupting the market. He gives them the freedom to set up partnerships outside the company, and work with partners as they would with colleagues: there is an unlimited exchange of knowledge and expertise.

This leads to new revenue streams for the organisation and its partners; admittedly less growth than he initially aimed for, but significantly more than would have been achiev­ able with internal resources only.

Tip for change leader

Think cooperation instead of competition.

Tip for change enabler

Build teams with both internal and external resources. Think of staffing teams with in­dividuals who, for example, work for customers or partners in the supply chain. Provide the correct supporting digital software, to cooperate beyond organisational boundaries.

Kernel: Think outside the box

There is so much more possible with the power of the ecosystem than what you could achieve with your ‘own’ people and resources. Use it to your advantage.

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