I was in one of my favorite grocery stores the other day to pick up a few items. While I was there, I noticed they were making massive changes to their items in inventory. I knew they were getting ready to relocate to another store location in a few months, and that it was a brand new facility.
One of the driving factors for the decision to move was a competitive one. Within in the last few months, several new grocery stores had entered the market with splashy advertising touting their presence. These competitors were diverse in their offerings: one offered lower prices and “bag your own groceries”. Another was a national chain that was definitely more upscale.
What really caught my attention, though, was the attention that managers in the store were giving to inventory that day. They were counting the items on the shelves, checking to see what items had sold and what ones remained. I also overheard some conversation about decisions that were being made about what was going to be stocked in the new store.
It seems to me that the managers in this grocery store were undertaking an important exercise that we as managers could consider doing as well, but I’m not talking about stocking groceries here. What I mean is that every now and then, we could get value from conducting an inventory to assess what is on our personal “talent” shelves.
As managers striving for success in the new businesses normal, we owe it to ourselves to make sure we are current on the skills and abilities needed for outstanding performance in our quickly changing jobs. So, how do we accomplish this?
First, it’s important for us to examine our current stock and discard outdated practices and old ways of managing. What comes to mind right away is tossing out command and control approaches to managing people. We need to throw away all managerial practices with expiration dates that have long passed and that are beginning to smell.
The second part of our inventory process as mangers is to make sure we are stocking our shelves with the most recent learning and development tools available. The different ways to tap into these resources are limitless, and many of the resources can be accessed outside of the traditional classroom. In fact, the majority of training, development and learning today takes place outside of the classroom. A plethora of resources are available through self study, and learning can also occur by joining other online groups with which we share common work-related interests.
For mangers interested in continuing to improve personal performance, now is the time to begin the inventory of our skills and abilities and see where our shelves need some changes to be made. We’ll want make sure our shelves are stocked with nothing but the best to transform us for success in the new business normal. Good luck!
Have you conducted a recent inventory related to your position as a manager or supervisor? Care to share about that experience?