Like individuals, companies also have their own strengths. Some companies, for instance, have a better workforce, production capabilities, R&D teams, distribution networks, and more. It is very important for companies to work on their strengths to achieve phenomenal growth. It is, however, possible that a company may be underutilizing its strengths. In this article, we will discuss what actions organizations take when their strengths are underutilized.
Underutilization of Strengths – What it Means?
It simply means that a company is not using its capabilities to the fullest. Suppose a company has a strong distribution network that, if utilized properly, can allow it to cover all of North America. But, the company is presently using that distribution network to cover a few states only. Though there could be many reasons for not expanding (such as lack of funds), this will fall into the category of underutilization of strengths.
Identifying Underutilization – Why it is Important?
Realizing that your company’s strengths are being underutilized is in itself a very big task. This is because your company might be growing, but still, there could be underutilization of strengths. Usually, managers would overlook underutilization if things are going well.
Moreover, there are no methods or rules to identify underutilization. But some out-of-the-box thinking, a grand vision for the company, and entrepreneurship intent could help managers identify underutilization. Separately, companies can also identify underutilization when they are in crisis and are finding ways to address it. In such a case, a detailed analysis of the business and its operations could help a company identify underutilization.
Finding that your strengths are underutilized is not a bad thing at all. In fact, it could suggest more room for growth or the possibility of achieving a higher growth rate going ahead. Moreover, working on fully utilizing the strengths could help an organization overcome crises and bring the company back on the growth path.
Now that you have an idea of what underutilization of strengths is and why identifying it is important, let’s take a look at what actions organizations take when their strengths are underutilized.
What Actions Organizations Take When their Strengths are Underutilized?
Following are the actions organizations take when their strengths are underutilized:
Conduct SWOT Analysis
A SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis will allow the company to better understand its business, especially the opportunities. The management team can brainstorm these opportunities so as to properly utilize their strengths. Moreover, analyzing the strengths will help the company determine whether its strengths are actually its strengths or not, and in what areas it should work to ensure full utilization of its strengths.
Make More Efforts
Making more efforts could also help a company to fully utilize its strengths. If a company feels that making more efforts will yield better results, or would better a particular task, then it would be wise to do so. Making more efforts would mean effective utilization of the strengths.
It is possible that some decisions made by the management are responsible for the underutilization of strengths. Thus, reviewing those decisions could help a company make proper utilization of the process.
It is also possible that not just one or two decisions, rather the flaw is with the whole decision-making process. This scenario is even worse as it could threaten the future of the organization. Thus, it is very important to review the whole decision-making process, in order, to improve it.
An organization can form a small committee to review the decision-making process or hire a consulting firm for the same.
This is likely the last action that an organization should take. Despite all the efforts, if a company is still unable to fully utilize its strengths, then outsourcing that task is likely the best thing to do. An organization, however, should weigh costs before outsourcing that task to a third party.
These are the actions organizations take when their strengths are underutilized. Such actions will help organizations to better utilize their strengths. These actions are not industry or company specific, but rather apply to all industries and companies.