Proactivity involves thinking ahead and acting on anticipated events. In the context of organizations, companies, and industries, proactive behavior is defined as the behavior of anticipating possibilities, gaining control over situations, and initiating actions.
To give a clearer perspective to businesses and organizations about proactivity, let us imagine a situation of a raging fire in a building, causing casualty and damage to the business. Organization A utilized resources and exerted effort in extinguishing a raging fire to avoid more damage and casualty. Meanwhile, Organization B has prevented the fire from happening through proper planning and risk management hence, avoiding any casualty or damage.
The difference between the two organizations in terms of planning and preparation has underscored the significance of proactivity.
Most high-performing and extraordinary companies or organizations take a proactive approach to management. Companies exhibiting proactivity can master the utilization of foresight, opportunism, and risk management. Foresight enables the company to strategically plan for potential possibilities and problems. Opportunism allows management to look for hidden opportunities for partnership, profit, and value generation. Risk management gives the company an ability to avoid backfire of previous decisions and if anything bad happens, safeguards and contingencies are already prepared.
REACTIVE APPROACH vs PROACTIVE APPROACH
Proactivity entails planning, anticipating events, and preparing how to take control of any situation that may happen in the future. Companies with a proactive management approach are capable of preventing future problems, thus giving them more time in the future to invest in partnerships, explore more partnerships, and realize more possibilities.
Reactivity is a management approach when the company leadership only waits, and cannot/does not plan ahead of time for potential risks and problems. Consequently, the reactive company always has its hands full - busy extinguishing all the fires, hence no time for planning and acting for other opportunities.
To compare the two, a proactive manufacturing company would recall the released faulty production before it reaches the market while a reactive manufacturing company would wait for customers to notice the defects and thus face public scrutiny and clamor in the future and will only reappropriate by then.
Ultimately, both approaches will be able to fix the problem.
However, the reactive company will leave the customer unsatisfied and undelightful - and negative customer satisfaction feedback will not contribute to business growth.
BENEFITS OF PROACTIVE BEHAVIOR
Proactive companies, as opposed to the reactive ones, are capable of thinking ahead and initiating change within and outside the organization. As a support company, Ripple VAs fully understands the importance of proactivity in achieving success in businesses. Here are some of the benefits a proactive company enjoys:
1. Better Work Quality. Companies who adopt a proactive approach drastically decrease the number of problems they face - as preventable problems are filtered out. Thus, employees of a proactive company have more time to focus on improving their work while the management has more time to monitor these employees and assure the quality of the work.
2. Higher Customer Satisfaction. Proactive companies obsess over satisfying their customers while reactive companies obsess over outdoing their competitors. Rather than focusing on the methods of your competitors and adjusting your game to match theirs, a proactive company takes the first move in figuring out its method of generating value and offering brilliant customer experience.
3. More Effective and Efficient Operations. Proactive companies can design and measure their company’s critical processes, i.e. sales process, account management, and communication. Data from the assessment of performance enables the company to troubleshoot inefficiencies and restructure processes for better workflow.
4. Better Market Position. Proactivity enables companies to focus on strategically gathering data and developing ways of fulfilling, if not exceeding, the expectations of the customers. After all, the success of a company is attributed to customer experience - thus the better experience the customers get, the farther you get ahead of your competitors!
Remember, it is hard to focus on your game if you are trapped in someone else’s. Companies of the 21st century have to step their games up; and simply reacting to what happens in the future is never the answer. In an era where competition continuously intensifies, there is something that sets businesses apart - proactivity, the recipe for success!