Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Why is it so hard for telcos to get things done?

Andrew Collinson, STL Partners
Thursday 03 October 19

The chart below shows that 55% of the industry executives we’ve heard from so far in our survey on how telecoms operators behave think it’s hard to get things done in telcos. When asked what the biggest issue facing telcos is, people often tell me it’s ‘culture’. The research is certainly backing this so far…

The chart below shows that 55% of the industry executives we’ve heard from so far in our survey on how telecoms operators behave think it’s hard to get things done in telcos.

When asked what the biggest issue facing telcos is, people often tell me it’s ‘culture’. The research is certainly backing this so far.

This presents something of a challenge. It may well be ‘true’ that culture is a cause, but it might also be an excuse. Culture can be a poorly defined catch-all so it’s easy to attribute problems to it and avoid the real issues.

This is why I want to find out more about what people think about culture in telecoms, what the issues are and whether any operators stand out – and hence the survey.

Source: STL Survey, first 70 respondents

So it would be great if you can spare 5 minutes to do the survey, especially if you are coming to Total Telecom Congress, 29-30 Oct in London, where I will share more of the initial findings. You can do the survey whether you work for or with a telco/telcos. All your input will be treated in strict confidence, and you can get a full copy of the results.

It explores three main areas:

  • Culture - how telcos “do things around here”
  • Purpose - what telcos say they are for
  • Leadership - how leaders behave

The sort of issues the research explores within these categories are based on what we’ve seen in various case studies of success and failure over the years, and include:

  • Do people feel safe to ‘speak up’?
  • Are managers honest about mistakes?
  • Do telcos currently have a clear purpose that people understand?
  • Is that purpose motivating?
  • Do telco leaders behave by example?
  • Are telcos’ leadership teams truly aligned?
  • Are the reasons for decisions clearly communicated?
  • How are new ideas and mistakes dealt with?

So please spare 5 minutes to do it. It could help unlock some really valuable changes for telcos and ultimately make our working lives more productive and enjoyable. After all, if you don’t know what the problem is you can’t fix it.

You can participate in the survey here.

Note: You can do the survey whether you are working for or with a telco. All input will be treated in strict confidence, and you can get a full copy of the results.

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