This weekend I was doing some cleaning in the house. I was as usual going through some of my old stuff I am no longer using. I am referring to things that are old but which we continue to keep for sentimental reasons.  Anytime we clean and stumble across them we put them aside to dispose of them but for some reason we always think that we will have some use for them.  

The fact is that some of the things will never be useful again, not ever.  Unless there is an auction of some sort which may fetch some little money, these items will end up in a museum of old antiquated objects as done in some developed countries.

What I saw was a Playbook – a Blackberry playbook. I am sure there are some who have so soon forgotten about the Blackberry phone. If you have so soon forgotten about the Blackberry phone then the Playbook will be a total stranger to you. This shows the short life span of some of the companies and their products which we used to cherish so much.

It tells you the importance of constant innovation. I recall how my children who were very young then used to beg me to allow them to play with the blackberry phones, especially the playbook. I hardly allowed them to use them and when I did, they were always under close surveillance. Today, the devices lie lifeless and useless in a box, begging to be disposed.

Business in general is dynamic. Some have longer life spans and others have shorter ones depending on what they were set up for. The telecommunications industry which is driven by technology is one of the fastest growing industries and the most dynamic. A successful company may exist today and may be out of existence within a short period of time. As companies grow, they must carry their employees along and get to ensure the companies stays relevant and profitable otherwise both employer and employees will soon go into extinction.

If you look around the country, there is no doubt that many Enterprises or companies are no longer in existence. Some have totally being wiped out from the surface of the earth. Companies like UAC, UTC, GNTC, and FDC are not where they used to be. The common thing amongst all of them is not the letter C – the common thing is that they are all history.

Ghana Airways and Ghana International Airlines have a lot of things in common – the country Ghana and airlines. The most compelling thing is that both companies are no longer around. Pan American Airlines, the largest air career in the US hasn’t flown a single plane for 20years. This may seem unbelievable.

Again, take a look at brands like Blackberry, Nokia, IBM, Kodak, and Konica – where are they now and how are they doing in this competitive world? Not only some of these companies fading – some are gone with all their employees. Blackberry officially has announced that it is getting out of its phone hardware business.

Guess what will happen to employees responsible for this aspect of the business and its supporting functions. Enron in the US had 22,000 employees but where are they now? They have all being wiped out.  Remember the good old type writers, video tapes, cassettes and the good old analogue phones. 

What happened to Concorde? It still holds the record for the fastest crossing of the Atlantic by a civil aircraft but it is gone.  I remember the last Concorde flight because I was working for a Communications Consulting agency and I was responsible for the British Airways PR in that agency. I received communications from London about the last flight. The feeling was very nostalgic but sentimentality and emotions do not prevent a company from changing its course.

So what must employees do in any organization they work for?  They must work continuously to make the companies sustainable and profitable because no organization is totally immune from challenges. Companies must always work ahead of their years to meet the changing trends in this highly innovative world and employees must be agile and forward looking.

We celebrate May Day every year and not many people take time during that period to think about what they can do to make their companies stay more profitable. Workers assume their jobs will always be there for them. But there is more that needs to be done by all stakeholders.

All employees must stay engaged and motivated, working hard and intelligently to protect their companies and to make themselves constantly relevant.

Employees must always manage their time, desks, work and assignments dutifully.  Every employee must be loyal and ensure their organizations are protected. This means working extra hard to delight customers because that is the only way they can stay in business. They should always know that as the company stays profitable, they have a job, and if the company sinks, they sinks as well, although it may momentary because they may always find another job later.  Of course it is important for everyone to play their part – Employers must do their part to keep employees well remunerated whilst employees do their part of their work. Both the company and employees must ensure that they operate ethically and in compliance with the law.

Finally excellence is a value that must be the lifelong partner of every employee. It is not just good enough to show up at work. Showing up means owning up to your responsibilities and going beyond your call of duty to make your customers and your shareholders happy.