Business Performance Check-Up
Summer is a great time to kick back, relax and reflect. Are you are where you expected to be, both in your business and personally? What challenges have arisen? What opportunities have presented themselves?
During this past week I met with a group of business executives to discuss exactly these questions as they pertain to their companies. In this executive round table discussion that I facilitate every six months we focus on how well each business is performing relative to their strategic goals. Since we are now just over half way through the year I thought I would share with you some of the key points from the roundtable as a means of helping you to reflect upon your own business strategy and your performance against it.
Here are a few of the highlights:
1. A Vision is a decision making tool.
Most businesses have a clear vision for the future, however this is only visited once every few years when a new strategy is formulated. In fact a vision is a decision making tool, that being strategic decisions for the company should be contrasted against the vision to ensure investments of time, resources and cash lead to achieving the desired outcomes. Is your vision clear, current and being used as a decision making tool?
2. Focus on the future
It is true the past leaves clues to what the future holds, however it is important that we place the preponderance of our focus on what lies on the horizon. In my strategy work with clients I often ask them what social, political and technological challenges exist on the horizon. How might you adapt, integrate and manage these challenges? We must keep our eyes on the road ahead, rather then spend time staring in the rear view mirror.
3. Best practices are under your nose.
Some of the best ideas come from within. No one knows your business like you, so when it comes to ideas to improve, the starting point should be internal, rather than external. What ideas do your employees have to improve performance? How are you collecting, analyzing and manifesting those ideas? To identify new ideas and best practices, start by seeking internal input rather than external. You will be amazed at how many great ideas are right under your nose.
4. Engagement is the result of effective communications.
Everyone wants to get their employees and teams engaged, but the default position seems to be to assign the task to Human Resources. Engagement begins and ends with communication and to be effective you must have a communication strategy. For example, when was the last time you surveyed employees to understand their concerns? How are you aligning business changes and improvements with employee needs? Does everyone in the organization understand the value of their role relative to business performance? Once employees believe that you are listening to them (through satisfying their needs) your engagement will improve.
Business improvement comes from the continuous injection of new ideas. Reflect upon how the points above will help to improve your business or department and then, most importantly, create a plan and take action!
If you are interested in learning more information about the quarterly executive round table or on how you might join, drop me a line by clicking here.
© Shawn Casemore 2013. All rights reserved.