Many of us across the SCORE community are diligently trying to complete tasks & activities we’ve either set for ourselves (speaking to all of the entrepreneurs out there), had set for us (speaking to all of the business leadership teams out there), or have set on behalf of others (speaking to all the business owners and/or boards out there) and irrespective of who has established the goal for you to achieve, the fact of the matter is ..time is short and the new year is here!”
Every new year presents us with a unique opportunity to take note of how we successfully achieved our goals & objectives. This is especially true depending on where you are on your business’ Change Journey.
Achieving Business Success Before Beginning The Journey
In my first SCORE article I introduced “the Change Journey” with the intent to draw attention to the life long commitment of growing a healthy, organic, sustainable, growth, performing business. The Change Journey begins from the entrepreneurial seed-planting and accounts for the one true aspect of defining what success is for your business (as seen and understood by everyone involved) in each and every task & activity. And that, of course is that...
Change is the only true constant of business!
To achieve those Five Elements of Business Life there are two core attributes that must be put into place as your business matures from the entrepreneurial stage through the start-up stage and into the small business stage. Those two core attributes are…
Establishing your leadership style with the intent of influencing your company culture
Implementing your company’s Business Change Framework
Although I’ll briefly touch on the first point of establishing leadership style to influence company culture in this article, the focus is on implementing the right exercises & practices that drive behaviors which translate to great executable outcomes.
Regardless of the goals to be achieved by year’s end or focusing on who sets them, there are fundamental truths to ensure each goal and/or objective is successfully achieved before ever taking on the first task or activity which culminate in it’s completion. Moreover, no matter which stage of business development you’re in -- be it the...
“I’ve got a great idea” [or entrepreneurial/startup stage],
“We’re launching our start-up” [or small business stage], the “our customers love us and we’ve got to figure out how to meet their demands” [or maturing small business to big business stage], or
“We’ve got to balance risk against rewards by accounting for ROI” [or maturing business to complex business stage],
...there must be transparency in how you do what you do (especially if you are doing it with people beyond yourself).
I’ve had the great fortune of leading highly skilled and extremely competent groups and have also been the consulting advisor to more executive leaders than I can recall. As I look across the business landscape and my past career experiences, I assess what causes individual and/or collective success for achieving stated goals & objectives. For some this simply means tasks & activities performed throughout the calendar year.
It is inextricably tied to how well the leadership [within your business] conveys the goals & objectives for the year and ensures the transparency of the stated goals are [clearly] understood by those expected to complete them.
The clarification and transparency come from having a uniform way of communicating and viewing the stated goals & objectives so that at any particular time an individual and/or member of the team has the ability to see –
What the goals and/or objectives are
Where the progression [of achieving] the goals and/or objectives currently reside
Who is on point to moving the goal / objective forward through to completion
This is widely known as assessing strategic goals & objectives within the company’s Business Change Framework.
Information is knowledge and knowledge translates to power!
If you perceive your leadership role as being responsible for establishing the strategic goals & objectives and general direction for the business, then the Business Change Framework is the foundational method in which those goals & objectives are made visible to everyone.
For the sake of transparency, it establishes responsibilities for tasks & activities along the journey – to ensure those with tasks & activities are acutely acknowledged and don’t experience over saturation. Accountability is embedded in the way. Trust is built between those deciding upon what is to be done and those delivering outcomes (there are no spectators in the sport of business building).
WARNING: A word to the wise...
The reason companies spent $144B on consulting advisors during 2018 is due largely due to not having foundational elements embedded in their strategic approach to minimizing the risk of not completing tasks & activities. As the age old saying goes…
“You can ask for help now, or ask for help later!”
The difference between the two in business today is the amount you pay for putting into place the information you could have received before certain areas of the business began to falter.
When implemented, the Business Change Framework acts as the asphalt to a road – paving the way for those in your business going along with [and participating in] the business’ Change Journey -- with the expectation of understanding the indifference of having to progress along a paved road versus an unpaved one.
Additionally, while progressing along the path applying paint – to ensure everyone involved understands the path may have multiple lanes to ensure clarity of how the many tasks & activities intersect while also ensuring that no one is affected by over saturation and/or everyone is aligned on what is traveling down which lane -- clarity (isn’t it a beautiful thing?). Finally, builds in guardrails to complete the protection & safeguards for everyone supporting the business’ strategic themes and working together to achieve the common goals. This to ensure “IF” veering out of the lane occurs, everyone is safeguarded by not going over a cliff or worse yet, having simultaneous work efforts collide with one another.
As I’ve advised many in the past...
“I have never known anyone that had a great experience with a guardrail, however the few people I know of that had an encounter with a guardrail were extremely glad it was there when they did!”
Identifying your leadership style and implementing a Business Change Framework are two of the most distinguishing success attributes you can decide to do early on in your business’ Change Journey. Similar to that of a business plan -- it’s not to say your business won’t be successful without them -- however, you can be sure as your business thrives, and you begin to recognize common tasks & activities that become more & more challenging, as you assess why one or more of the Five Elements of your business’ Life Cycle faltered, it will [likely] be due to one or both of these two core elements.
As we move from week to week through 2020, I hope that each of the tasks & activities you’ve set out to accomplish, culminate in achieving your business’ overall goals & objectives. I also hope that your business reached all the success levels you planned for last year. If there’s room for improvement to rethink, regroup, and change the way you’re planning for tasks & activities, hopefully you’ve gained insight to a couple of foundational elements that will improve how you do what you’ve planned to do.