If you want to take your business from good to great there are 5 key things you need to get right
1) Set a Vision.
Clarity of where the business needs to go is vital. You need to take the business team on a journey to a destination. The business vision tells them about the destination and defines “great”. It needs to be challenging and inspiring so that the entire business raises its game. I like to use the BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) to set the vision.
2) Plan, and focus on only a few goals.
Goals are the specific things the business needs to do; These need to be absolutely clear. What are they? who is responsible or accountable? why are they important? The business planning process should define these and identify how they will be done.
Focus is vital. You need to identify the right number of goals. Companies with too many goals, lots of projects going on, are often the ones who don’t succeed. They are very busy, lots of stuff is getting done, but because it is spread so wide little of it gets completed. Far better to concentrate on a small number of things and see them through. Remember the 80:20 rule.
3) Kick start the change
Many visions are simply lost in Powerpoint slides. They get discussed in business meetings and in team communications, people listen, shrug their shoulders and get on with the day job. If you really want to change things much more is needed. I believe a 90 day kick start programme is essential. Create a dedicated team, get them to define the detail of what needs to happen, and get the projects that will deliver “great” up and running. Pace, and the head of steam it creates up front are essential. 95% of business strategy is implementation.
4) Continually manage performance
Each business goal should be measurable. The performance management system should tell you whether you are on track and allow you to correct course when things go off plan, as they inevitably will. A good measurement system will have a few predictive measures that will allow prompt action to be taken. KPIs work well if you select the right measures.
A great business generally won’t be tied into a rigid annual planning and budgeting cycle, typically it will use rolling forecasts which always look 12-18 months out and are updated monthly or quarterly. In the modern world things change too quickly to be tied down to a plan that was set 6 or 9 months ago, the great business can accommodate external changes and respond quickly.
5) Build organisational capability
If your business defined its BHAG well, the vision will be very challenging and it should be clear that the business will need to develop new capability. What you can’t do is under invest. You will need to up skill people, and where necessary recruit. Investing in people is top priority. Show them how serious you are about the vision for the company and your commitment to them as people. Your staff are your one asset you don’t depreciate on the balance sheet, when you invest in them they appreciate in value to the business. Investment in systems and processes will be needed too. Do not try to do this on a shoestring, put some skin in the game.
Help us to help you to go from good to great
None of this is easy, and most businesses need lots of help and guidance to get from good to great. We are currently preparing training to help your business raise its game and make it to the next level. We are targeting small and mid market businesses, if that is you we would like some help to pitch this material at the right level and make the learning really relevant to your situation, issues and challenges. Could you take a few minutes to follow the link, complete the survey, and tell us your views please?