Company Visions Should Never Stop at the Plaque on the Wall. Most companies have a Vision, but how is it integrated into operations?
In my book, BANK LIKE A BOSS: How Entrepreneurs Maintain Access To Cash In Good Times And Bad it mentions that, “If your challenges are course corrected with that vision in mind, you will eventually reach your goal.” This blog will address this topic in more detail, but for a broader perspective on achieving business success get your copy of the book on Amazon.
In his review of my book, Bank Like A Boss: How Entrepreneurs Maintain Access to Cash in Good Times and Bad, Michael Gates, Developer says,
“Bank Like A Boss is a must read for any entrepreneur starting a business. Cash is King, access to credit, and your availability to get credit is critical to staying in business. Bank Like A Boss will walk you through the business life cycles as a source of cash. If you start a business, your attitude must be to never quit, even when you get kicked in the teeth. Banking plus cash liquidity is a large part of it.”
Mike is spot on. To start, manage, or grow a business we must maintain a “never quit” attitude. That means that when change need to happen we embrace it and continue moving forward. But just moving forward doesn’t necessarily get us to our intended destination.
Every business owner starts with a Vision in mind and hopefully they went on to develop a comprehensive Strategic Plan. Most Strategic Plans take the company through the process of developing Objectives, Goals, Strategies, and Measures as they relate to achieving the company Vision and Mission. The measures identified are meant to be the final metrics that define goal achievement. But the metrics to actually achieve the goal are left up to those responsible. These are the metrics that measure the effort expended. They help identify progress and challenges along the path towards goal achievement.
It’s not enough to just measure these efforts and report the progress towards goal. To effectively connect your goals to your Vision those responsible must be able to see when the efforts are falling short of expected progress. When these situations are identified, course corrections need to be made. The key to effective course corrections is the ability to tie the adjustments back to the goal AND the Vision. By tying course corrections back to the Vision, you ensure that Vision alignment is maintained. Without Vision alignment course corrections can take a company in different directions. So, Vision alignment should be a key part of your problem solving process.
The need for course corrections should be identifiable in the dashboards used to monitor progress. Once a need for course correction is identified, assemble the affected parties, and immediately implement a focused problem solving process. In four simple steps you can move from underperforming to back on track.
First have the group define the problem. Not just the result of the problem, but the root cause of the problem. Most effective problem solving avoids the superficial, obvious issues and delves deeper into the cause. Knowing this, you’ll be able to focus on what problem you’re trying to solve. This usually becomes evident when you identify the constraints. Those things that are keeping you from achieving at expected levels. Then, reaffirm what success looks like. This is when you revisit the Vision, Mission and Goals of the company.
Second, prepare a solution. Start brainstorming solutions that align with the root cause and the Vision, Mission, and Goals. Analyze each potential solution by comparing the pros and cons of each, then choose the best option for the company.
Third, implement the solution. Start as soon as possible. The longer you go with the old process the further move away from your achieving your objectives.
Lastly, Monitor the results coming from the solution and compare them to the goals. This usually means updating the dashboards. Document what you’ve learned in the process and be prepared to adjust further as needed.
The key is making sure that the solution stays aligned with your company Vision, Mission, and Goals.
To develop your company’s customized Position, Planning, Performing, and Potential Program contact me at Richard@StrategicOrientation.com. We’ll work together to determine your next steps towards an even greater level of success.