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Stop: Operating your company in a vacuum.
Leaders tend to assume all the responsiblity of running their companies and fail to gather "outside" perspectives and information when needed. Operating your company with a vacuum type mentatilty can be detrimental and prohibit growth.
Do you know the biggest mistake made by business leaders? It is trying to operate your business in a vacuum. It is true company leaders have the experience, knowledge and wisdom to lead their organizations successfully, but what most people are lacking is objectivity. It is impossible to know your employees, your clients/customers, your vendors and your industry inside out. In addition globalization and technology have conspired to make operating a business challenging to keep up with the fast pace.
Trust me when I say “what worked yesterday may or may not work today.” If you mistakenly think “that is the way we have always done it” then your organization could be in jeopardy of not surviving. There is a vast amount of benefit that can be derived from historical events both inside and outside your company, yet hanging on to the method you used in implementing these strategies can be detrimental if you try and apply those today.
To succeed in this fast changing world of business, it is imperative that your company have a well-developed, yet flexible and well-crafted strategic plan to lead your organization forward in this fluctuating economy. If I had a dollar for ever time someone has said to me (about the recent recession), “whew glad that is over” I would be a wealthy woman! This wasn’t our first recession and it won’t be our last. And do remember like them or not, all recessions are course corrections and provide great opportunities for those who are prepared to weather the storm. Periodically review your company’s vision, mission and core values against your growth projections. The ability for your company to execute will always be dependent on having a strong foundation for your organization.
Once you have your strategic plan created and are integrating it through out your organization it is a good time to review your current customer base, your past and your future customers. Look for trends, purchasing habits, preferences and purchasing cycles and use this information to develop an information gathering type of survey. Periodically asking your customers about your company, your products, your services and how you can improve is key to your company’s long-term growth.
We all realize that customer retention is important; but we have to make sure we are retaining and attracting the right customers for our products/services.
The biggest challenge facing leaders is the ever-changing workforce. Thanks to technology advances in communications these young professionals have an exceptionally high “need to know” and desire to be included in the company’s operating practices and decisions. While this new level of involvement could be challenging for some “seasoned” business leaders to accept it is the way of the future. Embrace this new workforce, tap into their collective knowledge and use their ideas to drive innovation through out your organization.
Like it or not, we are no longer operating our companies in a bubble. The old days of operating locally or regionally are a thing of the past. Even in your company operates exclusively in these markets, you are affected and dependent upon what is happening half a world away. Creating a dynamic strategic growth plan for your organization’s technology operations’ is essential. Use your technology as an information gathering source and then craft your growth strategies appropriately.
Lastly and most important: pay attention to is your company’s reputation. We live and work in a transparent world, where anyone can access anything they chose. As part of your strategic planning process, define what type of organization you are culturally and what type you want to become. Having a stellar reputation will help your company grow profitability (this is a low-cost solution, which can net big returns).
One of my favorite quotes “what got us here, won’t get us where we are going” is truer today than ever before. As your organization grows, gather, plan, consult and then execute, but be prepared to adapt, change and learn.
Learn more about the author, Janet Boulter.
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- business operations
- strategic planning