Where you are, where you are going, and how you will get there are critical questions you need to answer for your business. Sustained success also requires an understanding of how you make money, what you really believe in, and how you clearly differentiate yourself in the marketplace. Leaders and senior teams work hard at answering these questions and provide a pathway for achieving the results they’re after.
Communicate Your Expectations
What should your expectations be for the business? I see companies struggle with setting the bar either too low or too high, and then become frustrated with their results. Your culture has a lot to do with how high or low the bar you set. Your appetite for risk and the ability to learn and adapt also contribute to the expectations you set.
Set expectations that fully leverage the people, the creativity and the institutional knowledge of your company. Support them with the technology and equipment in which you have invested in. Whichever direction you choose, the expectations need to be clear, intentional, and understood by all parties.
Having a good handle on the toolset that you have available to achieve the expectations you’ve set is crucial. Determine the resources you have, and which ones will need to be upgraded or replaced. Identify any constraints that are in your processes and determine how will you overcome them. These will be issues that need to be addressed by the senior team.
Understanding the way that you currently work, in addition to how your customers work and how they set their expectations, will be instrumental in determining whether or not you have the right tools at your disposal. The level in which a pandemic influences how everyone works will need to be factored into your planning. Finally, learn and leverage the applicable best practices from other industries to help you create your competitive advantage.
Everyone Wants Accountability
Whenever I meet with a new company, a common refrain is that they have a lack of accountability within their business. Everyone seems to like accountability and change until it actually affects them. In order to achieve the results that you deserve, make sure that this line of thinking does not permeate within your organization.
After setting and communicating your expectations, how will you measure success? What criteria will you use? Identifying your critical success factors go hand-in-hand with establishing your expectations. When things don’t go as planned, a few best practices include addressing the issues as they arise — and quickly. Having these difficult conversations don’t need to be confrontational if all of the expectations have been clearly set and communicated. Finally, focus on the expectations that were missed, and not the attacking the person, will help to keep your progress on track.
Make It Repeatable
Learn what’s working and what’s not within your organization. Understand the reasons why you had success or why something failed. The more you know about these things the better your apt to modify your efforts and improve in the future. In the blog, Plan and Execute: Lather, Rinse, and Repeat, I mentioned the importance of repeatability, scalability, dependability, and reliability. Having an organization that excels in these areas will help you achieve the results you’re going after.
Your goal will be to stay focused on your core values and key objectives, avoiding the “flavor of the month“ project or initiative. These become time-wasters and huge distractions to your team. Spend time with your people. Listen to them, really listen to them and get their feedback. Achieving results is often tied to the level of employee engagement from the front door to the back door. Your goal as a leader or member of the senior team is to work on that each and every day.
I welcome any thoughts or questions, please add them below or reach out to me directly.
Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic counsel, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at www.philiegroup.com, LinkedIn or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This blog originally published in Printing Impressions.