Each year the pressure grows on all areas of a business including its people, cash-flow, leadership, innovation, business models, technologies and ability to implementation strategies successfully. This pressure can lead to issues arising across the business that ultimately impact its overall growth and profit potential.
Standing back from all the specific issues stemming from this high pace of doing business most can quickly be related back to the inability to implement change successfully.
So what does a business leader or owner do? What are the strategies that should be implemented to adjust the business and its people to this NEW normal environment for doing business?
Here are three strategies that can assist businesses and teams in coping with the high pace of doing business:
Strategy 1 - Focus on micro tasks to deliver strategy - Your Now, Where, How
Think back to the last planning session you had or project team you were involved in. You have determined where you are NOW and WHERE you wish to go (believe me it's constantly surprising how often businesses don't clarify the WHERE before launching into solutions). So then it's about the HOW - how you bridge your NOW and WHERE. What was the nature of the strategies / actions that were set? Were they quite broad or were they very specific outlining the steps that need to be taken. Too often planning sessions lead to broad statements such as: 'Do a marketing plan', 'Refine our sales process' or 'Fix that problem' but rarely outline HOW to achieve those outcomes or the micro steps / tasks required. This leads to teams either heading down the wrong paths or not starting to change at all, stalling momentum. The simple solution when you see this occurring is to keep breaking down the broad task into micro tasks that highlight the HOW and the steps required to reach the desired outcome. People need to be able to clearly imagine the action they have been assigned to. If they can't it's likely it won't get done. Try this simple strategy in your next planning session and you instantly see the benefits.
Strategy 2 - Provide just-in-time learning
Sending teams to two day residential training sessions to learn new skills are slowly becoming a thing of the past. There is certainly still a need to hold those types of events in specific situation but 5-7 years ago every training event was a two day off-site with little accountability to the new learning acquired or how it would be implemented. The retention of new learning was thus very low and too often forgotten (until a need arose and the learning had to be acquired again!).
To obtain the skills to address specific issues in this fast paced business world you need to shift the thinking of your people to just-in-time learning. This means that as a need arises to address a specific issue (such as understanding the strengths / weaknesses of your competitors as part of a marketing strategy) the focus should be on putting time in your schedule to learn that skill in 30-60 minutes via an online learning platform or quick internal training session and then applying it in the field quickly. The retained learning is much higher with this approach as there is immediately application of the learning. Best of all a solution to the issue is provided straight away to allow momentum to continue with the desired change or new strategy.
Strategy 3 - Capture and track your strategies / actions
How often have you gone to reflect on a strategy you development months ago and then had to spend hours searching through your emails, journals, files or go and follow-up a team member to get yourself up to speed again with the discussions that occurred and actions that were confirmed. Even if you have a good discipline of having One Page Plans operating in your business (and even pasted to your office wall) it can still waste many hours in your day searching for the detailed plans you have developed or putting yourself back in the same head-space you were in to reflect on the next steps you should take.
To assist this process and speed up your pace of implementing strategies it’s critical in any modern business to be using the latest technologies / applications to help you track projects and tasks. What are you currently using in your business? There are a lot of great, cost-effective options available. The time savings and productivity gains will be felt immediately and free you up to be focusing on the growth and profit of your business.
It's the old saying about keeping things simple. These simple strategies help you adapt your approach to allow you to implement change much more effectively and not get left behind.
To assist this process I provide all my clients with access to Mindshop Online. Mindshop Online allows you to capture and track in one location all your strategies, actions and professional development which are only visible by you and your advisor. Your advisor can then provide confidential support and solutions drawn from hundreds of tools, courses and resources within Mindshop Online.
Mindshop Online is a fantastic way to help leaders speed up their pace of implementation to give them back valuable time to focus on the growth and profit of their business.