Creating the business that you want, requires a well-defined description of that future business. You need to be able to clearly see your business in your mind’s eye. In this way, you can guide the business from where you are today to your vision of your business's future . The Leadership core function holds all of the systems for guiding and managing the business. In our work with businesses both big and small, this area is often the most deficient. It’s not the sexy side of any business, but guiding and managing systems create the real difference in what businesses achieve.
Frequently, little if any thought has gone into a clear and distinct understanding of the size and shape of the future business. Processes in this core function revolve around strategy and collaboration between the owner(s), managers and key employees. Few managers use any real systems to manage employees or business processes.
“These processes will not only GET you to the top of your market, but work to KEEP you ahead of the competition.”
Most of the effort and focus that we see in business is in the other three key functions; Sales, Operations, Administrative. Processes in this quadrant tend to fall into two categories, three if you’re a corporation:
- Strategy processes: used to guide the business forward towards to it’s goal. These process are designed to facilitate communication regarding the present and formulate goals for your future. We call the future your Strategic Target.
- Management systems: ensure process protocols and procedures are developed and implemented accurately and efficiently. They also provide the framework for monitoring process adherence, communicating expectations and provide methods for reporting.
- Board of Directors processes: if your company is a corporation these help to maintain the corporate shield.
Strategic Processes What are all of the methods you, your managers and your board use to track the progress towards the company’s vision? What systems are required to track the progress made on these goals? If you find yourself describing ‘how’ you do something, you may be providing too much detail at this point. Remember, we are only naming the systems in this stage – ‘WHAT’ it is you do and not ‘HOW’ you do it.
Management Systems Do you have sales meetings? Manager Meetings? What guidelines do you have to be sure your meetings are effective and efficient? Remember, we are only naming the systems in this stage – ‘WHAT’ it is you do and not ‘HOW’ you do it.
Corporate Directives If your business is incorporated, familiarize yourself with your articles of incorporation. What systems are in place to ensure you are following these guidelines? Are there any other governing or advisory boards in play at your company? What are the processes required for these? If you find yourself describing ‘how’ you do something, you may be providing too much detail at this point. Remember, we are only naming the systems in this stage – ‘WHAT’ it is you do and not ‘HOW’ you do it.
Next article in this series is about making your Org Charts an important part of how you manage your people, construct job descriptions or position agreements and make them pertinent way beyond hiring and annual evaluations.