Your business may not be floundering, but is it flourishing? Would you say your business is “coasting”?
To coast, you have to be moving downhill – you can’t coast uphill.
How do you get your business cranked back up again?
In my interview with Wayne Kurzen, Owner of The Kurzen Group, on my biz1190 radio show, he delivered some insightful recommendations on how to get traction back into your business. His steps to growth include:
Implement an Operating System.
When you think about an operating system, you probably think first about the software that helps your electronics run. Without the operating system, your electronic device–laptop, smart phone, tablet, etc.–would not function.
The same goes for a business. It needs an operating system to run effectively and efficiently.
Uncover Individual Agendas
The first step is getting everyone on the same page. Without agreement on where the company is headed, your team isn’t pulling towards the same goals and energy is being expended without fruitful outcome.
Getting to the root of individual’s agendas can prove difficult, but Kurzen says tackling this “elephant in the room” at the onset allows the team to arrive at a common vision.
Tackle Execution Before Vision
While many companies start with vision and then move to execution, this can be an ineffective way to approach the problem of stalled growth. If you can’t execute, vision means nothing.
Inc. magazine reported that 70% of CEO’s fail because of execution. When you have a good plan, everyone is executing.
The organization needs to take an honest look at what can be accomplished and what would be a stretch. Only then can duties be assigned to team members to get the corporate goals accomplished. Kurzen shared, “You can’t build the vision if you don’t have the team to get it done, and strategy without execution is hallucination”.
Vision Doesn’t Just Come From the Top
Kurzen places the burden of vision on the entire leadership team. This frees up the owner from feeling like the business is his or her prison – one where they must constantly be there doing everything because it is ultimately “his or her baby.”
Delegating is key from crafting the company vision down to individual duties. Sometimes this means the owner must re-evaluate who is a good fit on the leadership team, which is especially tricky with family businesses.
Tracking and Reporting is Key
Your computer or smartphone operating system tells you important things like how much battery you have left or how many unread messages are in your mailbox.
The same should be true with a company operating system in place. Each person’s performance level is scored. These scorecards present a benchmark, with every number owned by a team member. By creating this accountability, the owner can determine who is the right person in the right job, and who is contributing to the overall vision on the team.
As part of the process, each person rates themselves and other team members. It sounds harsh at first, but it’s just one component of healthy managing. Hiring, firing, and rewarding are all processes a good leadership team must implement.
Understand the Problem
Companies waste a lot of time digging and discussing symptoms, rather than looking at the root of the problem.
How do you find the root problem? Keep asking “why” until you uncover what’s truly causing a symptom. This is in stark contrast to what owners are used to–team members offering up their opinions, without any path toward real resolution.
Weekly meetings are vital to the success of an EOS because the right hand must know what the left hand is doing.
The entire company is built around one vision – “Do the right thing and then measure if it is actually getting done.”
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.