When Defining Your Goals It Is Important Not To Be Limited By Current Circumstances
When defining your goals it is important not to be limited by current circumstances, everything can change if you really want it to, but in order to do so a plan must be put in place. When developing a radical plan changes must be made in such a way that ensures business continuity. When the business process is changing a strategy which loses you all your cash flow while necessitating a significant capital investment is unlikely to result in success unless it's implemented quickly with support from an investor.
Business strategy can take many forms, however there is normally a start and an end, a goal to be achieved, objectives to be met along the route and tactics to be implemented and embedded in the culture of the organisation so that the work force doesn't see the new organisational structure as a new version of the old holding back progress and improvement. There are many techniques for defining business strategy as well as how it can be documented, but one thing is common in all systems, that of measurement.
When a business embarks on a process of change it is extremely important to define how change will be measured and more importantly tracked. Most people don't like change; it's not their fault in the developed world we are taught to fit in, to do the same as everyone else and not change anything. How would the school system operate if everyone came in each day at different times and didn't even turn up in the assigned classroom? We learn a structure to the day and object if someone dares to change it. Often it is because other members of the family have structured their day around the school timings in order to be there to drop off and collect the children so it continues into adult life that we resist change simply because it's harder than sticking to the status quo.
What should you do when defining your strategy?
Review the situation now; this is likely to form your baseline from which to work and should include internal and external realities which will impact on your plan.
Next carry out some research to determine what you current clients and prospect expect from your business. It is important to use open questioning techniques in order to maximise the benefit you can gain from the data captured.
What do you need to do to achieve the results which will deliver the results your customers and prospects are asking for?
Identify the steps involved in improving the business and in what order they can be implemented.
Define specific key performance indicators which will demonstrate to the management team progress against the plan.
With a strategy clearly defined it's now time to communicate with your team, one mistake many management teams make is not sharing their strategy with those who work for them. After all they are all going to do exactly as they are told aren't they? Or maybe there will be some resistance to change, give them the opportunity to influence the process, take note of ideas and tactics which could be used to make the transition run more smoothly. If someone highlights an issue or even shouts out in a meeting that it won't work this cannot be ignored. A square plug in a round hole doesn't fit, nor does a person unwilling to change when your business is moving forward. They can and will resist the change even if it's unintentional they could cause implementation delays.
It's important to communicate all points both good and bad and why you have decided to do it that way, you never know they might have seen the same strategy fail before in your organisation or elsewhere and know exactly how to address the issue. If you do find a better way don't be fixed on the defined strategy just because it has already been written down, update your plan and make sure the performance measures you have selected will identify the issues raised so that you can be sure to spot them in a timely manner.
It is necessary sometimes to identify the resistors, people who are unwilling to change, any issues they cause whether intentional or because they don't know any better must be addressed at the earliest stage possible even if this means hard decisions have to be made. In the long run it will be better for all as it's never a good thing to keep someone in a role they despise, there's always another way and you both may be happier and more successful as a result with a new strategy.