Elements of a High-Performance Environment

Elements of a High-Performance Environment

The real hallmark of a high-performance organization is its employees’ ability to see change as a resource. Change provides an opportunity to test your assumptions and those of your team, and to grow your business. Change creates opportunities to see things in ways you don’t ordinarily see them, and to do things in ways you don’t ordinarily try. If you can use change to your advantage, it can fuel your company’s growth in ways that money and technology can’t, because it moves everyone out of their comfort zones, frees them to take a fresh look at the business, and drives invention and innovation. Constructing an organization that relishes change requires thought, planning and the willingness to stay with it until you get it right. Your efforts will pay off for everyone involved, not just employees. A high-performance company will draw-in customers, motivate vendors, attract investors, and assure lenders. Their energy and vitality inspire confidence in everyone they touch. To get you started, think about what your business would look like if it were a high-performance environment. Change is the one constant for every business in today’s global economy. Your success will depend as much on your ability to embrace change and use it as a resource as it will on the production of your product. It all starts with you Integrating the company’s vision into the daily life of the organization starts with the leader. The leader is in charge of articulating the vision, reinforcing and protecting it every step of the way. There are a number of ways to integrate your vision into the daily life of your...
5 Steps to Key Strategic Indicators

5 Steps to Key Strategic Indicators

“Not everything that can be counted, counts, and not everything that counts, can be counted.”  – Albert Einstein This quote, attributed to Albert Einstein, applies to us today! In our world, there’s no shortage of data. Instead, our challenge is creating good key strategic indicators that measure both those items that can be counted and the more intangible items that are harder to quantify. Establishing milestones and key indicators that provide valuable insights into our businesses, keeps us on track and moving forward. The strategic thinking plan that follows enables a higher rate of accomplishment as we evaluate the key components. The process has five parts: Identify the Key Components of Your Vision Carefully view your Vision Statement and identify its key components. Typically sales and profit margins are included as key components. When someone uses your service or product, consider what follow-through process is implemented to assure clients of the investment they have made in doing business with you. Do you offer a guarantee? Do you ensure consistency of service? Depending on your business, other components would include benefits to customers, positioning in the marketplace, company values, and efficient use of technology. Be sure to address protocol, staff expertise, work environment and communication. Determine which components are tangible and intangible. Establish Key Tangible and Intangible Indicators Using the components you have identified in your Vision, establish your Key Tangible and Intangible Indicators, and record them in a Progress Tracking Worksheet. An excel spreadsheet works well for this. Sort the tangible from the intangible then transfer them to the Progress Tracking Sheet. Examples of Tangible would be those components...
3 Steps to Creating a Written Vision Statement

3 Steps to Creating a Written Vision Statement

As an entrepreneur, sometimes you become bogged down with day to day activities and dreaming about the future of your company is not a priority.  However, when it comes to creating a vision, it is a priority – actually, dreaming is a must. As George Lucas said: “Dreams are extremely important. You can’t do it unless you can imagine it.”  So get ready for some imagining. Step 1 Find a Place to Dream In order to create your vision, you need to start with some quiet time to think about, imagine, and discuss your vision.  Maybe you have a favorite retreat spot or some other quiet place to go that will allow you to dream without interruption.  Do you have a place in mind? Step 2 Dream About What You Want To Create When you get there, you’ll want to dream about what you intend to create.  Don’t get bogged down in details and don’t worry about perfection.  Instead, focus on the big picture. Here are some things to dream about; the answers to these questions will become part of your vision statement: Your line of business – what products or services do you want to provide? Your company size and growth objectives – what level of sales, profits, number of employees do you want to have? Your markets served-what area of geography do you want to cover? Your timing– when will your vision be realized? How will you know when the business is fully developed? Your unique selling proposition– What will make your company unique?  How will you stand out in the marketplace? What are the distinctive elements...
Your Vision Provides the Path

Your Vision Provides the Path

As a coach, and entrepreneur myself, I realize that if you only think about strategy (the “how”) too early, it actually inhibits your vision (the “what”) and blocks you from thinking big, and I mean big, capital B I G. What’s needed is a vision that is so big that it’s compelling, not only to you, but to others. It’s what Jim Collins called a BEHAG, a Big Hairy Audacious Goal. Having a vision is essential.  When done right, your vision is a written blueprint of how your company will look and act when it’s fully developed.  It brings your values, passion, and purpose together to set a course of growth for your company. All successful leaders have a vision.  Everyone is much more likely to follow the lead of someone who knows where they are going, rather than someone who doesn’t, right? Here are three reasons you must have a vision: It provides a sense of direction and goals – it’s a target for the future. Really, to put it in the terms I like to use, your vision is the GPS for your business. It motivates you and your employees – it’s a dream to strive for. If your vision is not compelling, you won’t have the motivation to stay the course and you won’t be able to recruit others to help you. Employees want to feel that they’re part of something bigger and are making a significant contribution.  As you know, most employees leave, NOT because of money, but because of lack of meaning.  So give them a vision that’s compelling and exciting. It’s the basis for...