As a business consultant, my work involves helping businesses assess and solve problems, to put it simply. Broadly speaking, I find effective solutions for them to redefine their status quo. To do this successfully, consultants have their unique set of tools to challenge and guide businesses. These include steering businesses to be introspective in order to perform an accurate current state assessment, to gain focus and continually refocus on a vision, and to implement incremental, strategic changes in order to break the bad habits that are preventing them from reaching their goals.
For purposes of strategy development & execution, I'm defining doctrines as what you believe to be true about your markets, your organization and your opportunities. These fundamental beliefs serve as the foundation of your organization. And more than anything else, your doctrines will define your organization's destiny.
I recently shared thoughts about some important First Steps in Selecting Business Technology. Upon successfully readying your organization and setting a good foundation for the project, it is critically important to perform the necessary introspection before engaging with any vendors. Ignore those calls and emails until you have done the following:
Over the last decade, the Business Productivity Software market has been flooded with new offerings. Cloud distribution has removed many barriers to entry, and as a result, new players are flowing in. This is good for those seeking to improve their business processes through technology, but also makes for an overwhelming task when wading through all the options and picking the right solutions.
Honing your communication and soft skills is not easy to do. Oftentimes the average employee figures out what works for them and sticks to it due to habit, time constraint or maybe simply because they don't see the need to change. I find myself having to intentionally set aside small pockets of time away from new projects and clients in order to even think about what I need to improve, let alone going about actually improving those things.
Deciding on your Strategic Approach -- pursuit of opportunistic or prescriptive strategies -- is an essential element of strategic planning.
The RIGHT business software can be transformational when carefully selected and implemented, but the WRONG business software can crush morale, jeopardize organizational goals and create a resource-sucking vacuum. So, how can you take the first steps in the RIGHT direction?
If you own a small business, it's likely that you are familiar with the frustration of struggling to grow to that next level. Establishing your brand and an operating model that works are big hurdles for a young small business. Once these are achieved and the business is established, however, it can be difficult to know where to look to continue to grow.
Finding an extra 30 minutes in the day can be difficult enough to do. So, finding an extra 3-4 hours a week to voluntarily give away... why even consider it? With the ever-increasing social demand to work over 40 hours a week while dedicating enough time for your family and health, it's easy to see why volunteering becomes a low priority. There's just not enough time in the day for it.
A professional golfer and his caddie study a golf course prior to the start of a tournament. They collect important information in order to make better decisions and to prepare strategies for how they will play the course. In a similar way, a professional executive will proactively prepare for strategy formulation before making important strategy decisions.