What’s the plan, boss? What’s the plan?

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So where is your business headed ? What’s the goal?  What’s the plan?

Have you shared it with your team? Better still, have you engaged them in the process of planning? Or, maybe you are blessed with a team of mind-readers who just love the lack of consultation?

As I embark on another project of planning facilitation for a major organisation, I can only stress that, in my experience, the most important benefit of developing a plan is the planning process itself which offers the opportunity for joint diagnosis by all concerned and subsequently leads to shared ownership and greater levels of performance.

Go on, get them involved!

Image attribution: CC image courtesy of woodleywonderworks on Flickr

 

A man worth listening to?

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Jeff Bezos, the man behind Amazon said…

“If you build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful”

” We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better”

“We had three big ideas at Amazon that we’ve stuck with for 18 years. Put the customer first. Invent. And be patient.”

Do any, or all of these thoughts work for you in your business? And if they don’t, could they?

Image attribution: CC image courtesy of Neerav Bhatt on Flickr

Are you quick or are you dead?

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Ever waited a long time for a response to an email?

Ever waited a long time for a supplier to phone you back?

Ever waited a long time for an order to be fulfilled?

No more. As the film titles suggests, there are two types of businesses in the world – The Quick and The Dead!

No, you can’t do anything about others response times but you can do something about your own.

How quick are you in your business?

Image attribution:CC image courtesy of masteruser1999 on Flickr

Leadership: Give them encouragement!

5694327981_03b69de51cIn my favourite film of all time, Field of Dreams, farmer Ray Kinsella tells his wife of his plan to raise their crops to the ground so he can build a baseball stadium so that famed baseball players can come back from the dead to play again.

Her response…“If you really think you should do this, you should do it!”

Do we show enough true support when people come to us with their ideas?

Image attribution: CC image courtesy of you get the picture on Flickr

Who’s responsible in your business?

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Are you clear who is responsible for each of the key tasks in your business?

Do you , like Apple, as highlighted in Adam Lashinskys excellent book Inside Apple, have DRIs?…Directly Responsible Individuals?

Or is it all a bit vague with perhaps two people responsible for some things, and maybe teams of people responsible for others? If so, thats just not good enough!

Make sure every action list or meeting record you create has the task, the deadline and the DRI…solely, singly, and alone. Accountable.

OK?

 

Are you making the right choices in your business?

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Strategy. Some people over-complicate it. They intimate that it is a subject only for business gurus and multi-national companies.

No. Strategy is simple. It is an essential practice for all business owners.

Strategy is about making specific choices to win in the marketplace.

As A. G. Lafley, former Chairman and CEO, Proctor & Gamble, and Roger Martin, Dean, Rotman School of Management stated,

“Strategy is an integrated set of choices that uniquely positions the firm in its industry so as to create sustainable advantage and superior value relative to the competition”.

Setting a strategy is about choosing to win.

Are you choosing to win in your marketplace?

Image attribution: CC image courtesy of Skinnyde on Flickr

Service was not included, OK!

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A bill for a restaurant meal (the name of the eatery is hidden)!

It might be me. It probably is. But, I found the sizeable handwritten note on the bill offensive.

It did not endear me to the waitress or the establishment.

I still tipped well, but will I go again?

The lesson for us all? You can seemingly get everything right in your business  and then at the last minute….!