Positive business growth needs to be monitored and nurtured as the organization rapidly moves through each calendar year. Is your business on target, or have you already found yourself moving off course? With the completion of each quarter, it is recommended that you complete an AAR. An AAR is a military abbreviation for an After-Action Review. The process is a structured review that helps you assess how you are tracking toward your identified target. By describing the current situation, you identify the strengths—what is going well, and weaknesses—what is going wrong. This information, you can adjust your course and know what you should do differently in future activities. By assessing the major functions of a business, leaders can maintain a more competitive position and promote continuous business growth. It is always recommended that leaders adjust incrementally, before problems get too large, rather than having to make major corrections to avoid an impending crisis. I have created a FREE Tool, the 6-step Strategic Growth Audit, that can be completed to assess your current business position. If you would like your FREE copy, here’s the link.
Does your strategy support positive business growth during these turbulent economic conditions? Most businesses roll out an annual set of goals (derived from their well-crafted business plan), and then race towards accomplishing these as the year progresses. However, in such a turbulent political and economic time, businesses often find themselves off-course. Things happen, and business activities can take a crazy turn. I suggest that leaders create a list of intentions that they desire to accomplish by year’s end rather than rigid goals. Based on current conditions, a leader intends to produce certain results, but if things change with clients, resources, etc., the end-results, obviously, will change. The subtle difference between intentions and goals is that there is not such a sense of rigidity with intentions. The intentions can be modified as the conditions become clarified. I also think employees, working in 90-day sprints, should focus on specific goals as targets. At the end of the sprint, they can measure how close they came to meeting those goals. After each 90-day sprint, conduct an AAR to assess where each of the projects stand in relation to the set goals, adjust to accommodate the changes, and craft the next 90-day sprint outcomes. By year’s end the company and employees will have set 90-day sprint goals, made adjustments, set new sprint goals, and moved forward to reach the best attainable results.
Let systems and procedures become your secret weapon for success. Well-executed plans are the heart of any successful business, but often the efficiency and quality of performance is overlooked. Keeping a lookout for operational improvements can save companies money and build profitable business growth. Most suggestions for operational improvement ideas do not originate at the C-level of the organization. New ideas originate from employees on the front line. The question that should be asked of employees is, “How can we improve our business?” As always, documenting systems and procedures helps maintain consistency and aids in the training of new hires. Implementation plans should complement the business strategies by maintaining effective and efficient work procedures.
Business Growth is the Result of Quality Talent
Nothing gets done without employees. In today’s work environment, maintaining top talent is crucial. If leaders want employees to invest in the company, then the company needs to invest in the employees. In Leadership Unleashed: A Great Dane’s Wisdom for the Business World, I talk about the importance of positive employee engagement. Building a highly productive workforce cannot be an after-thought. Investing in employee professional development pays dividends because the employees envision their future and the company’s future as developing in tandem. You, the leader, have carefully articulated your vision for the future. By creating employee career development paths, employees are more likely to stick around and grow with the company. It’s not a question of whether employees will grow, it’s a question of whether they will grow with you. Listen to the unique perspectives that they bring and incorporate their talents as your company moves forward, and the well-crafted business strategies and operation implementations will come to fruition.
Since we, at Strategic People Solutions, are totally committed to your successful business growth, we developed this FREE 6-Step Strategic Growth Audit to help you assess how well your business is currently doing. By completing the audit questions, you can measure your company’s current operating condition and position within the business environment. Here is a link for your FREE 6-step Strategic Growth Audit.
A version of this article was originally published on LinkedIn.
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