The importance of a clearly and genuinely defined business cannot be overstated. It starts with effective Leadership. Leadership can clearly verbalize and reinforce through action the compelling, genuine purpose and vision that attracts and inspires like-minded stakeholders’ exceptional commitment and contribution. Leadership can create the unique strategy to articulate what the business will do and as importantly, won’t do to fulfill the mission and realize the vision. This must not only be known by leadership, it must be consistently and continuously communicated and reinforced to all stakeholders. As Peter Drucker stated, “leadership determines the right things go do.” It can be difficult and time-consuming, but it foundational and fundamental to a trusting, respectful, unified, aligned and focused organization.
Leadership – “The Right Things,” Context, Purpose, & Direction
- Mission (Statement) Development. The Mission (Statement) explains why “this” business exists, and why anyone should care? It describes the higher and greater good produced, and how it expresses and realizes the owner’s beliefs and sense of purpose. It attracts the stakeholders necessary for success and inspires their commitment and contribution.
- Vision (Statement) Development. The Vision (Statement) describes the aspirational, ideal future state of the business? It provides direction and guidance to stakeholders, and inspires thinking, decision-making, and action resulting in exceptional productivity and efficiency.
- Values (Statement) Development. The Value (Statement) describes the principles and code of conduct that will guide and direct the behavior of the organization. It ties a specific principle or value to specific activities and behaviors. Values (Statements) help attract, engage, and direct the stakeholders necessary for success.
- Strategy (& Strategy Statement), Business Model, or Lean Canvas Development. The Strategy (Statement), Business Model or Lean Canvas verbally and visually describes and explains what the business will do, what success is, and how it will achieve and sustain success. More importantly, it makes clear what the business is not and won’t do. It is the rationale for how the business creates, delivers, and captures value. It provides context, direction, and guidance for stakeholders and inspires a sense of ownership, authority, and responsibility that results in exceptional performance and achievement.
- Exit Strategy Development. Exit Strategy describes when, why, under what circumstances, ownership will exit the business? To describe the “leave behind”, and the “take away.”
- Succession Plan, and Leadership & Management Development plan, developing existing and/or recruit new uniquely qualified personnel to lead, manage, and be accountable for managed, sustained, scalable success for the future.
Management – Ensuring “The Right Things” Are Done “The Right Way”
The goal is to ensure an organization achieves its strategic objective. How? Manage the business both as an integrated whole and individual people, assets, and activities. Integrate all functional areas of the business, including finance, marketing, sales, HR, IT, facilities, physical assets, risk management, and legal to be unified, aligned, focused, and committed to both individual and overall performance and achievement.
- Develop or refine Business or Operation Plan to set expectations and direct performance and achievement to achieve strategic success. Plan includes all Goals, Objectives, Key Success & Performance Metrics, People, Resources, Assets, Milestones, Deadlines, and Risk Management & Contingencies as necessary to achieve the strategic objective.
- Develop or refine Processes (Best Practices), adopting and adapting proven process and methodology, to maximize productivity and efficiency.
- Organizational Design and Development including replacing Job Descriptions with achievement-based Performance Agreements that motivate increased productivity and efficiency. Ensure every key success and performance indicator has one qualified person with the responsibility and authority to achieve it. Ensure there is sufficient qualified direction, support, and oversight for all employees and contractors.
- Develop and integrate performance-based compensation to increase motivation, reward, and productivity while controlling labor expense by tying it to revenue and profitability.
- Effective Time Management development to maximize productivity of your most precious asset, time.
- Meeting Management development to maximize meeting productivity.
- Effective Delegation development to maximize individual and organizational productivity.
- Innovation & Continuous Improvement Process development driven by the question, “How can we create, deliver, and capture more value?”
Finance – Improved Measurement Improves Management & Execution
You can’t manage what you don’t measure. It’s not enough to know what needs to get done and how it needs to get done, or the numbers. You need to know the relationship between the two. Performance drives results.
- Develop or revise chart of accounts, financial models, budgets, forecasts, statements and reports to reflect the way the business is structured and operates, tell your business’ story, make clear the relationship between performance and results, and provide prompt insight to fuel evaluation, decision-making, and action.
- Analyze and reconcile financial results and performance, to transform financial results into insight that drives evaluation, decision-making, and planning.
- Develop Key Profitability Ratios to evaluate return on investment or expense of all key revenue-expense relationships.
- Expense Optimization to minimize underperforming and maximize return on all expenses.
- Improve Cash Management process and tools to improve planning, ensure sustainability, and increase control.
Marketing – Determining Your “Sweet Spot”
Who values most what you offer and provides you the most value in return? Are you effectively attracting and engaging them?
- Develop new or revise existing Marketing Plan to align Strategy, Lean Canvas, or Business Model.
- Review, clarify, and confirm Value Proposition & Positioning to provide clarity and generate confidence to all stakeholders about what your business does and doesn’t do, and where it fits in the customer-client and competitive marketplace.
- Ideal Engagement or Transaction analysis to clarify and confirm where highest exchange of value occurs.
- Ideal Customer/Client analysis to clarify and confirm target customers/clients.
- Competitive Analysis to determine, clarify, and confirm where the business is positioned and how it performs in the competitive marketplace.
- Marketing & Brand Analysis to ensure it is effective at attracting and engaging target market.
- Marketing Content review and revision to ensure it conveys a clear, genuine, accurate, cogent, potent, compelling story.
- Pricing review and revision to ensure maximum mutual exchange of value (client-perceived value and business profit.)
Human Resources – Be the “best employer possible.”
The goal is to be the “best employer possible.” That starts with affordably recruiting and retaining the most qualified personnel possible, and then developing and nurturing the most positive, productive, mutually beneficial relationships possible.
- Review compensation, benefits, policies, procedures, and practices, to ensure they are aligned with the goal of affordably recruiting and retaining the most qualified people. Ensure legal compliance with all local, state, and federal governments. Ensure all policies, procedures, practices, and benefits are in writing and accessible to all employees. Review emerging best practices and adopt and adapt those that are aligned with the goal of affordably recruiting and retaining the most qualified people.
- Employee vs. Contractor Classification Audit to ensure hiring or engagement of temporary personnel is legally compliant.
- Exempt vs. Non-exempt Audit to ensure employee classification is legally compliant.
- Create an ongoing Recruitment Process to ensure ongoing recruitment of the most qualified people.
- Create a Professional Development plan to increase both their employee and individual professional value.