by André Taylor
Searching for the right business strategy, many organizations fall in love with big concepts. But for many, it stops there, as “doing” can be an elusive concept. In my advisory work, I suggest a systematic approach to tackling change comprised of an 8-week period of intensive focus, followed by a repeat of the process in 8-week increments throughout the year. Here are the eight big questions to explore during this process:
What are the next 5 things we must do to get closer to our vision?
This is the hardest part for many organizations. We often have too many objectives. It is important to have a crisp vision, but even more important is developing a crisp daily focus. This focus should consist of a handful of clear objectives.
If we keep doing what we’re doing will we achieve our vision within our timeframe?
During the first week of our program, you’ve defined your focus and you’ve begun to take action. But once you begin, you are bound to see adjustments that must be made. You must now take inventory of where you are.
“Who are the people and partners best suited to help us reach our vision?”
Creating change in an organization requires the participation of many people with different talents, backgrounds and perspectives. Vendors, advisors, partners, mentors, and customers are all needed and we need multi-generational team members to shape our approach.
What are our potential and current customers saying to us indirectly?
Develop an attentive ear. Your audience is often telling you things indirectly about their likes, dislikes, tastes, and preferences. We may think we’re listening, but instead we are really thinking of our customers as a group, rather than individually.
How do we create a new, distinctive relationship with our audience?
Our objective is to reach a level of interaction with our audience that reduces and ultimately eliminates boundaries. We want to penetrate and understand the customer “psyche” and discover what’s beneath the surface.
How do I move into the view of new customers and partners?
New audiences want to feel like they’ve discovered you. Your role is to help them do this, by moving into their view. By partnering with other organizations, you will expose your business to new audiences.
How are we managing the natural conflicts and complexities that arise?
Dynamic organizations are comprised of people with differing views, experiences, and competencies. We need a composite of organizational talents to advance our mission. We must also change the perception that disagreement is bad, or that there should be a penalty or stigma associated with failure.
How do we follow through in the most efficient way?
Today’s environment requires highly focused periods of evaluation, ad hoc teams, a rapid assessment of the situation, and quick decisions. We must also trust individuals with an uncommon understanding of the situation who can “run” with their creative vision.
© Copyright 2007 – André Taylor – Taylor Insight Group, LLC. Go to http://www.andretaylor.com and get Andre’s free newsletter.
André Taylor is an award-winning entrepreneur, author, and advisor to growing companies and one of today’s dynamic voices on business and personal success. He’s the author of a collection of audio and video programs reflecting more than 25 years in enterprise management and the discipline of personal and organizational development. He provides an uncommon understanding of the lessons of business and personal resilience, and extraordinary insight and commentary on the subjects of entrepreneurship, leadership, sales, marketing, innovation, and growth.