REBUILDING A BUSINESS: FROM PLANS TO ACTION - Written by Dr Anton Verwey
This is the final contribution in this series of short conversation pieces. The diagram shows the themes covered in the series.
The essential storyline is as follows:
1. To start, or restart a business, the most important starting point is to really understand your own life, career and business PURPOSE. What should you be spending your mental, spiritual, emotional and physical energy on to be the best you that you can possibly be?
2. How can your personal purpose be aligned to customer or market needs so that, in living your own purpose, you add meaningful value to others?
3. In serving your customer needs, come to terms with the simple reality that there are a range of stakeholders beside yourself that have a real and legitimate interest in the overall performance of your business.
4. To ensure sustainability of your enterprise, including serving the interests of all of your stakeholders, a conservative approach to financial management aimed at securing and preserving disposable cash is of paramount importance.
5. In this installment of the series we will explore the importance of action.
In the work we do with client systems, particularly strategic thinking and planning assignments, we are constantly reminded that Grade A execution of a Grade B plan will always beat Grade B execution of a Grade A plan. The problem is not that people or enterprises do not have good plans, but that they do not execute the plans made. So how do we make sure that we execute our plans? In simple terms, there are at least two issues at play, namely:
1. The PERSONAL discipline to stick to your commitments to yourself and to others. No-one other than you can take care of this.
2. The business discipline to make sure that;
a) You have the required business capacity to execute the plan(s);
b) You have the required people talent to perform all of the work;
c) You create the environment (culture) where people are committed and engaged to deliver high performance;
d) You set the example for customer centricity;
e) You measure adherence to and impact of your plan(s) over the short, medium and longer term.
Did it strike you that all starts with the short word "You"? Let me explain it this way. If you decide that for health reasons you wish to join a gym so as to lose weight, YOU have to join the gym. YOU have to have the discipline to go there once or twice per week. YOU have to do the exercises on the equipment. YOU have to weigh yourself over time and keep records, to make sure that you are achieving your goals. Rebuilding your business is no different to having to go to the gym. It begins and ends with YOU. If the responsibility this puts on you is too much, perhaps having, running and leading a business is perhaps not the context in which you can be the best that you can be?
Rebuilding a business is perhaps even more challenging than starting a new business. For those of you in that position, allow me to extend very sincere empathy. I also applaud you, as particularly smaller enterprises are critical to the social and economic rebuilding of or country. It is also not true that we are all in the same boat. We are all in the same storm, but we each have our own boats. Some have big boats better able to weather the storm, and many of us are in small boats struggling to simply stay afloat. Regardless of the size or condition of your boat, now is the time to rise to the challenge of being a captain of industry.
It is my sincere hope that this series of short articles provided you with some thinking frameworks that will be useful in the rebuilding of your enterprise. Again, I commit to being available to act as a "thinking partner" to you. My contact details can be obtained from The Overberg Business & Lifestyle Magazine who will connect us. There will be no fees for such conversations, and whilst I may not be able to give you quick answers, sometimes it helps to just have someone to bounce our ideas off.