Making Intentional Improvements
This is the time of the year many business owners consider how to improve profitability, their teams and market share. Many of you will wade deep into newly found resources, adapting to new software and apps, and generally working on improving systems for the year ahead.
The true challenge lies in making changes that will stick through your busiest times of the year. It’s easy to let others tell us what we need to ‘fix’ and how to fix it. In my experience, the impetus for change should be coming from within your company: from the leadership team – rather than from someone outside of your company. Including a coach.
I’ve lost count of how many business owners I know who have paid for and started to implement new systems, processes, policies or service lines that were either quickly abandoned, or left to smolder in the wings without closure. Most tried to make changes because someone from outside of the company recommended either what to change, how to change it, or when. Rarely does that work for very long.
The changes that you implement will likely fail at a rate directly proportionate to the number of people involved in sustaining it, unless everyone feels the need for change, and takes part in its’ success.
Whether making changes either behind the scenes or upfront, be very intentional about it. Consider answering this: What should change? Why? When and How?
Select one critical ‘must improve’ issue: For example: “I don’t have enough time to stay on top of special requests from customers during peak months. As a result, our customers are disappointed (or worse).”
Step 1. What specifically is the gap between what needs to happen and what’s currently happening? Example: we need to follow through and communicate more consistently.
Step 2. How can we change our process to consistently get the desired result? Example: Could we be using apps, shared calendars, live documents etc to capture verbal promises, or paste emailed ones into a shared space.
Step 3. What steps are we missing to make this happen? Example: Start with the end in mind and work backwards: Ask questions such as : in what instances are we dropping the ‘follow through’ ball? Who on our team is most likely to benefit from having a solution available that prevents relying on memory alone in peak months?
Step 4. What process needs to be created (steps for staff / customer to follow) to manage clear communication and approval? Example: Consider adopting a Customer Relations Management app.
Step 5. How will we communicate and train everyone on what steps to follow in the event of an unexpected customer request? Example: Create a signoff training for introducing the steps/forms/email trail to follow.
Remember Einsteins famous mantra: “You can’t solve a problem using the same thinking that created it.” When you and your team intentionally commit to purposeful change, it will happen!
Having trouble shifting thinking in your company, and managing change? We can help you to align thinking, and launch ahead with new solutions to repetitive problems.
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