One of the biggest dangers for any business is to be too focused on the day-to-day activities (working IN the business) and not thinking about the big-picture, long-term strategy (working ON the business). Below are tips that you can use to ensure you’re working ON the business.
1. Hold yourself accountable by creating a roadmap that has clear and measurable goals (SMART goals) with milestones and targets that you can continually evaluate progress against.
2. Create a dashboard that shows all of the key business drivers that impact your business and keep it front and center – perhaps make it your screensaver (sorry dogs and kids) or a document that you review daily. This should also include benchmarks so you view changes (both positive and negative) over time.
3. Create an advisory board that you commit to reporting to on a quarterly basis. During each meeting, work with them to review your achievement of the SMART goals that you’ve already identified along with the dashboard measures that you use to analyze progress. This should be comprised of respected colleagues who are familiar with your industry and who are also honest and forthright enough to hold you accountable.
4. Conduct an annual business assessment. You can do this internally, with your board, or by hiring an outside expert who will give you a clear and objective view of your business to ensure you stay on track.
5. Join a CEO group and commit to attending it regularly and consistently.
6. Conduct an annual survey to ensure you’re benchmarking your performance each year and measuring positive progress as well as areas where you’ve fallen short of your target.
7. Create incentives to celebrate with your team when benchmarks are met.
8. Great ideas and growth come from all members of your team and should be openly praised, acknowledged and rewarded. If getting your team involved is an option… then allow them to work with you to grow your company.
Weekly Lesson Eight (Try this…)
Using the checklist above as a guide, write down two action steps that you can take to ensure you are working ON the business and not IN it.