Have you been hitting roadblocks in your business? As I listen to many owners of businesses from restaurants to manufacturing to non-profits they are looking to remove the roadblocks and move forward. If any of these comments sound familiar, then you might have roadblocks in your organization.
Our sales are flat.
We can’t get our employees motivated
We have high staff turnover.
We are getting more customer complaints.
We have new competition.
These are several very key problems and there could be many more. Yet for each of these problems there is a root cause.
The problems can be solved by being proactive rather than being reactive.
How many people recognize these problems as symptoms? Those who do make the mistake of attacking and treating the symptoms. However, it is a mistake to put all your effort into treating these symptoms. Many reactive business leaders take this approach. For example, the business owner sees that sales are flat and decides to fix by hiring a salesperson, paying to set up social media, or hiring a marketing specialist. That may cost the business owner needless expense since it may not fix the problem. Instead, the proactive leader finds the root cause of the problem and eliminates it. Finding the cause is a process and it takes courage to face the truth.
Can you face the truth?
“You can’t handle the truth!” … Most people know this quote from the movie “A Few Good Men”. The truth can be very emotional and the truth can hurt. But the truth will get to the root cause of your problem and, if you accept the truth, you will be ready to fix the problem. It is helpful to get an outsider who sees your business with fresh eyes. That outsider’s objective should be to locate the root cause of each problem and then provide solutions.
Here are some of the questions that your organization should be asked.
What is your organizational strategy, what is your vision?
How does your organization engage and reward employees?
Do you employees have attitudes and behaviors necessary to accomplish goals?
How effective are the leaders of the organization?
Is it easy to do business with your company?
There are very effective assessment instruments available to generate a fact based picture of organizational performance – I utilize the D.I.AL.O.G. assessment instrument for my clients. Malcolm Baldrige implemented a highly influential set of criteria that are being used to evaluate companies and organizations for the prestigious Award of Organizational Excellence. These same criteria are used in D.I.AL.O.G.
After you have received the survey what will you do with the results? Are you willing to be transparent with your entire organization? Your people want to understand where the company is going. When they do understand the strategic direction, tactical measures will be executed more effectively and efficiently. Once again, get the root causes and then implement the solutions.
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