Are you having trouble restarting but can’t find the cause of your problem? If you are having this issue, you are not alone. I receive calls like this from business owners often and much more often now. It is my job as the business doctor to learn the symptoms and then diagnose the problem. During my consultation I ask questions, listen for answers, and then ask some more questions.
As an example of symptoms, here are some statements that I hear from the owners.
While these sound like normal business problems there is no simple answer for them. It is important to look and the whole picture rather than make a reactive fix. It is better to take a proactive look. It would be a mistake to treat the symptoms rather than cure the disease.
Many reactive business leaders treat the symptoms and wonder why things don’t get better. 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 cause of the problem and eliminates it. Finding the cause is a process of finding the root cause. And I have to tell you that the root cause may not be pleasant.
Can you handle the truth?
“You can’t handle the truth!” … Most people know this quote from the movie “A Few Good Men”. The truth can be a very emotional word especially if the truth hurts. But the truth will get to the cause of your problem and if you accept the truth, you will be ready to fix the problem. For this reason, it is helpful to get an outside consultant who sees your business with fresh eyes. The consultant you hire should be a generalist in business rather than a specialist in one area. This qualified consultant will want to analyze the following questions.
In our practice, we use a very effective assessment instrument which generates a fact-based picture of organizational performance. We analyze the entire organization by surveying people at all levels in the organization.
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. We use the same criteria in our reporting.
However, the results of the analysis are only useful if you act on them. Once again, can you handle the truth? Are you willing to be transparent with your entire organization? 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. And you will develop engaged employees which will lead to loyal customers and organizational success.
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