Business success tips for women.
Looking back at the owners of the Titanic, we would say that their strategy was to launch the largest cruise liner in the world to create the greatest loss of lives in history. Clearly this was not their intention, so why was it their outcome? Many organisations today have failed to learn some important lessons from history about how essential it is to have a good strategy.
Last year in Australia alone, we saw the collapse of large companies like HIH, One.Tel and Ansett. These disasters hit so fast and left such enormous financial and human debris in their wake that we are left wondering if they could have been averted.
It’s difficult to say if they could have been, but what we can reasonably assume is that they did not plan for these results. An effective business strategy could have at least alerted them to the potential danger. They could have changed the course of their businesses much earlier and avoided the collision with their own icebergs. Good strategies keep multiple possible future scenarios in mind and allow for quick adjustments.
Get clear on the elements that make up the big picture
With the plethora of information available, many people get confused about the difference between strategy, tactics, business plans and plain, old-fashioned goal setting. Throw the concepts of vision, mission and purpose into the mix and you can confuse anyone.
Core values are those things that are held to be inviolable by the individuals who form a company”s vision. They are the underlying principles that guide behaviour. If, for example, honesty is a core value, have your team decide on a measurable standard of behaviour that determines how the group will behave and make it the code of conduct. It is an incredibly powerful tool for bonding teams and weeding out those who do not uphold the core values in their everyday interactions.
The purpose is the reason for the individual, group or organisation’s existence. It is the why we are doing what we are doing.
The mission is a compelling goal that galvanises action and has a set time frame, usually between two and five years. Kennedy’s mission to put a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s is a good example. History shows us how this inspired a whole nation towards outstanding human endeavour.
Once the vision is set this then leads into the creation of the strategy, or big-picture plan, for achieving the mission. It includes strategies in areas such as marketing, financial planning, infrastructure, technology and people.
From this, strategic priorities are set in each area of the organisation. Tactical plans are then developed which become the operational or business plans and resources are allocated in accordance with priorities.
Vision is an umbrella term covering core values, purpose and mission. It’s impossible to have a coherent strategy and the supporting business and tactical plans until there is a clearly articulated and shared vision. It’s a bit like going on the family holiday without deciding first on a destination that everyone is happy with.
Working out a vision can be the most difficult part. This is partly because of the confusion about what a vision actually is and mostly because many people don’t know how to create one.
Encourage your team to create an inspiring vision they all agree on. Examine what is important to them and the reason for the organisation’s existence. Some people are initially uncomfortable with this approach. It’s not exactly the hard-headed business planning process they’re used to. Often they baulk at discussing values rather than budgets and bottom lines and fail to see the connection.
Common values underpin a shared purpose for the organisation and once all are aligned, individuals are more motivated to achieve the common vision.
More success tips for women in business
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Business Success Tips
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