January 31, 2023
You know that you want your company and your life that revolves around it, to be better; more efficient, and more profitable but you are too busy putting out daily fires. This blog is a quick overview of how I walk clients through a transformation that allows them to understand the why and how of their business and then weave it together with a proven strategy to manifest that vision.
Step 1: Get the right Dream right.
The Dream is what you're determined to create – the Great Result the company will produce. Think of how your Great Result is going to disrupt the market and the competitors. The Dream has nothing to do with the business you currently have, at least not at this stage. Put aside for the moment, what you do right now.
- Be sensible – bring it down to something that can actually be done. Dream big, think small, and act even smaller. The key to transformation is focusing on your daily effort – not your immediate results.
- Get a blank piece of paper and a “beginner's mind”. Ask yourself these questions and write down your answers to find out what inspires you – formulate a fresh picture in your mind.
- What has my dream been for as long as I can remember?
- What personal and professional values do I hold important?
- How do I envision my perfect self, interacting in my community, with employees, friends, or family?
- Who's important to me, and why are they important?
- What is standing in my way of getting what I want in life, and how would life look if I had overcome that hurdle?
Step 2: Write Your Strategic Business Vision.
The Vision is the utopian form the business must take in order to accomplish the dream. Write out in long form, what you see as an exciting business model that will enable you to accomplish the dream.
- Develop a Two-Company strategy or mindset for this exercise. Two different minds called: Old-Co and New-Co: a Beginner’s Mind and a Winner’s Mind. The New-Co will organize the Old-Co to work better than it is. The Old-Co will work to evolve and invent the New-Co to replace him. Change must continuously happen.
- Include emotion and color in your writing to really enable a reader to understand what is driving you to take on the world and risk it all, to develop your business.
- Try to reference any fun or cool ideas that have been floating around in your mind about the future state. The better you do at painting this picture, the more apt it will be to come true.
Step 3: Create Your Purpose.
The purpose is about ‘WHY’ you have chosen to address your consumer or clients’ needs, and the results you're going to produce for them. This is the storyteller’s role of the business owner: Your objective is to find that magical understanding of how your ability to produce something will meet your client’s objectives.
- To be truly successful, the purpose must be scalable, memorable, and have as much immediate impact as possible using only a few words. That’s it – keep it short and sweet.
Step 4: Define Your Mission.
Defining the mission for the organization is the role of a business leader or team of leaders: To convert the dream, the vision, and the purpose into a reality, and to develop a system to do this on a continuous basis.
- The mission is your inspirational ‘What’, made up of the systems and small processes that are essential to properly grow the business over the next 1-3 years.
- Choose your words carefully and be sure to include tangible objectives in this shorter version of your purpose. “We will increase sales by 40% in the next year through the acquisition of 3 new clients.” It doesn’t have to be memorable and typically it is no more than a couple of paragraphs.
Step 5: Convert Your Job Into a Business.
The objective of this step is to develop ‘HOW’ your business will operate on its own, is scalable, and replicable, without you, the business owner, embedded in the center of it. The Job is your product or service… and it must go beyond the individual who is delivering it. You must be able to replicate what you do in order to scale. Without scalability and without documented systems, you have a job and not a business because you cannot sell it.
- You must work On the Job to turn it into a client fulfillment system. Work on your company to make it competitive in the marketplace of companies, and ultimately, to win in that marketplace.
- Create a system that can be easily handed off and used by others. Start with the easiest task that will deliver the most repetitive value. Just start.
- Determine the most efficient and accessible way to house your systems such as with modern software such as SystemHUB or Whale.
- Document the process of delivering your product – your client fulfillment system. The client fulfillment system includes everything that is required to produce the result you have promised to deliver to your client. Build the system by answering these questions:
- What am I here to produce?
- What am I here to deliver?
- What am I here to promise?
- Independently test the system to verify that it is understandable and correct.
- Hand over the documented process to other people who will deliver your product in the way you want it delivered. Never stop working on this process to continuously improve it.
Step 6: Develop Your Systems Culture.
Once you have your strategy and planning done, the culture is one of the final stages you will need to tackle. Culture is an ambiguous term and ultimately your mix of employees determines how your workplace behaves. It all starts though, with the tone and values portrayed by management.
- Because you have a system-focused culture at this point, you can lean on them for training and improvement purposes. When something goes wrong, always point the conversation at the integrity of your system. Is there one? Does it need to be updated? Did someone not follow it?
- Encourage employees to follow the documented systems when they have a repeat question. Don’t enable them by telling the answer. This only created a triangle that includes you.
- Build employee KPIs around improving the systems. Talk about this initiative in meetings. Above all, make it fun, so that everyone understands that “this is how we do things here”.