Owning and running a successful business is very rewarding. Seeing the opportunity, taking on the challenge and realizing success. It can be addicting.
But, many times as a company grows it gets to the level where daily and weekly problems and issues create substantial obstacles to moving forward. The noise level increases. Leaders feel like they are drowning in issues and just can’t seem to move forward. It’s like being in quicksand. Opportunities are out there, but they always seem just beyond their reach. Business is not as much fun, or rewarding, as it used to be.
Is your business killing you? Is your stress and frustration level high? What many leaders don’t realize is that as a business grows, the underlying complexity increases exponentially higher than the overall revenue growth. It you don’t stay ahead of this, it becomes a dark cloud that sneaks up, then surrounds you.
The solution may be simply getting back to core fundamentals, taking stock on where you are, and identifying the changes that need to be made to reduce the noise levels and create an institution that is efficient and scalable.
Some of the key areas to consider are:
Yes, here it is again – Do you have the right people in the right seats? Have you strategically designed your organizational structure (what seats are needed)? Performing a comprehensive assessment of your team as to whether they fully embrace your core values, whether they want just a job (paycheck) or an opportunity to grow, and whether they have the capacity to grow with you (fill the seat).
Anyone that does not share the values and culture you are trying to build will just be a roadblock to growth. You need individuals on your team that fully embrace your values, buy in and support your vision, and have the capacity and desire to grow. You also need individuals that are proactive, can stay ahead of growth and manage it, rather than just reacting to it.
When was the last time you took a close look at your processes? Many times processes just evolve over time as a company grows and issues arise. They then end up as a patchwork quilt of approaches rather than being well thought out, efficient and highly integrated. This can be a source of increasing noise. Taking a look from a “lean” perspective, getting rid of waste and developing flexible, scalable approaches that empower employees to take action at the root of issues will go a long way in freeing up the vast amount of wasteful time spent reacting to problems and issues.
Management Approach & Systems
Are you using data to help monitor the health of the organization and drive strategy? If not, your business may have reached the size where you need a basic, or enhanced, dashboard providing timely information on leading indicators of opportunity and performance. Properly constructed, this will help identify issues in advance, allowing time to craft solid solutions rather than just shooting from the hip when the fire erupts.
Have your computer systems kept up with your growth and increased complexity? Do they provide the information you need on a timely basis? Have you fully automated your core processes? If not, this needs to be revisited.
Revisiting these areas can be an overwhelming challenge. The key is to complete an assessment, identify the biggest issues, prioritize, then develop action plans to take one or two steps at a time. You did not get here overnight, and it will take time to work through as the business needs to keep running daily. As you start taking the right steps, you will start freeing up time, allowing you to gain momentum in driving improvement, and setting the stage for the next chapter of growth.
Contact me if you would like to discuss in more depth how to reduce the noise level in your organization.
Edge Financial Strategies, LLC.