Last month, we celebrated the third anniversary of this magazine. My article was about the significance of anniversaries as important milestones. I am the only columnist who has been in every issue of this magazine. My articles reflect the Big Picture of Business. After that, the niche writers cover their areas.
This is the second part of the anniversary celebration. It seems fitting to reprise key take-away comments from the last three years, as a digest to apply to ultimate business success.
The biggest problem with business, in a one-sentence capsule, is: People exhibit misplaced priorities and impatience, seeking profit and power, possessing unrealistic views of purpose, and not fully willing to do the things necessary to sustain orderly growth and long-term success.
What organizations and individuals started out to become and what we’ve evolved into being are decidedly different things. The path toward progress takes many turns, expected and unexpected. How we evolve reflects the teachings, experiences and instincts that are not part of formal education.
Take ownership of planning programs, rather than abdicate them to human resources or accounting people. Predict the biggest crises that can beset your company. 85% of the time, you’ll prevent them from occurring. Challenge yourself to succeed by taking a Big Picture look…while others are still thinking and acting small-time. Your biggest resource is a wide scope…and the daring to visualize success and then all of its components.
An Institutional Review is a look at activities that contribute to an organization’s success and well-being. This transcends a traditional audit and identifies factors that already contribute well to the organization, rather than simply looking for ways to cut, curtail or penalize. It is more than just trimming the fat and criticizing incorrect activities in the organizational structure. This review is the basis for most elements that will appear in a strategic plan, including the organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, actions, challenges, teamwork, change management, commitment, future trends and external forces.
Finely develop skills in every aspect of the organization, beyond the scope of professional training. Amplify upon philosophies of others. Mentoring, creating and leading have become the primary emphasis for your career. Never stop paying dues, learning and growing professionally. Develop and share own philosophies. Long-term track record, unlike anything accomplished by any other individual, all contributing toward organizational philosophy, purpose, vision, quality of life, ethics, long-term growth.
Niche consultants place emphasis in the areas where they have training, expertise and staff support for implementation…and will market their services accordingly. An accounting firm may suggest that an economic forecast is a full-scope business plan (which it is not). A trainer may recommend courses for human behavior, believing that these constitute a Visioning process (of which they are a small part). Marketers might contend that the latest advertising campaign is equivalent to re-engineering the client company (though the two concepts are light years apart). Niche consultants believe these things to be true, within their frames of reference. They sell what they need to sell, rather than what the client really needs. Let the buyer beware.
No entity can operate without affecting or being affected by its communities. Business must behave like a guest in its communities, never failing to give potlache or return courtesies. Community acceptance for one project does not mean than the job of community relations has been completed. It is not ‘insurance’ that can be bought overnight. It is tied to the bottom line and must be treated accordingly, with the resources and expertise to do it effectively. It is a bond of trust that, if violated, will haunt the business. If steadily built, the trust can be exponentially parlayed into successful long-term business relationships.
The hot new idea is to focus on depth-and-substance…not on flash-and-sizzle. Those who proclaim that hot ideas make good coaches, then they are vendors selling flavors of the month…not seasoned business advisors. If coaching is based only on hot ideas, it is nothing more than hucksterism. Coaching must be a thorough process of guiding the client through the levels of accomplishment.
Customer Focused Management is a concept that goes far beyond just smiling, answering queries and communicating with buyers. It transcends customer service training. In today’s highly competitive business environment, every dynamic of a successful organization must be toward ultimate customers. Companies must change their focus from products and processes toward the values which they share with customers. Customer Focused Management goes beyond just the dynamics of service and quality.
One learns three times more from failure than success. One learns three times more clearly when witnessing and analyzing the failures of others they know or have followed. History teaches us about cycles, trends, misapplications of resources, wrong approaches and vacuums of thought. People must apply history to their own lives-situations. If we document our own successes, then these case studies will make us more successful in the future.
There comes a point when the pieces fit. One becomes fully actualized and is able to approach their life’s Body of Work. That moment comes after years of trial and error, experiences, insights, successes and failures. As one matures, survives, life becomes a giant reflection. We appreciate the journey because we understand it much better. We know where we’ve gone because we know the twists and turns in the road there. Nobody, including ourselves, could have predicted every curve along the way.
Success and failure…it’s a matter of perspectives. Out of every 10 transactions in our lives, five will be unqualified successes. One will be a failure. Two will depend upon the circumstances. If approached responsibly, they will become successful. If approached irresponsibly, they will turn into failures. Two will either be successful or will fail, based strictly upon the person’s attitude. A 90% success rate for a person with a good attitude and responsible behavior is unbeatable. There is no such thing as perfection. Continuous quality improvement means that we benchmark accomplishments and set the next reach a little further.
Professionals who succeed the most are the products of mentoring. The mentor is a resource for business trends, societal issues and opportunities. The mentor becomes a role model, offering insights about their own life-career. This reflection shows the mentee levels of thinking and perception which were not previously available. The mentor is an advocate for progress and change. Such work empowers the mentee to hear, accept, believe and get results. The sharing of trust and ideas leads to developing business philosophies.
Visioning is the process where good ideas become something more. It is a catalyst toward long-term evaluation, planning and implementation. It is a vantage point by which forward-thinking organizations ask: What will we look like in the future? What do we want to become? How will we evolve? Vision is a realistic picture of what is possible.
About the Author
Power Stars to Light the Business Flame, by Hank Moore, encompasses a full-scope business perspective, invaluable for the corporate and small business markets. It is a compendium book, containing quotes and extrapolations into business culture, arranged in 76 business categories.
Hank’s latest book functions as a ‘PDR of business,’ a view of Big Picture strategies, methodologies and recommendations. This is a creative way of re-treading old knowledge to enable executives to master change rather than feel as they’re victims of it.