By Joe Calhoon
Recent economic and political events have created a new playing field for business success. In order to make the most of the current realities, leaders must adapt to the challenging marketplace and engage the capacity of their people to achieve business results. And that all starts with developing a clear and simple plan to strengthen employee morale, increase productivity and improve profitability. Here are the key steps to develop your plan:
* Know what you're trying to build. Know what business you're in, what products and services you offer, who you're trying to serve and the scope of operations (local to global). If you don't agree on these four elements, it'll be difficult for your team to make meaningful progress.
* What's your purpose? Define your mission statement by asking yourself, "Why not just shut this organization down, close the doors and sell off the assets?" This will make you answer the core of why you're in business.
* How will you treat others moving forward? Values build strong relationships and create high-trust organizations. With a strong set of values, employees will often receive greater acceptance, appreciation and respect at work than in many other areas of their life.
* How will you measure progress? Objectives are the numbers that measure progress. According to a recent study reported in Corporate Culture and Performance, businesses that focus on customers, employees and owners while developing their leaders are 756 times more profitable than comparison companies.
* What are the categories of work to be done? Usually you'll have between three to seven categories of work to be done in the next year or so. There are many ways to write strategies, but keep it simple and effective. Leaders serve the employees who serve the customers, which improves the bottom line. This is a winning strategy for any business.
* Who will do what by when? Priorities translate strategies into results. Priorities include problems to solve, goals to achieve or capacities to develop. Many business plans are lengthy documents that neglect the important elements.
By getting your team on the same page, you can develop a significant competitive advantage. The key to higher performance is developing your plan and consistently achieving your most important priorities. You’ll be building a more effective team and a stronger capacity to prosper in the years ahead.
BIO: JOE CALHOON is president of PriorityAdvantage and co-author of On the Same Page and Prioritize! For more information, visit www.joecalhoon.com or call (816) 285-8144. .