You’re running a company and beginning to expand, but you notice there’s a disconnect between where you want to go and where you are – you’re not making long-term progress. Why is it some companies can foresee the future of their industry and meet the challenges head-on, while others struggle to compete?
In our leadership webiner series, you’ll learn that the key to successful leadership is knowing how to effectively create and communicate your vision.
To start, you need to determine your company’s culture, establish a vision for your organization, establish actionable goals, and then manage by challenge. These elements are part of the leadership pyramid and they’re crucial to your business’ success.
Let’s take a closer look at these effective leadership strategies in further detail.
Establishing your company culture is the first step on your path to an effectively communicated vision. You may be thinking – “well, that sounds simple enough, but what exactly is culture in a business context?”
Corporate culture, essentially, is about the beliefs and behaviors that determine how your company’s employees and management interact and conduct business. Typically, it develops organically and encompasses the traits of the people you hire. Because of this, culture is something you cultivate and encourage.
So, how do you assess your culture? Ask yourself these three questions:
What makes your company function effectively?
What makes your company unique as not only a workplace, but as an organization to do business with?
What existing traits in your company would you like to change?
Once you’ve answered these key questions, you can now use this as a blueprint for hiring. Consider what it is about your company that supports your culture, as well as the elements that interfere with the environment you want. Then, write out a list of desirable traits you’re looking for in employee candidates.
Remember, culture can’t be dictated – but it can be influenced. Ultimately, you want to hire people who will add to the positive qualities that your company culture embraces. Once you’ve effectively established what your corporate culture is, you’re ready to move further up the leadership pyramid.
Build Your Vision
Using your cultural blueprint and your business’ mission statement as guides, start creating your vision by identifying your business’ sweet spot. Brainstorm the core issues within your business and ask yourself where you are now, where you’re headed, and how you’ll get there.
To identify your sweet spot, we recommend implementing the hedgehog model. In his book Good to Great, Jim Collins portrays the Hedgehog Model as the intersection of three concepts: (1) what you’re passionate about, (2) what you can be the best in the world at, and (3) what best drives your money-making engine. This model is geared to help you understand what you can be the best at.
We determined that our passion is to help technology entrepreneurs be successful with their business. Our dominant player is our business management software tailored to the needs of our Technology Solution Providers (TSPs) and what best drives our money-making engine is expanding our business model with growing TSPs. Once we established this, we then defined the vision for our team as connecting Technology Teams to the solutions, services, and people that allow them to thrive.
As you work towards describing your vision, use your Hedgehog Model to create a visual of what the future can look like for your company. Don’t be afraid to have safe conversations about who your company truly is and where you want to take your business.
Going for Your Goals
Now that you’ve determined your business’ sweet spot, it’s time to identify the core issues that, if addressed, will help you get from where you are today to where you want to be. Get your team involved in this process by having them prioritize each of the core issues identified. This will help you establish what’s worked on first and assist you as you develop an action plan to meet your goals.
In your action plan, define your goal, describe what needs to be done to meet this goal, and assign it to a team member to accomplish. If you’ve established your company’s culture and clearly defined your organizational vision, then you’ll be equipped to get your team members excited about reaching your goals.
Manage by Challenge
Once your vision, business sweet spot, and actionable team goals have been established and communicated, you’re ready to challenge your team leads to perform against your objectives. Considering how you will measure up to these goals will help you drive for continuous improvement and make any needed corrections along the way.
As you challenge yourself to meet your vision driven objectives, be aggressive with your plan but don’t over-commit yourself. Over-commitment will have a reverse effect on the healthiness of your company culture and deter your productivity.
As you work towards applying these things, you’ll find that over time your company will be better equipped to meet changes and challenges. When you effectively communicate the strategic vision of your business, you will build a healthier company that will thrive in the coming years and help shape the future of your industry.
If the thought of visualizing and planning for the future of your business seems dauting consider enlisting the help of a neutral third party, a business consultant, to help guide you through the process. When you’re fully engaged in the day-to-day challenges of running your business, it’s not easy to step back for a clear perspective on how today’s decisions can affect your company’s future. A business consultant would be beneficial in ensuring your team is aligned and focusing on the right priorities. Check out this webinar to learn more about the powerful impact a consultant can have on the long-term success of your business.
Scott Marshall is senior VP of marketing at ConnectWise. Read more ConnectWise blogs here.