That critical tipping point where things have built up to a situation of no return is not a happy place to play. Yet, as entrepreneurs, it’s easy to get caught up in the day to day ‘dots’ (quick, fast and easy tasks) regardless of our great intentions to spend some quality time focusing on the ‘dashes’ (strategy, alignment, etc.).
In an ideal world, wouldn’t it be great if, once having forecast a recession, emerging competitor, system crash or the like, you had taken some sort of action which could have minimised a negative impact on your business.
Well, with around 90% of the human race not taking action on their great ideas, sadly, you’re not alone. The proverbial S-h-1-t has hit the fan! Now what?
Here are some ‘off the cuff’ ideas on what every entrepreneur (regardless of their business size) should consider applying now, before it’s too late.
Review your systems (even those that are already working): are they as streamlined as they could be? To get you started think:
- Email management
- Time management
- Meeting management protocol
- File labelling (electronic & paper systems)
- Team collaboration tools.
Create a plan:
Gather your troops (this is not the time to fuss over rank – the more the merrier) and do a collective and unsolicited brainstorm to reach your specific objective. Here are some suggestions to get your creative juices flowing:
- Taking us forward into the next decade
- What do we need to do to double our turnover in 2014
- What’s missing – creative and out of the box ideas to move us forward.
Hands up for a task team:
Great ideas are one thing, taking action quite another. Ask for volunteers (you might need a juicy incentive) to help drive the bus. Ideally this group should include at least one high level decision maker. This team will get to look at all the suggestions from the group brainstorm and prioritise which ones are needed to move forward, how, and by when.
Share the load:
The more people you can get onto the bus the better. This means that your task team (drivers) can call on sub-groups (the passengers) to help reach the collective outcome. Now making this voluntary is one thing but, depending on your company size, making it compulsory might be a better way to go.
You can get around it like this: “Based on the ideas we got from our collective brainstorm, our volunteer task team have identified the following project(s) to move forward with over the next 12 months. Please add your name to the project/sub-project which excites you the most; everyone needs to write their name down at least once”.
Work the plan:
Here’s where the magic starts to happen. The task team calls on their committee to drive the project(s) forward. Accountability comes into play, healthy internal competition is stimulated, relationships are developed and deadlines are set and met.
Review the plan:
Once a month/quarter ask the task team to check in (in person, via email, Skype, etc) to assess where each project is at. Should anything have gone off track, the team can nudge them back in line.
Simple and sterile as this might all sound, the reality is that Anything x Zero = Zero. So even if you can only afford a minute contribution of your time and energy towards preventing any earth shattering storms hitting your business, I’d suggest you creep forward in any case.