The keys to success for any organization are directly related to what an organization is, and how it operates in the world. Once you understand what an organization needs to survive, you can better understand how to succeed.
Here are a few factors that may be applied to your business.
1. Managing and developing people
People today want some direction and structure, but they also want freedom and encouragement to develop their skills and knowledge. Effectively managing people requires balancing constraining forces (providing direction, structure, organization, some rules) with liberating forces (encourage personal growth, development and creativity).
2. Strategic focus
In today’s rapidly changing world, it’s not just enough to have a purpose for existing. Leaders have to focus the organization’s resources on the greatest opportunities, which can shift with each new day. If you review what has happened in the world or your organization in the past year or two, and you’ll understand what we mean by the reality of constant change. Opportunities come and go. Major customers or income sources can change or even go out of business at any time. So it’s necessary for leaders to keep focused on the desired goal of increasing sales and profits, or more satisfied customers, while constantly steering the organization across the stormy waters of the marketplace. The job of focused leaders is to optimize business in a changing environment.
3. Operations, or what people do all day
What the people in your organization do day in and day out to create value for customers, to earn or justify income, strongly determines whether you succeed or fail. You can’t separate operations from strategic focus which gives direction, people who do the work, customers who pay the money and physical resources needed to do the work.
Finances, facilities and equipment are the big 3 physical resources. If you don’t have enough money, you can’t start or sustain an organization. And one of the biggest expenses is providing adequate facilities and equipment for people to work in and with. Experienced managers learn that cash flow is king. It doesn’t matter how much customers owe you, it’s when their money enters your bank account so you can use it to sustain the organization. Failing to manage cash flow is the No. 1 reason for business failure.
5. Customer relations
Customers are where the money comes from, so in many ways this is the most important success factor. As the famous business guru Peter Drucker said years ago, the purpose of a business is to get and keep customers. Getting customers involves marketing – indeed this success factor includes all kinds of marketing and sales. The key to successful customer relations is to give them what they need, not just what you want to sell. Effective sales and marketing begins with asking existing and potential customers what they need, what problem they want solved or deficiency filled. By keeping in touch with customers and asking these questions often, you’ll do a better job of developing customer loyalty and keeping competitors away.
I hope these ideas help understand the keys to success in your organization. Please let me know your thoughts.