In today’s business world, we are confronted with change, succession of technologies and tools on a daily basis, and it seems as if we are only concerned with ‘keeping up’ instead of making plans, executing the plans and being ‘ahead’. Ahead of the market, ahead of the competition and maintaining the front of the customers. It is the task of the management, the leadership of the organization, to keep the focus, to continue to determine and follow the direction, and to keep motivation and job satisfaction high. When there is no line, no clear and realistic goals are communicated, and no information and clear (corrective) actions are shared, things can quickly go in the wrong direction with your company.
From my own experience in various management positions within the corporate world, I know how the daily agenda swallows up you as a manager. You’re happy if you can complete one or two scheduled tasks in between the many emails and meetings. In addition, you are also responsible for a team, a company or an entire organization with multiple locations. You forget to communicate, keep the focus on the set goals and you don’t respond in a timely and accurate way to get back on track.
Due to the growth of an organization, tasks are increasingly divided, departments are created that are led by managers and as a leader you are often faced with the task of motivating and challenging everyone. You mainly focus on the strategy and the big picture, but you no longer feel like the entrepreneur you were when you entered the company and started leading your own team, or the person who founded and grew the company. You now have to deal with different people with their own character, staff turnover, changing customer experiences and diversity in your company.
It’s your job, and that of the management team, to keep the line in the company and set the course. Not only professionally, but especially interpersonally because you want to have the familiar ‘noses’ in the same direction. This requires understanding, alignment and agreement in the management team and then in the rest of the organization. Not an easy task for you as a leader(s). It is sometimes boring and confusing, tough and taxing and then you see that objectives are not achieved. Why is that? You have to deal with people, people with their limitations and therefore also your own limitations.
I needed time to accept my own limitations, and in doing so, I regularly made mistakes that I made repeatedly. Not a nice lesson, but a hard, wise lesson. Especially when you learn from your own mistakes and learn to see that you can’t and don’t have to be able to do everything. The power of ‘TEAM‘ is the key to this. The team with its different characters, ambitions, competences and energy. When you get to know these ingredients of each team member, you can play with them and discover how they can be used and where the potential for improvement lies. But before you discover this, it is important to analyze where the core of the problem lies. When you have a clear idea of the core, you can start looking at possible solutions and actions, determine which buttons you are going to turn and start implementing the improvement plan. All this with a simple plan that goes through four phases:
- PLAN: discovering WHAT is holding your organization back, WHAT is at the heart of WHICH buttons can be turned and which KPIs are the criterion for the intended success.
- DO: rolling out your plan, HOW to get your organization back on track and WHEN you WHICH parameters you are going to change in order to make MAXIMUM use of the improvement potential.
- CORRECT: evaluation of the results of the planned measures. Have they been carried out PROPERLY and COMPLETELY and have they brought the desired RESULT? If not, CORRECTIVE MEASURES will be taken to achieve the intended result.
- ACT: implementation of corrective measures and evaluation of the IMPACT. If it turns out that the desired result has not been achieved after all, the cycle starts from the beginning. There may have been an undiscovered issue on the side or a point which was defined as unimportant.
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