Does your organisation’s heart skip a beat often? Is your business deep down as healthy as you like? Are there some products, services, divisions, subsidiaries or regions dragging everyone down?
Is your organisation getting swept away by the impact of technology and faster moving competitors? Are your margins being squeezed under the get business at any cost mantra?
Are you losing good people faster than you can hire them? Do you know what your employees think of the organisation or what they speak outside your hearing zone? Are you surviving on past glories or on the current nimbleness of your team? Is your organisation run by more leaders who energise teams with the vision and passion or by more managers thinking they are leaders because of their titles? Are you downsizing in the name of restructuring just to keep the ship afloat?
Are your challenges more external or internal? Do you know the root causes of your problems and what treatment can best get rid of them?
If some of these questions resonate, it is no surprise at all. In our decades of working with big companies and then the exciting stint with over 30 entrepreneurs and leaders across levels and across sectors over 6 years, helping them restructure their business fundamentals for growth there were common challenges they faced around many of the questions above.
As a CEO or an Entrepreneur or a Business head, you had your dreams for your organization, backed by solid ideas, and very workable plans. And yet, so much remained out of your control, or so it seemed. No matter how hard you tried, the gap between plan and reality, forecasts and actuals, strategy and execution, revenue and cash flow, short term v/s long term decisions, just continued to widen; putting a strain on your resources, your team and more importantly on you, the CEO or business leader. If this describes you, you are not alone in this battle.
No, you are not alone. But you certainly hold the key to winning this battle. It is that time when you can shrug off the old, relegating it to the past, while holding on to your rich learnings and putting them to work more effectively to create a better future.
Chances are that there is plenty of scope for improvement, in internal efficiency, productivity, and capturing external opportunities, if only you knew which buttons to press which will in turn help your organization Secure Growth in uncertain times.
From our experiences we recommend that you cover 7 Key Business Areas highlighted below, within your Organisation from a point of view of clarity of thinking, readiness for growth and operational efficiencies. Each Area of course needs in depth questioning, analysis and measurements with the key stakeholders to get the real inside story.
- Identifying and capturing growth opportunities in line with the Vision that drives the business.
- Innovation in services, pricing, technology, market reach, processes, relationship management.
- Competition benchmarking to help stay ahead and unique.
- Marketing and Branding reach – traditional and new age online mediums.
- Sales Operations that measure all key performance metrics real time and drive data based decisions.
- Financial health, Business Planning and Profit and Loss Management as a well thought out documented process, not just gut based.
- HR, Leadership pipeline development and Operational Effectiveness Metrics.
When was the last time you did a Preventive Health Scan to give you an independent, unbiased, direct feedback on the health of your Organisation and its readiness for growth? And this goes beyond the routine audits that look more for the problems and fixing blame than the solutions.
Why is it when a doctor asks us to get some check and scans done for us or our loved ones to see the inside picture, we do it without a murmur. And why is it when the business is struggling for breath or margins are at stake, employee jobs and lives of their families or that of business partners are at stake, most leaders tend to somehow focus more on putting out the fires than treating the causes?
Are we not seeing enough of this at numerous start ups and ecommerce firms where the failure rates are so high? Or at larger firms where some divisions or business streams just do not get it right.
Given the high stakes involved for all the stake holders who can all benefit from a well run, profitable and high growth organisation would it not make sense to make a Business Health Scan a mandatory part of the Strategic Planning exercise that gets the best minds in the organisation or outside together ?
And also answer the questions posed at the start – Are your challenges more external or internal? Do you know the root causes of your problems and what treatment can best get rid of them?
Our experiences show that by just digging deep enough into these 7 areas and being brutally honest about it, and realising the problems are usually more internal than external, the leadership teams can play the catalyst role for the whole organisation. Its also interesting how differently the founders and the team rate the same questions and how the drama unfolds when the scores are all brought together to be trashed out. Finally most of the corrective actions come from the team itself, once there is an acceptance across the board that there is indeed an issue.
This sure helps the organisations to stay fit and healthy, give the competitors a run for their money and create high performance teams who also have fun being part of a winning organization!
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“Cherian Kuruvila is the Co-Founder of CNC Transcend Management Services. He has 30 years of experience in Sales and Marketing, P&L Operations, Retail, HR, large scale Project Management, turn around and Start-up Operations. Cherian is also a faculty for specific programs and workshops on Leadership and Strategic thinking for various Global and Indian corporate clients for their leaders.”