Posted: January 09, 2013
Thirteen resolutions for prosperity in 2013
Here are the first sixSteve Sorensen
Evaluate. An organization begins to decay the moment it ceases self evaluation. I wish I had a dollar for every executive that told me they “want to take their company to the next level." Unfortunately, many executives want to ratchet up performance without knowing where they stand currently. To consistently be a high performance company, capacity and capability are paramount to success. It’s always time for an honest assessment against your goals. Are you taking the right steps (daily) to accomplish your objectives? Goals are easily lost when “under fire." Take time to revisit the vision and mission, and take the honest measurement of the level of your success.
It’s always about people, Peter Drucker said it best: “They’re not your employees; they’re your people." Your people represent your biggest single P&L line item. Are you giving them the tools, care and respectful workplace they deserve? Provide programs to re-energize, re-engage and re-enlist your people. Before throwing your money down another software rat hole, invest in your people. Investing in your people illustrates that you care, allow them to return the favor.
A positive organizational culture. It's the game changer and should be at the hub or of your organization wheel. The radiating spokes that serve this culture are world-class customer relationships; high performance leadership, (leadership is a learned skill and should be delivered with care everyday); fully engaged people, focused on world class customer relationships, (nothing less); continuous process improvement; and metrics, measuring against objectives. Engage your people; have them participate in building a positive, high performing culture. If you don’t ask for their guidance, include them, engage them, then don’t bother with culture – you’re a dinosaur searching for a tar pit. A positive organizational culture is not only the right thing to do, but is the methodology driving the high performance organization.
Invest in Customer Engagement Programs. Customer Engagement Programs are steeped in building world-class programs based on “real customer solutions." If you’re still buying sales training, stop now! Yes Virginia, there’s a franchise sales training company calling you right now trying to “sell” you obsolete sales training built in the 1950’s. If you have a vested interest in the long-term growth and integrity of your organization, then understand this, 99.99 percent of sales training offered today is a waste of your hard earned money it will cost you customers and future profits in the long run. Don’t think short term; build your organization for the future.
Voice of the Customer, Actively seek out and listen to the voice of the customer. Don't insult them with customer surveys. This is a composition of market intelligence, customer intelligence and applying analytics to what you hear from your customers. Want to stay in business for a long time? Then bring your customers into your business. Let them design your new products and line extensions. Let them show you effective business practice – then give them what they want. Make this process consistent within a feedback loop, actionable and measurable. There’s a great deal of science behind the activity and there’s a proven methodology designed to make it highly profitable.
Re-engage your organizations mission. Have you looked at it lately? I’ve suggested evaluating your organization's performance, but are you evaluating against an outdated mission statement? Was your mission statement made decades ago in your basement when you started your company? Maybe it’s time for a shake-up/wake-up. Again engage your people in establishing the new mission. When I do strategic planning with organizations, I find the extremely intelligent input we get from the “people” is incredible. They want to help, they want to build and be a part of, an exceptional organization, mission and culture. Let them!
Steve Sorensen has spent more than 30 years helping companies achieve a competitive advantage by improving their sales strategy. Steve's experience includes Vice-President of a Fortune 500 company, Manager of Corporate Accounts for a Fortune 500 company and Western States/Western Canada Regional Sales Manager. As president of Enlighten-360, LLC, Steve uses his wealth of experience to help companies achieve increased revenue and velocity of growth through improved sales strategies. He can be reached at 720.343.0033 or steve@Enlighten360.com.