Imagine you are the captain of a ship, and you are solely focused on the horizon. You are focused on the horizon because you know that your destination lies just on the other side of the horizon.
However, there are a myriad of things that can and do occur that can put your vessel entirely off course, cause it to break down or run into something…, if your focus is solely on the destination.
It’s the same too in business if we focus our attention on the goal, we lose sight of all of those things which are required that enable us to reach the goal.
We become so fixated on the goal we put the goal up on a pedestal and worship the goal. In the process, we minimise and fail to appreciate everything that helps us to get to the goal.
So much so, we can end up cutting corners and look for shortcuts because we place so little value on what actually gets us to our goal.
Because we’ve become so blinkered we see only the goal, all that we think of is getting to the goal as quickly as possible, and with little regard for what enables us to reach the goal.
Then when we reach our goal, because we’ve cut corners and taken shortcuts without building a solid business foundation, we wonder why we are not able to sustain the goal.
Now what would happen if we pivoted our approach 180° degrees?
We start by acknowledging the goal that we want to achieve. But then we focus our attention on steadily creating the processes and habits which will help us to achieve our goal.
Not only do we focus on creating processes and habits, little by little we constantly update them to become more and more efficient and effective. As a result of focusing on the heart of the business, it steadily moves the business closer and closer to the goal.
Also, when updating the processes and habits, we aim to make them as easy and enjoyable as possible.
Your team then is then able to enjoy what they do and is enjoying the journey towards the goal, which creates an x-factor. This x-factor is reflected within the product and the interactions with customers. The customers love receiving the additional x-factor. This in turn helps provide an additional boost to help propel the business forward.
After achieving the goal because the business invested in developing productive processes and habits that formed a solid foundation, there was no struggle in maintaining the same level of success.
This gives the business founder the choice, of sustaining the same level of success, or to set a larger goal, refine its processes and habits further, and reach the next goal.
The focus of creating and evolving processes and habits is echoed in James Clear’s game changing book on creating habits Atomic Habits. It’s also echoed in Jeffery K. Liker’s book The Toyota Way covering the processes and habits Toyota developed that led it from modest beginnings to one of the leading car manufacturers.
When I discovered these books it reinforced for me what I’d already proven to be true. Decades earlier I’d discovered firsthand just how important refining processes and habits were in shaping the success of a business I managed.
The business I managed, was a small food manufacturing business, it had been purchased, and then relocated. In the process, habits were lost, and processes became disjointed or entirely discontinued. In the 5 years since the relocation of the business, it had not made a single profit.
After 9 months spent focused on recreating processes and habits, then constantly further refining them with the team, the business started making a modest profit, which then steadily continued to grow.
If you are looking to get things running smoothly in your business and are not sure where to start.
Book me for a free chat to discuss what you want to achieve.