Every company wants to be successful. But to achieve lofty goals, certainly innovation is the key.
To become an innovative leader and to participate in turbo-charging the economy, it’s vital to continually evaluate your organization and strategize for success.
It takes involvement by members of your entire operation. That means identifying your company’s assets, processes, resources and skills.
In a nutshell, you must analyze six elements:
— your human resources
— products and services
— financial performance
Completely review your capabilities in human resources with a focus on your competencies and weaknesses. Determine your abilities to achieve a competitive advantage.
Consider your recruitment process, training and development, and compensation systems.
Assess the strengths and weaknesses of your organizational culture, and your leadership capabilities.
If your company is lacking in teamwork, morale is poor and profits are weak, chances are you need to change your organization’s culture. Be forewarned, changing a culture is a monumental chore because it will take strategic planning and super powers of persuasion because six steps are necessary to implement a cultural change for profits.
Products and services
Evaluate your offerings in terms of breadth and mix, quality and reliability.
Take a hard look at your image, research, development, distribution channels, brand equity, sales personnel, customer-service quotient and market share.
Query your customers. What are their viewpoints? Evaluate your customer base to see if they meet your goals for growth. s time for an assessment of your marketing and sales culture. Why?
Superior cultures drive business performance. Specifically, two key elements of culture – innovation and responsiveness – have a direct impact on your company’s sales success.
Examine your potential marketplace with a focus on socio-culture – demographic trends and tastes, economic trends from interest rates to inflation.
Evaluate your productivity, quality controls, facilities, supply chain, technology, information systems, and management strengths and weaknesses.
Keep an eye on profitability. Make sure you avoid pricing mistakes. Forecast your revenue growth. Assess your asset utilization, debt-leverage position, liquidity and equity position.
Compare the missions, strategies, and competitive advantages of the competitors.
Following your analysis, there are six steps to take:
1. Using your analysis, develop a big-picture strategic action plan.
2. Make sure you have a comprehensive human resources program that encourages collaboration among teams. That means maximum delegation, empowerment, training and succession planning.
3. Encourage blue sky planning sessions.
4. Continually evolve. Leverage the insights of your devil advocates with an eye on your company’s potential. Ask the right open-ended questions for optimal creativity.
5. Practice the “Principle of Contrary Action.” To learn how to keep an open mind, keep a mental note of all your activities but use a different approach each time. For example, even when driving to the neighborhood store, take a different route to-and-from each trip and alter your shopping habits inside the store. Dare to be bold. Consider all alternatives.
6. Keep chipping away. Don’t give up.
Hopefully, you can avoid the arduous task of changing your culture in order to innovate. Follow the above tactics, an you’ll become a Ninja innovator. Good luck!
From the Coach’s Corner, editor’s picks:
Why Innovation Isn’t Working at 82% of Surveyed Companies — When you make a major investment in innovation, you want a good return on your investment, right? Well, hundreds of senior executives admit to disappointment over their innovation efforts despite making increased investments, according to an Accenture report.
Study: Why Lean Manufacturing Principles Often Don’t Work — Many businesses love cutting waste and costs for profits by using lean manufacturing principles, but many global manufacturers have failed. The companies used the popular Six Sigma, Kaizen and Value Stream Mapping. All of this was reported in a 2011 study by the consulting firm, AlixPartners in New York.
Home-Grown Succession Planning Helps Financial Performance — Companies that promote their chief executives from inside vis-à-vis recruiting from the outside have a much higher financial-success rate. In other words, successful companies identify and nurture their intellectual capital. It’s not just my experience. It’s been confirmed by a global human resources study.
11 Management Strategies for a Successful Turnaround — When it comes to management strategies for a successful turnaround, a quote by financial-world wizard Warren Buffett is apropos. “Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing,” Mr. Buffett said. My response: “Touché.” It’s all about capital mobility created by effective management.
“When planning for a year, plant corn. When planning for a decade, plant trees. When planning for life, train and educate people.”