It’s always a sound business practice to take some time to be introspective regarding where your organization stands and its prospects for the future. While there are countless factors that go into creating and maintaining a successful company, the following considerations should be near the top of the list:
Is Your Leadership Team (Including You) Up to the Task?
A recent Harvard Business Review article focused on the traits that set top leaders apart from the rest. The study was distilled into four primary behaviors.
- Decisiveness – the ability to make decisions quickly and deliberately; mistakes are part of the process.
- Engagement – the aptitude to communicate regularly and transparently.
- Adaptability – the recognition that change is absolute in today’s complex environment.
- Reliability – the commitment to do what you say you’ll do so your organization trusts you implicitly.
Is Your Budgeting Process Appropriately Rigorous and Effective?
Budgeting is tricky to say the least. An excessively rigid budget will prevent an organization from being opportunistic. On the other hand, an overly casual budgeting process wastes resources — not only in terms of dollars spent, but also time spent rationalizing why results may differ from a budget that was ill-conceived in the first place. Balance is the key.
Are You Truly in Touch with Your Customers?
In today’s competitive environment, a culture that puts customers first and embraces operational discipline to meet their expectations is just table stakes. It’s the extra, proactive effort that will make a difference in a long-term relationship. Spend time with your clients engaging and listening. Clearly understand their changing needs and concerns, and determine how you can be a strategic partner instead of a mere provider of goods or services. Perceived indifference and lack of engagement will expose you to competitive forces.
Are You Leveraging Leadership Responsibilities and Driving Organizational Accountability?
The days of hub-and-spoke leadership are over. Once strategic alignment among the team and a common understanding of goals and expectations have been created, the best leaders delegate responsibility and authority with confidence, knowing that others will not do things the same way they would. Empowering others with the excitement of driving success and the opportunity to learn will build strategic bandwidth and leadership succession over time. Accountability will become shared and cultural, not a top-down edict.
Are You Prepared for the Unexpected?
Regardless of your focus, diligence and discipline in planning for unexpected events — natural disasters, lawsuits, health issues and the like — can significantly impact current profitability and long-term stability. An annual review of broad-based risk management, including disaster recovery, insurance coverages, depth of talent, cross training and leadership succession, will help position your company to survive the unexpected.
Take the time to step back, pause and consider these questions with your team. The exercise itself is an element of exceptional leadership.
Please contact a member of your service team, or contact Randy Myeroff at email@example.com for further discussion.
Cohen & Company is not rendering legal, accounting or other professional advice. Information contained in this post is considered accurate as of the date of publishing. Any action taken based on information in this blog should be taken only after a detailed review of the specific facts, circumstances and current law.