ave you ever asked yourself the question, “What do I have to do to succeed in my business?” If you have, you wouldn’t be alone. Fortunately, US Ivy League university Dartmouth College provides a great answer.
Their research showed that, to succeed in business, you must excel at four primary management practices:
In addition, you must also excel at any two of four secondary management practices:
You can forget the rest.
Hi, I’m Chris. This, my first column, is one of a series of three on strategy – one of those primary management practices. Strategy is about making a series of choices that enable you to beat the competition and achieve your business goals. This is a lot more difficult if you don’t actually know what your business goals are. As NY Yankees legend Yogi Berra said, “you’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.” So, I always start with vision.
The core purpose is the reason why your business exists. Note: as far as everyone except possibly you is concerned, your business does not exist to make you rich. That may well follow, but the sad news is your employees are not leaping out of bed in the morning thinking, “wow! I’m going to make the boss another million dollars today! Yee-hah!” An awful lot of them will, however, be energised by a core purpose that seeks to make a difference in people’s lives.
The way to find your core purpose is to ask “why?” at least five times:
Here are some examples of core purposes:
The third component of vision is the Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal (or BHAG). Join me next month, when we’ll take a look at that, and a key strategic decision.
Let's Talk Business
by Chris Bunce
Chris has 28 years’ experience as a management consultant and business coach. During this time he has worked with clients in many industries and of all shapes and sizes, including some in Australia, Asia and the US. Nowadays he is passionate about improving the lives of Aucklanders by helping business owners to master the very few management practices that actually make a difference to their success. Chris lives in Blockhouse Bay with his wife, Cathie, having lived in or around the area for most of his life.