Business Focus Isn’t About Coffee or 5 Hour Energy Drinks!
Maintaining business focus and direction are one of a manager’s main challenges. At any given time a manager should have a feel for the pulse of the company and a sense of how employees are doing. It’s about understanding and being in tune with what’s going on around you. The best managers have a sixth sense when it comes to handling staff and motivating them to get the job done. In order to direct and motivate staff, at any given moment a manager should be able to write down or verbalize concise answers to these three questions:
- What have we done lately? Understanding what has been accomplished in the last year helps staff realize a sense of pride and accomplishment. Always write down and outline tasks and projects that have been completed. Challenges that have been overcome are quickly forgotten if not notated. Knowing how far the company has come allows staff to understand what can be accomplished and what hurdles can be overcome. It also provides a roadmap to show how the company is moving forward.
- Where are we now? This may be the most difficult to assess. Usually the present is like being in the middle of the forest, but it’s still important to see the trees. A manager needs to assess what the company is trying to provide to customers on a daily basis –
- What are the services or products that the company is able to provide?
- Is the company actually meeting customers’ demands?
- Are current company resources being properly utilized?
At the same time the manager is always trying to balance internal and external challenges at any given moment. Basically, a manager needs to review the changing importance of each tree in relationship to the forest. An interesting analysis of how to focus on the important issues can be reviewed at http://www.midastouch.uk.com/blog/1952/the-fried-egg-process-maintaining-focus-on-the-issues-that-drive-your-business
- Where are we going? A manager should have a set of goals both short term and long term. Make sure to have them prioritized in writing. Also, be aware of where the company is in the process of implementing those various goals. Staff should know what the goals are, to the extent they affect them, so they can understand the direction the company is headed and can participate in the implementation as needed.
Finally, never forget that you can’t maintain the company’s focus if you can’t maintain your individual focus. An interesting article on improving your individual focus can be found at https://www.openforum.com/articles/6-ways-to-improve-your-focus-at-work-a-small-business-guide/
Staying consistently aware of how the past, present and future interact helps a manager maintain business focus.
Next up – Staying Positive