I’ve been thinking about what I see missing the most, when I have conversations with people who run businesses (or parts of businesses).
I think I’m settled on what it is.
When you strip everything back, running a business is actually pretty straight forward.
No doubt, it’s very, very hard at times, but the operational piece of running it actually isn’t that complex.
Ultimately, you’re trying to do something (a mission). You’re trying to achieve something (goals). You need to pick the right types of things to work on (strategy and plans). You need people who are capable of doing those things. You need to do those things well.
You need to take stock from time to time – probably every quarter. Check in to see how you’re doing and that everything still adds up. Amend things if not.
What I find so surprising is that you would normally expect that the types of reasons to cause a business not to be successful would be the people. Or perhaps the ideas themselves. Or even how well the ideas were executed.
But that’s not my experience.
Businesses are normally full of enough smart people and enough good ideas to get the job done. What seems to be missing more often than not is simply being organised and focused. A system for getting stuff done.
Clarity on what success looks like and how you will achieve it. Actually spending time on these things, thinking them through and writing them down. Making sure everyone knows it and stays focused. Having a framework for accountability. And checking in from time to time, amending things were necessary.
You wouldn’t believe how many people cannot tell you this stuff when you ask them. Some parts of it normally come as a stream of consciousness, but it isn’t clear and organised. There is hardly ever a framework for being disciplined in getting stuff done either.
And it’s not as if I don’t speak to smart people. There’s just an art to pulling everything together, so things can get done well. And it doesn’t come naturally to everyone.
I personally love the OGSP framework. Throw in a quarterly review (to take stock at a higher level) and weekly staff meetings (to execute from week to week) and everything normally falls into place.
I’ve written a 6 post series on it in the past:
There are tons of other frameworks for developing this stuff though. It doesn’t really matter which you choose, it’s actually having everything together that counts.
If you run a business or part of a business, why not take some time out to reflect and think through these things deeply. I guarantee it will dramatically increase the chances of you being successful.