Shaun Beardall | England Logistics
You can find countless books, articles, TED Talks, YouTube videos, etc. discussing the secrets and best practices of business management. The fact of the matter is that every business is different, and what it takes to manage your business will be unique to you and your operation. As you read through this article, you may think that business management is incredibly rudimentary and nothing that will blow your mind. However, these are the simple areas of business management that we tend to over complicate. While simple in philosophy, it boils down to our ability to consistently refine a few key areas of managing our growing businesses. In doing so, your company will be empowered to continually grow while enhancing your team.
Identify the company’s current state, or the company you hope to build it into. Many organizations define their culture through their core values. Those core values define what is important to you now and in the future. Pinpoint specific areas that define who you are, what you believe, what your team wants to borrow, and what will define success for you as a company now and throughout the years.
Culture cannot be enforced from top down; you and your leaders need to be examples of culture. However, you also need influencers throughout your organization that understand the importance of your culture and instill it in their own way. Empower those influencers to help create and maintain that ideal culture.
If you have a multi-office business that spans across multiple states, empower your remote office leaders to put their own unique, local feel on the overall company culture. When someone walks into one of your office locations, they should feel as if they are walking into your company’s headquarters. Consider displaying similar signage and branding throughout the buildings, and be sure to reinforce your core values in each office.
Carefully vet out individuals that are just as passionate about the defined culture as you are. Ensure your culture and environment speaks to them. After thorough and on-going coaching, give them autonomy to explore new perspectives, bring new ideas, and establish their own mini culture that enhances the overall company culture.
Invest in the development of your people. Career map with them, even if it means mapping out a plan for them to become better in their current role. Clear the path for those individuals by providing additional coaching, tools, resources and opportunities to expand into other areas of your organization.
Encourage your teams to invest in relationships, both internal and external. You can find valuable resources through formal and informal mentorship programs, cross-training initiatives and team building activities.
Once you have the right individuals on board, implement the process of delegation. If there is a task or project you don’t feel you can give to a specific individual, ask yourself why. Is it because they won’t meet the deadline? Is it because they won’t provide proactive communication and you’ll have to continually ask for updates on how the project or task is going? If that’s the case, you’ve identified the specific areas where this individual needs personalized coaching. Begin coaching them in those areas until you no longer have those concerns.
Regularly scheduled meetings at the same time each week are a great way to check alignment on progress throughout the delegation process. These one-on-ones should serve to create a detailed road map for that individual, visibility to whom they report to on top priorities and accountability of progress being made.
Steve Jobs once said, “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”
Accountability starts with clear expectations. Expectations aren’t just the desired results; they should include the behaviors that lead to that desired result. If you’ve established a team of the right individuals, they are highly accountable to themselves, to their team and to the organization. Personal accountability throughout all levels of the organization is the key once the vision and expectations have been clearly outlined.
There are many forms of accountability. Test out a variety of cadences to see what works best for you and your team. A formal monthly accountability where you review your key performance indicators might suffice. However, more frequent weekly trend meetings to review progress could be necessary. Implement what works for your business, but be sure to establish consistent frequency, a level of personal accountability, and metrics, or the key performance indicators that drive the business forward.
Once you take time to evaluate your organizational perspective on each of the areas listed above, map out a tactical action plan with clear owners and anticipated deadlines. Hold annual or biannual reviews with your team to make sure you continue to execute on your strategy and make progress towards your ideal business.
Shaun Beardall is the vice president of brokerage services at England Logistics. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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