As Jim Collins pointed out in the legendary business books “Built to Last” and “Good to Great,” companies that survive and thrive understand their Core Values and Core Purpose, and everyone in the organization focuses on living them while pursuing a clearly defined Vision. A Success Plan that’s built to make you great starts by laying a foundation that acknowledges what these are for your business.
What you do well…or not
The term SWOT Analysis originated nearly 40 years ago…and it’s still a solid exercise for every planning endeavor. Bringing your team together to identify Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats is imperative to gain clarity on what paths you want to pursue. Failing to include this step—or doing it without input from others—puts you at risk of missing the next big wave of growth.
The most important things
There is an oft-told story about a professor who places some big stones in a mayonnaise jar and asks his class, “Is it full?” When they answer yes, he adds smaller stones and asks again. As his students still miss the right answer, he continues with sand and water before sealing the jar. Then he says, “These are what you face every day in business. The lesson is to focus on the big rocks, and not let the little things get in your way.” Thus, the final piece of a Success Plan is to identify your Rocks…those four or five major initiatives you wish to implement in 2010.
In researching Siamese Fighting Fish prior to writing this column, I learned something interesting. Bettas have a unique labyrinth organ on their head that allows them to breathe oxygen directly from the surface…in addition to that which they take in through gills. Thus, Glimmer was likely in respiratory shock after our cleaning episode, and stayed at the top of his bowl all those minutes to gasp for oxygen. That’s not unlike this year for many printers. You’ve struggled to catch your breath while trying to ensure your survival. To position 2010 for the best start, commit right now to coming up for air—and make time to create your Success Plan.
David Handler is the founder of Success Handler, LLC; an executive coaching firm that helps clients explore possibilities for achieving what they desire. With guidance from his spouse and business partner Kathy, he recently completed the 2010 Success Plan for their company. For help developing yours, text 713/560-5601, tweet @davidhandler, email email@example.com, read blog.successhandler.com, or visit www.successhandler.com.