Resolve your hidden conflicts to grow your business
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Resolve your hidden conflicts to grow your business

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Every so often I run into a business that screams “GROWTH POTENTIAL!”, but when the owners reveal that the business has been around for 20 years I find myself asking, “Why aren’t they living the......

Every so often I run into a business that screams “GROWTH POTENTIAL!”, but when the owners reveal that the business has been around for 20 years I find myself asking, “Why aren’t they living the lifestyles of their dreams already?”  Of course, there can be many reasons why a company might not grow to realize its potential, but there are two reasons that stand out in my mind as fixable:

Conflicting priorities
Conflicting metrics

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  • 1. Resolve Your Hidden Conflicts And Gr ow Your Business By Vinay Kulkarni
  • 2. Remember, your ultimate goal is to - Grow Your Business AND Live Your Dream! 2
  • 3. Why aren’t you living your dream already? Every so often I run into a business that screams “GROWTH POTENTIAL!”, but when the owners reveal that the business has been around for 20 years I find myself asking, “Why aren’t they living the lifestyles of their dreams already?” Of course, there can be many reasons why a company might not grow to realize its potential, but there are two reasons that stand out in my mind as fixable: • Conflicting priorities • Conflicting metrics Simply put, many underachieving businesses suffer from conflicting priorities and conflicting metrics, and those conflicts decrease the performance of the business. We will examine the “diseases” of the conflicting priorities and conflicting metrics through the life of “John, the business owner.” 3
  • 4. The disease of conflicting priorities • John & Co. has come a long way from its humble origins as a one one-man business 20 years ago. It has become an organization of 30 employees and the organization has its own needs and places growing demands on John’s time and attention. On a personal level, John has reached the point where he desires more personal time; a chance to enjoy the lifestyle that he has worked so hard towards achieving. While getting the business to this point has taken 20 years of his life, it still is not where he wanted it to be and clearly he has more thinking and planning to do. • In search of a solution, John sits down with a business advisor and tells a story filled with contradictions and conflicts that John can only sense but the advisor can clearly see. • “I am 100% committed to taking this business to the next level. I am willing to do what it takes,” he tells his advisor. “I need to spend more time with my family. My children are grown and I missed so much of their childhood. My wife wants more of my time and we always planned to travel once the children moved out. I am eager to see all that happen,” he adds. 4
  • 5. Conflicting Priorities Illustrated In 2008 John and his company suffered from the conflicts listed in the Priority Table below. E.g. John’s current The needs of The needs of Action Step needs John’s people John’s business Quarter1 More vacation More face face-time Overseas ? with you partnerships Quarter2 More time with More training Better ? family infrastructure Quarter3 More time for Better tools Investment in skill ? skiing building Quarter4 Time to train for Guidance & hand hand- Investment in ? the marathon holding external help Use the priority table as a template to guide your decision making and make decisions that remove conflicts In each case John made a choice that reinforced the conflicts instead of removing them, and as a result his company continues to exist in a state of unrealized potential. Many of you reading this article will be able to relate to John and his company. If your company is faced with similar conflicts and you would like to grow your business while living your dream, ask yourself and your core team this question, “What is the next action step that we can take that will remove our conflicts?” 5
  • 6. The disease of conflicting metrics In a typical organization there are four different types of metrics at play: • Personal metrics (hidden) - what the business owner uses as a measure of her own success • Stated metrics - what the business owner tell her people they are being measured upon tells • Business metrics - measures that reflect the ability of the business to meet its customers’ needs and positively impact profit • Implied metrics (hidden) - what the business owner or leader unconsciously conveys to her employees through words or actions 6
  • 7. Conflicting Metrics Illustrated Business Area Personal Metrics Stated Metrics Business Implied Metrics Metrics Retail part of The “upscale Ensure the retail Net profit Move customers John’s Business look” of the store end is operating through the store “smoothly” as quickly as possible Web part of Upscale design of Number of hits on Conversion from Customers being John’s Business the website website hits into “impressed” with customers the website design In John & Co.’s business these four types of metrics listed in the Metrics Table are not aligned. If John wants his profit to grow, then he must align his metrics first behind the business metrics. 7
  • 8. Conflicting Metrics Illustrated • John derives a sense of pride and accomplishment (personal metrics) from investing in furniture and fixtures that give an upscale look to his store. • He has instructed his retail manager to ensure the retail area runs “smoothly.” • On the retail floor the emphasis is on processing customers through the store as quickly as possible rather than ensuring each customer’s needs are met before he or she leaves the store. • Yet, every week John looks at his profit from the retail area and is disappointed to see that it is not growing.
  • 9. Does your business suffer from the disease of conflicting metrics? If your business suffers from the misalignment of these four metrics, the “pressing questions” that you should ask yourself are, •“What are the key metrics that drive the growth of my business?” and “What •“What metrics should I use to measure my personal success?” “What 9
  • 10. Success Dashboard: For Your Business Year Profit (Business # of Vacation Days Customer Customers Surprised Metric) (Personal Metric) Satisfaction & Delighted (Implied (Stated Metric) Metric) 2008 $500,000 7 94% 2% 2009 $1,000,000 28 98% 20% If you succeed in eliminating the two types of conflicts I have talked about here, then your success dashboard might look like this. 10
  • 11. Remember, your ultimate goal is to - Grow Your Business AND Live Your Dream! 11
  • 12. If would like to learn how to identify and resolve your hidden conflicts, call me, Vinay Kulkarni or Leamon Crooms on 1-800-720-6947 1 You can also email us at: vkulkarni@stratgrow.com or lcrooms@stratgrow.com www.stratgrow.com