A predictable business is one that delivers results day in and day out, year after year. As a Business Coach, I work with small to medium size businesses and their owners. My observation is that there are too many businesses in these categories that fail to deliver on their promises. Why?
One of the main reasons is that expectations are usually driven by the owners themselves and maybe their financial institutions. For larger companies, there are a lot of external pressures targeted at the business for failure to deliver results. These are usually creditors, investors, shareholders, etc.
For the small to medium size business owner, the future of his or her business can change very quickly, especially with economic downturns or a sudden shift in the market place that affects demand. If the survival of the business is at stake, everyone must execute with commitment to deliver results.
A lot has been written about execution for results in businesses. If you focus on these five pillars of building an accountable culture, you can build a more predictable organization even in tough times:
Stretch Goals: There must be stretch goals in place for everyone. These must add up to key deliverables of the whole organization. Alignment is very critical on all fronts.
Recognition: There must be a clear distinction in everyone’s mind as to what constitutes excellent, acceptable, and unacceptable performance. Rewards and consequences need to be clearly defined and understood.
People Development: A good talent acquisition process, performance management to grow the talent, and a solid retention program is mandatory.
Leadership and Focus: Leadership must keep the organization focused on doing the right things and management must have a relentless focus on continuous improvement.
Test and Measure: Everything that affects results must be tested and measured and swift changes made when the results are not there.
In summary, an organization can become more predictable if at the individual level people know what they are supposed to do and take their commitment seriously.