In spite of the advancement of technology and the expansion from a local to global economy, people still do business with people. So if your goal is to make your business amazing, then your first step is to develop two plans.
The first plan is called your strategic action plan or strategic business plan or just plain business plan. This is an overview of the following key areas within your organization based upon some very intensive research:
- Customers (I prefer Customer Experience as this involves both external and internal customers)
- Growth and Innovation
Since strategy comes from the Greek meaning for a General to deceive his enemies, then this is your battle plan to out think your competitors while securing necessary benchmarks (goals) such as market penetration, increase sales, build customer loyalty through repeat purchases, etc.
Your second plan and this is the one that 99% of most organizations never considered is a Human Capital or Employment Development Strategy. Here you work on developing your internal customers, your employees, to be the best that they can be.
Effective employee development is truly not that difficult provided you are willing to embrace new ideas and remove yourself from the traditional K-16 experiences where are the foundation for the majority of existing non-effective training and development. Research from organizations such as American Society for Training and Development continue to report that anywhere from 50% to 95% of all dollars invested in training and development do not stick. This failure to deliver sustainable change is why so many executives view human capital as a liability instead of an asset.
There are a plethora of great employment development tools and guess what, they do not cost an arm and a leg. For example, a simple workshop on goal setting and achievement using a proven goal setting worksheet tool along with a proven process is very affordable and beyond that necessary since organizations run by goals. Unfortunately, consistent goal setting and achievement are not taught in the K-16 experience and this is one skill set that cannot be learned through osmosis.
Another employee development tool is positive affirmation statements or what I prefer to call positive belief statements. Due to negative conditioning many people have pre-wired their brains to think what is going to go wrong instead of what is going to go right. By actively reprogramming your own mind, you can change your results. This is the basic premise in the book, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.
A third employee development tool is a talent tool that assesses a person’s attributes, strengths or talents. Most people from my experience truly do not know their strengths and focus far more of their energies on their weaknesses and non-talents. Just imagine if your people knew what they did well. Awareness is the first step to improving any situation. Training and development tip: A talent assessment should not be confused with a personality assessment. There are two different instruments.
To make your business amazing does require you to be ahead of the flow. And this may mean you may need to find mentors, colleagues, business round tables, mastermind groups or even hire a business coach or executive consultant. Remember, people buy from people they know and trust. Therefore beyond the strategic goal driven well research action plan, effective employee development is the next action to truly be the Red Jacket in a sea of gray suits.
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This post is part of the HP SugarTone contest: “Making your business amazing”, sponsored by Hewlett Packard