Strategic Planning

Take A Systems View To Ensure Your Business Stays Healthy


How are you feeling today? Good, not so good, great? Let me ask the same question in a different way: How is your gastro-intestinal system functioning today? What about your lymphatic system? How's the old circulatory system flowing along? Are all your bodily systems aligned, in sync, and cranking at peak performance?

In order to get everything done perfectly and on time, your body must use many systems that effectively work side by side. Just as it is important to take a systems view when it comes to your body's health and well-being, it is equally important that you have a clear understanding of your business and its organizational systems.

Taking a systems view is the best way to assist employees and your customers to do their best when it comes to the business. As such, keep the following in mind and make sure to:

1. Identify how your current workflow and work culture are affecting your business and your employees' performance

2. Determine if there is or is not alignment between your businesses'

-- Goals and objectives
-- Performance measures
-- Rewards/incentives
-- Job/work/or process designs
-- Available tools and equipment
-- Expectations and capacity

4. Identify both barriers and leverage points in your business. These include things such as

-- Key political players and stakeholders
-- Issues affecting the larger business environment and markets
-- Pressures on key players, the business, the audience, managers, etc.
-- Expectations around projects
-- Workplace/project constraints including deadlines, your budget, any political issues, regulatory issues/requirements, product and program launch logistics and communications, quality issues, safety concerns
-- Consequences (both good and bad) of implementing or not implementing solutions

5. At every opportunity, explain the benefits of taking a systems approach to your employees and others involved in your business (vendors, suppliers, customers, regulators, etc.)

-- Help others see the value of addressing the knowledge and insight gained by looking "at the bigger picture"

-- Show how leverage points and overcoming constraints can be used to positively affect a business performance issue

If you want to keep your business efficient, effective, and functioning at peak performance, it is important to make sure you and your employees understand there are many systems that interact and need to be aligned. Spending the necessary time and effort to identify such systems and linkages will go a long way toward keeping your business healthy, wealthy and wise.

Dr. Dan Strakal has been an expert on the changing workplace, job transition, and career development for nearly 20 years. He acts as a trusted client advisor and consultant within the corporate sector, government agencies, civic organizations, small businesses, and educational institutions. He also provides business, executive and career consulting, coaching and workshops for individual clients and is the coauthor of and contributor to two books, Better Job Search in 3 Easy Steps and Better Job Skills in 3 Easy Steps. Dan is often called upon by the national and international media as an expert and has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Self Magazine, SmartMoney.com, Computerworld, Diversity Inc. Magazine, Chief Information Officer (Australia's Magazine for Information Executives), the Radio America Program: News You Can Use, KBS Radio Canada and many other media outlets. He is on the Board of Directors of the Career Planning and Adult Development Network and is a Platinum Member of the Career Masters Institute. More info at capable-consulting.com


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