Do you want improved results from your business or nonprofit organization? Of course, your answer is probably “yes,” so the more challenging question is… how do you do that?
Improving your organization’s performance is easier said than done – especially since it can be difficult to know where and how to get started. Let’s take a bird’s eye view of some possible starting points.
3 CORE BUSINESS PROCESSES
In every organization, there are essentially three core business processes – strategy, management systems, and operations. Let’s briefly look at each.
Strategy… the process of determining the direction in which your organization will move toward.
Management systems… the processes utilized to hire, develop and retain a qualified workforce.
Operations… the processes utilized to market, sell, produce, and deliver your organization’s products or services.
Theoretically, the better aligned these processes are, the better the organization will perform, leading to improved results. Achieving this kind of alignment is not easily accomplished, but when successfully aligned, the organization and its members reap the benefits, and the customer is better served.
3 FOUNDATIONAL FACTORS
Achieving improved results in your organization’s performance depends on your ability to continually improve the execution of these core business processes, which is largely dependent on three foundational factors. Let’s consider each.
Leadership… one could effectively argue that leadership is cause and all else is effect.
Culture… the environment in which business takes place and work is accomplished is often the result of chance, yet culture has a significant influence on how people think and behave, which affects individual and team performance, ultimately impacting organizational outcomes.
Systems… the ability to develop, repeat, and improve effective processes across the organization.
Without effective leadership, a healthy culture, and a systems approach, the business processes of strategy, management systems, and operations are hindered and possibly jeopardized.
In addition to understanding organizational performance dynamics as outlined above, it is equally important to remember that organizations are comprised of people. Therefore, your business or nonprofit’s ability to achieve improved results is dependent on each individual member’s performance. So, let’s briefly look at a few key individual performance factors.
3 INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE FACTORS
Positive behavior change, which leads to improved individual results (which impacts organizational outcomes), is enhanced by several key factors.
Goals… people are generally goal oriented, needing direction and wanting purpose. It is best when this direction originates from organizational leadership.
Knowledge… the information we acquire through the process of learning.
Skills… the ability to apply knowledge in the appropriate situation.
Attitude… all intentional behavior is preceded by thought. Attitudes are habits of thought. If we expect to change behavior in a positive manner and achieve improved results, we have to change the way we think.
8 QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER
If you want to get better organizational results, begin by asking yourself these questions.
1. How good is our strategy and is it being executed well?
2. Is our management system helping or hurting our cause?
3. Are employees really on board with our mission and vision?
4. Are operational processes contributing to success or detracting from it?
5. Are customers satisfied and loyal?
6. What affect does our leadership have on the organization?
7. Is our culture conducive to achieving our mission?
8. Are we leveraging process improvements across the organization?
The answers to these questions will begin to tell a story (that you may or may not like).
The next, and most important, question is… what will you do about it?
For more information or help on this and other topics, contact our team.