In a hospital, an emergency room is equipped and poised to handle the unexpected. They never know what is going to happen next. The circumstances that occur outside the emergency room are beyond their influence or control. They simply can't change or fix it. They are open 24/7. Sometimes they are slammed and other times people are sitting around twiddling their thumbs.
Business owners, in many cases, have poised and positioned their businesses to act like an emergency room. They believe the business is in the business of constantly resolving issues that seem to be beyond their control or influence. In most cases it simply isn't true. They have become experts at waiting for a problem to come up and then solving it.
Despite their beliefs, they have a lot more control over the circumstances that drive the activities within their organization. It is much more difficult to grow and build a business that serves lives if we think and act like the business is an emergency room.
There are several keys to making a shift to get out of the emergency room mode.
1- Recognize that your business is in reactive mode most the time and that a change needs to happen.
2- Resolve to make a change in the culture of the business by considering how the business can become more proactive in its thinking and action.
3- Introduce a systems resolution approach to the reoccurring problems that come up in your business. When you have a problem or challenge in your business it is because you have a systems problem. If you don't have systems, then you have a REAL BIG PROBLEM.
Great businesses have high standards. It's a key differentiators in business. Setting big goals, big vision is what they do. Now don't miss understand, bigger is not necessarily better. Better is better. Great businesses, it seems, know what they are good or great at doing?
McDonald's is great at selecting promising new locations and ensuring return of investment for every franchise owner.
Starbucks is great at mass customization and creating an environment for people to hang out.
Zappos Shoes is great at creating an employee driven culture.
Wikipedia is great at ensuring quality content through collaboration and self governing accountability.
What is your business good at doing? What is it great at doing? What is your business potentially the best in the world (as you define your world, either industry, location, market) at doing?
Can you describe it? If not, then how can you do it? If you can't do it then you won't be it.
Tomorrow I will describe what I believe every business must resolve to be great at doing that will simplify and guarantee certain success in their organization.
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"Live out of your imagination instead of out of your memory."
In fact, I have come to discover that if your do the right things, business is rather simply. It's not necessarily easy. Why? Because doing business well requires that we do things that most people won't do.
Statistic suggests that less than 4% of businesses actually really succeed. I am not talking about surviving or hanging on by a thread. I am talking about businesses that really stand out and work.
I am going to challenge you to do a little assignment. Because you are the best of the best, or at least endeavor to be the best, I trust you WILL take this challenge on. Most ordinary people won't do this. They will make an excuse or something… That's what ordinary people do. But you are not ordinary. Right?
I challenge you to do this task for 5 minutes. Only 5 minutes. That's it. 5 minutes only represents 3.4% if your entire day.
Get out a piece of paper and a pen. Imagine for a moment that you were going to recreate your business today. You have an opportunity for a clean slate. Forget about the past. Forget about limitations. Forget about what you think is possible based on your past experience. Rely solely on your imagination.
Then write out the answer to this question. "If you could create your business all over again, how would your business be different than it is today?"
Why is this question important? Simply this. You have a choice if you want your business to stay the way it is, or really become something great. Most people, at least the people I work with, want great businesses. In order to create something great, you have to know what great is.