It is so easy to get drawn into the idea that there is ONE thing we can do to make a huge improvement in our business. I mean how many “Top 10” articles are out there for business are out there? Lots of clickbait!
So I am here to tell you the ONE, BIG, SECRET, that will set your business on an upward trajectory to the moon.
Here is it. There is no, I repeat NO, one thing that will solve all your business problems. There is no easy way to operate your business. If there was, everyone would do it and succeed at business and there would be no room in the market for you.
The good thing is that most of the issues that you face, many other businesses and organizations face as well. So you can learn from successful execution across industries to give you a leg up on your business.
Most issues are around around
Staff -process implementation
Generating more leads
Once you are able to identify what the underlying problem or issue is, you can start to deal with it. IF YOU CAN NAME IT, YOU CAN TAME IT.
In this article, I will attempt to define issues around staffing and implementing your business process among your staff. I will also explain some tools used in the US Marine Corps to address the execution of processes among staff/Marines at all levels.
Is Your Issue Staffing or Process Implementation?
If it seems like you are the only one in your company that can solve the problem
You only occasionally find staff that can manage and it is hard to keep them around
If it seems like you spend more time in the day-to-day (keeping the lights on) and not as much in the strategic planning of your business
The underlying issue you are facing is most likely that you don’t have the right process documented and/or implemented in your business. Your staff also does not fully understand the process you want to implement and your intent behind it.
How The Marines Manage, And What You Can Learn From Them
The US Marine Corps is known as an organization that is highly efficient at executing a plan. They focus on small-unit leadership and the individual Marine being able to know and execute on a mission both individually and as a team.
Often when Marines are in the thick of the fight, where a million problems arise during the “fog of war.” To succeed in thes kind of conditions, Marines often have to “improvise adapt and overcome” for mission success.
So how do they stay in-tuned as a team, to reach their success as a unit? On of the tool they use is called the Five Paragraph Order.
The Five Paragraph Order
The Five Paragraph Order is basically a plan on how to mobilize a team and achieve the desired outcome as a group. This document covers the following topics of any mission a unit is apart of:
Administration & Logistics
Command & Signal
Without going into too much detail, this document not only informs every Marine and leadership, what the mission is, its background, how to execute the plan and what resources are available, but it also informs the individual Marine the “intent” or “why” of the command has behind the mission. The “why” helps to align everyone on the team. Once you have a strong enough “why”, you can overcome almost any “how.”
Intent or Vision
This is the “vision” statement that allows all those that are actually executing the order, know the “why” behind the mission.
Knowing the “why” helps Marines in the heat of battle “improvise, adapt and overcome” issues that will, of course, come up, and do it according to plan without having to have the leader be there executing it for them. Allowing the Marines (or staff) to manage it themselves without having their “boss” or commander doing all the work along the way.
Does that sound like something that could help you in your business?
Understanding the process helps your staff with 80% of your business day-to-day operations. A clean documented and understood process helps your staff know how to take care of the process themselves. But what about the times when things do not go according to your process or plan?
When you have a good process implemented you will find that 20% of problems take up 90% of your time as the boss.
This is why having your staff understand your intent helps create leaders in your company and allows them the flexibility to execute without having to have you always involved. This gives you more of a CEO role and less of a manager role.
So here is my advice, when creating and documenting your business processes to help your staff manage your businesses day-to-day, make sure that you have a clear vision or intent behind the process and that your staff knows what your intent is.
For example, if you have an introductory service that you use to get a potential customer through your door, you could have a documented process for your staff to follow on how to sign up a customer for this service. This process could explain how to signup a potential client for this service, and the “why.” The “why” or your “intent” behind this introductory service, helps your staff know what’s important to the business when signing up potential new customers. This helps your staff understand why they should care and how to execute your plan without getting you involved in all the details.
Later I will share with you how to create KPIs or Key Performance Indicators for your staff to incentivize them to do what it is that you want them to. Remember, what gets measured tends to get done.
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