“My greatest hope regarding the future rests on the mistakes I’ve made in the past, for those are the most effective things I’ve got to build with.” — Craig D. Lounsbrough
The holidays have come and gone and we are already two weeks into the new year. This time of year gives us the opportunity to reflect, to show gratitude, to reassess and learn, and to change and grow – both as individuals and within our organizations. Our strategies, processes, and habits aren’t immune to reassessment and it’s important to evaluate what we’re doing and decide whether our actions align with our goals.
Reputation X Reach = Growth
A few weeks ago, our COO Polly Clavijo attended a Salesforce convention where business growth was a key topic. In roundtable forums, leaders of organizations discussed how the combination of reputation AND “reach” strategies results in impactful growth. Reach strategies could include any of the following:
- Online marketing traffic generation: owned, rented, and earned media (paid)
- Creating a routine social media presence, specifically expansion via paid social
- Inside and outside sales tactics
- Formal networking and organization memberships
- Partnership agreements and partner utilization
- Establishing an organization-wide content marketing strategy
- Creating an internal culture of “everyone is a sales person,” encouraging all employees to regularly ask for referrals and additional ways to serve clients.
- Traditional media: television, radio, billboards, mailers/flyers, press releases
Events + Reaction = Outcome
Events happen, situations occur, and opportunities present themselves throughout our lives. How we react – whether as individuals or business units – provides an outcome. While this is a straightforward equation, it helps to remind us of this. We choose our reactions, and because of that, outcomes can be controlled and become predictable. Consider the following and how they affect your organization’s growth and productivity:
- Amount of time spent on data entry in your organization, especially duplicate data entry
- Manual communication tasks required for services and/or orders to be processed and submitted to customers effectively
- Amount of time spent in meetings each week
- Mobile technology accessibility to those employees in your organization who travel often
- Being proactive with your customers; seeing a 360-degree view of your customers in 1 system
- Amount of on-boarding and training time for new hires
- System user-friendliness and training time
- Time spent (or not spent) documenting processes
- A structured method of submitting – and approving – improvement, change, and ticket requests for systems
All of these items can either help or hinder productivity and performance. Some organizations believe they can address multiple areas or all areas, but improvement requires prioritization. Therefore, a recommendation for the New Year is to first conduct a preliminary discovery or assessment of your current solutions and processes.
Time for an Assessment
Have you ever made a New Year’s resolution to get in shape? If you’ve gone to the gym and signed-up for a fitness program, a personal trainer usually does an assessment of your health, up front. They take your weight and measurements, sometimes have you do some push-ups or crunches, and then give you a preliminary analysis of your health level along with a workout plan and eating recommendations. Solution assessments act in the same way. It’s easier to measure success when you have a concrete starting point.
Assessments typically include the following:
- Summary of current state
- Goal of where you want to be
- Deep-dive into current solution structure, set up, and connectivity
- Recommendations for improvement
- Change management strategies, timelines, priorities
- Associated costs and investments
Learn what you have, know what you need, and create a 2019 (and beyond) project roadmap to get there. Don’t bite off more than you can chew and don’t try to take on too much too quickly. It’s about continuous improvement via baby steps and small projects over a longer period of time.
Let’s make 2019 the year that we get our solutions and processes in place!
For more information about solutions assessments, please contact us at 614-212-1111.