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Creating Business Change: Is it the Right Time to reach your next Goal?

We often find business owners being torn between the feeling of not being able to take on any more activity while also knowing that a 'stitch in time saves nine'. The questions and chart below are designed to help you quickly frame up if this is the right time to get moving on creating change and progress in your business.

Q1. How important is the goal to you and you business?

For this exercise, it can be either of low importance or high importance. Think about the impact achieving the goal will have on your business. Will it impact your ability to achieve business success? Is it likely to remove a lot of stress or inefficiency from the business, making the business more profitable and sustainable.

Q3. How urgently do you need to achieve this goal?

Again for this exercise it can be either of low urgency or high urgency. Think about the impact delaying will have on your business. Will it start to impact your relationship with clients if you don't achieve this goal in the next 6 months? How will it impact your profitability if you leave it another 12 months to achieve the goal? Once you're clear about your answers to these 2 questions, plot your position on the chart below. The chart is based on the work of Stephen Covey and modified to suit a small business environment.

Urgent

Not Urgent

Important

1. Management by crisis, 'firefighting'

2. Proactive leadership

Not Important

3. Reactive management

 

4. Time wasting, 'Ostrich' management

 

What do you do if your goals fall into...

Segment 1: Management by Crisis

The obvious answer is to act now! Then again if you are truly a crisis manager you are unlikely to be spending time on this website! You really don't want to be in this segment. Business owners who spend too much time in this segment are going to put themselves into an early grave. It is highly stressful for you, your team and clients. It is unsustainable.

If you suspect you fall into this segment then yes, action is an imperative, however it's how you take action that is important. You need to start to be more strategic. Do some basic strategic planning before you get going. Its important that you break the cycle of behaviour and become more planned and deliberate in your approach.

Segment 2: Proactive Leadership

This is the most effective segment to be in. If your goal currently falls into this segment then keep the momentum going. You have the luxury of being able to take gradual, planned and timely steps toward your goals, make sure you take advantage of it. Well done!

Segment 3: Reactive Management

Spending time on the smaller things are we? Micro-managing? Caught up in the day-to-day and not enough time to look at the bigger picture? The starting point for you is to revisit your organisational chart and workflows (what do you mean you don't have these?). You need to work out how to delegate the less important tasks and goals to other people. Those people may be inside or outside your business (outsourcing).

Segment 4: 'Ostrich' Management

We don't come across too many people in this segment but they're out there. Typically their goals are not strategic, but rather provide excuses for hanging out in the mundane (e.g. this year our business goal is to ensure the paper clips are very tidy). If you fall into this segment you need to closely examine your reasons for being in business and your ultimate goal with the business. This will provide more forward thrust and stretch in your thinking.

In Summary...

It's not so much a question of 'is this the right time' but rather 'what is a suitable course of action'.

Sometimes we need to take some remedial action, get ourselves into Segment 2, then push forward with the strategic goals of the business.

Business owners who fall into Segment 1, 3 and 4 are always going to make sure they don't have enough time to work on the strategic goals for their business. Reactivity, stress and procrastination can often be features of their daily lives. Guess what, that pressure won't subside, the 'right time' won't arrive unless you break the cycle of behaviour now. If your business is ever going to fulfil your ambitions or dreams then you need to shift yourself into being a proactive leader.

Eyes Wide Open can help you do that no matter what your starting point. It's what we're good at.

The people with the smiles on their faces are those who operate in Segment 2, the proactive leaders. If you're already in this segment we can coach you and challenge your thinking to turn your already great business into a success story.

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