Is it really people first for your business?

Alignment of your thinking is key to business success

When was the last time you challenged your thinking on your business. If you're a start up or even an established business, do you put people first? Truly put them first not in words but in action? Most leaders and business owners say they do but in reality its just words that fall away or get conveniently by passed when it comes to the reality of making money.If you have, are you seeing the results you want from your business? 

There are four key elements you need to consider and ensure are implemented in your business to be truly sustainably success in business.

1. Environment

Environment is the big picture. The why behind what you are doing. It covers your purpose and values and is often expressed as your mission as a business. It covers the culture of the organisation the standards that you have for yourselves(the company and employees) and for your customers. Your values and your strategy. 

2. Structure

Structure covers the process and procedures, operating manuals, benchmarks, systems and sequence of events within the organisation that need to happen to make sure your business functions at maximum efficiency. This is the how things happen, the engine room of the business get this right and you have consistency and you and everyone knows how things happen.

3. Implementation

Implementation is where the action happens but it's more than just doing. This is where the measurement of your activities will happen and KPI's are set to achieve the benchmarks set in the structure phase. This is where the results happen, execution of the strategy through the systems. This allows you to determine what great looks like for your organisation. Most organisations start at implementation and spend all their time doing, working in the business this is often where reliance on particular people occurs. 

4. People

Setting the team up for success, ensuring that they have the support to be successful in their role and are able to contribute to the company and to the other members. That they have the coaching, mentoring to develop in this role and future roles. Ensuring that who is doing the role has the support to succeed. People need to be considered at every step in the model both customers and employees to ensure the company operates smoothly. If you have problems with people then you have problems at the stages above environment, structure and implementation. 

People come last - why? Shouldn't they come first yes which is why they come last in this model so they can come first in the business. Confused let me explain.

You need to determine all of the other stages first to be able to recruit and set the right people up for success. To do this you need to know your values, your culture and your strategy to make sure that the individuals are aligned and why the company does what it does is meaningful to them.

You then need to understand how the work is done what skills are required, technically, processes and how they work across departments, divisions and then what is done People are those that drive the structure and implementation of your business. Then comes what work is done. Without reviewing, considering and analysing all of these stages you are likely to hire the wrong person, provide inadequate training, create challenges for the individuals as their skills don't meet the role or fit with the organisation. 

To help explain how these four elements interact together in the critical alignment model, consider how a house is built. 

Consider the foundations of a house (the environment) as the plan, it has the big picture what you are trying to build and how you are going to do it - the style , size, location, purpose etc. Without a good plan that defines this problems start right here, assumptions are made, different people have different interpretations.  You need a strong environment, otherwise structurally the house, the fittings will be inconsistent and you could hire the wrong experts creating problems and weakness. 

The first thing you build is the slab, using the plan as the blueprint and guide next you build the floors, wall and roof, which is the structure in our critical alignment model. This holds everything together if you make a mistake here it is a big problem that impacts everything. 

Then comes the painting, carpet, appliances, lights etc which is the implementation stage in our critical alignment model, again at all times you need to refer back to the plan and to the structure to make sure that the style is consistent and that it is functional. 

The last piece is that the people who live in the house are able to move. That the plan enables them to live in the house and operate functionally in a house that works for them. It is in the right location, has the right number of bedrooms and is aligned to their purpose. 

Without all of the above in place, you don't know which people you need to target or market selling the house to. Are you trying to market a family to a apartment for professionals or a house with stairs to an elderly couple. You change your marketing to match the house not change the house to match the marketing.  

If you need to objectively work out where your problems are coming from not where they are being felt. If you know that you need to make changes within your business but not sure where or how to address it. Contact me to discuss a health check for your business. So we can pin point the problems and create, tailor the solution. Most people just don't know where to begin