There will always be debate around the fact – is business a science or an art – well the answer is both but this article is to get you to embrace our inner artist.
What do I mean by that? – I have spent much of my time as the business therapist encouraging, cajoling and developing client’s ability to paint a picture of their business and what they want it to look like in a certain period of time. Most of those conversations start with the fact that if they do have a picture it is usually in their head and not on paper or canvas. Inertia in my experience is always caused by perception rather than the reality which evidences itself either by businesses not seeing the purpose of a picture or that the process is too difficult. Can you imagine building a house without a plan! So I have pulled together some tools and tips that will help your paint your business picture.
Follow Stephen Covey – Dr Stephen Covey, author of the 7 Habits of Highly Successful People stated as an element of the independence habit “start with the end in mind.” He paints the picture of your attendance at a funeral with eulogies being offered during the ceremony. You come to a sense of realisation that these are your eulogies and what would have the speakers say about you. This creates a platform for your long term personal goals but emphasises my belief of the “why we do things is more important than the how”. Spend time to understand the reasons why you do what you do and the impact of not achieving that.
Layer your masterpiece – When an artist creates a piece of work they will have an outline of what they want it to look like, this is usually a rough sketch. They do not apply all the detail at once but take sections of the piece of work and apply detail to each section building it up in layers. So what do your layers look like? Most successful companies that I have been involved with have defined their layers something along the lines of mapping out their vision at 3yr, 10yr etc. This is likely to include details such as turnover, profit, number of employees, size etc.
Cleaning your brushes – Every business need to stay on top of the daily requirements of business. Making sure you have the right people, equipment and supplies is essential to build your masterpiece. Taking a 3 month or rolling 90 day view of your requirements will make it easier to work toward a completed masterpiece. But each element must be an integral part of the big picture! This is also the area were most businesses fall short in that they become entrenched and focused on the day to day element and lose sight of the bigger picture.
Re Using the Canvas – Through history examples of re used canvases have come to light. The reasons behind that have never been truly identified, but one thing is for sure is that the original painting was not the masterpiece that was required. One of the major benefits of getting your business picture down on paper is that it gives you the opportunity to amend, re-paint and finely tune your masterpiece. This exercise is a lot more difficult if it is only in your head!
Exhibit – The goal of every artist is to exhibit or share their work. For a business the purpose of this sharing has many benefits -sharing with respected experts means they can advise or offer opinion which will help refine your masterpiece. Sharing with staff can have a huge positive impact ensuring they understand where the business and their employment prospects are going as well as providing the basis for a uniform communication language so that all staff are “singing from the same hymn sheet”.
The more your practice creating your business picture the easier it will become.
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