I teach small business owners and their leadership teams the system of Professional Management at Aileron (www.Aileron.net) in Dayton, Ohio and one of the sayings we often mention is “Structure follows Strategy.” What does that mean? It means that you don’t put processes, people, equipment, and facilities in place until your strategy is crystal clear. So, what is strategy, you ask?
Strategy is what you are trying to accomplish, clearly defined. It’s what a win looks like. It’s what Stephen Covey was talking about when he brilliantly said, “Begin with the end in mind.” I can tell you, without any reservation whatsoever, that if you don’t have a clear strategy, you will wander aimlessly wasting time, squandering money, and losing the most important thing your company can have—an engaged workforce.
*Grunder Landscaping Co. also maintains the grounds at Aileron
An “engaged workforce” is the result of many things. But primarily it’s the result of a clearly communicated strategy. Everything emanates from this. When everyone in your company knows what a win looks like. When they know what success is defined as. When they know when and if they’ve won, you eliminate waste and you have a laser-like focus.
So, if you don’t have a clearly communicated strategy, get one. Start by writing out the answer to this question: how would you know you have been successful a year from now? The answer to that question is your strategy. Good Leaders then take that strategy and they share it with mentors, their teams, and even their families and ask for constructive criticism on it.
Like everything in business, developing and perfecting your strategy is a process, so get started today.