It's spring - damn the snow and colder than normal temperatures, IT IS SPRING!! I'm going to use positive thinking to make Mother Nature do her job! And after spring comes well, bathing suit season! Which means that many of us will face a choice today - a meatball sub or a small salad with fat free dressing? Broiled chicken or a juicy steak? The gym or shopping? Chocolate cake or an apple?
For some of us these decisions are easy. They are made automatically almost without thinking. To you skinny people I say........well I can't say that in print! But for the rest of us, these choice points are mammoth. Why, because we're trying to change our behavior. We've given ourselves new guidelines of action, not unlike the new strategies introduced everyday in companies everywhere. The boss says we're going to now do this and the staff is expected to execute the tactics to accomplish this. But how do they make the choices that will define the execution? Have we as leaders, as managers made the choice criteria clear? Great decisions are made because the person knew the criteria that made A the right choice over B.
Ask yourself these questions:
If the decision is purely financial, what is the goal: profit margin, gross revenue, overall growth percentage, customer industry? Your sales and marketing staff base their actions on which of these are paramount.
In a dispute with a customer, will the staff chose the short term answer and tell the customer tough luck or will they choose long term company success by making the customer happy and protecting the long term customer relationship?
In dealing with a difficult or nonperforming employee, will the manager coach or fire?
When faced with the opportunity to think outside of the box, does the employee feel secure enough to take a risk or will they choose the safe route? Are creativity and learning valued by the company more than politics?
You set the criteria for decision making so if you're not getting the decisions that move the company in the right direction, you need to communicate the criteria and you need to teach your team how to make decisions. Work with them to establish an agreed upon decision process and then reward them when they make the right decisions.
What's my reward for choosing K chips over potato chips? For choosing a 390 calorie Thai Chicken salad from Panera Bread for lunch instead of a Panini sandwich? Well it ain't lower cholesterol, although that should be the reward - its a full day of shopping for new clothes!
You want good decisions from your staff, work with them to do three things:
define the decision criteria
define the decision process
define the reward
And then call Catalytic Management to work with you to implement those decisions and assess the processes driving the new behavior. We'll help you find the gaps, fix what's broken and create new strategies and tactics that will drive profitability.
As they say on TV, call now operators are standing by! 978-562-5001.
Catalytic Management specializes in business performance and growth
including sales effectiveness, customer service and business
process improvement for companies
in New England and the Northeast.