How to Stay Focused and Keep Ahead of a Business Tornado
The security business is evolving at an increasing velocity with new threats, technologies, service solutions and business revenue models. Are you ready?
We provide a service to clients called a WeatherReport. It is an immersive, intense and eye-opening experience that offers an objective and concise insight on “climate change” in their business.
The “tornado” condition is the most frequent prevailing “weather” element in our experience. The question we ask clients to help keep their businesses safe is based on the movie “Twister”: Are you driving toward the tornado, or driving away from it?
The security business is evolving at an increasing velocity with new threats, technologies, service solutions and business revenue models.
These conditions are compounded by the challenges of searching for the right quality of new talent, and retaining and sustaining them.
A tornado is characterized as a rapidly rotating column of air that connects the earth to the clouds. Wind speeds reach 110-300 mph. As our industry shifts to Cloud connectivity to your earth-bound business, don’t become “tongue tied and twisted, just an earth-bound misfit,” as Pink Floyd sang in “Learning to Fly.”
Whether you are a manufacturer, distributor, system integrator, security dealer or an end user, we all experience the “business tornado” every day — how are you going to survive?
If you are driving a business vehicle, you better maintain traction of your revenue bus by keeping four principles on good old terra firma.
Remember, you are driving a transportation vehicle with lots of different passengers including associates, customers and channel partners who are counting on your survival skills! Let’s dig in to two of those four principles this month.
Vision Can Help You Stay Ahead of the Storm
Strategic vision is the first key principle in business tornado survival training. It is a lot harder than it looks, trust me. You need to recognize the changing atmospheric conditions, heed the storm radar data, listen for the warning sirens, and take time to process everything to make smart decisions.
Your team will follow your lead. It could be to the storm cellar. It could be to outmaneuver the path of the storm toward a new, bold direction.
The secret is to take time to think and plan before the storm hits, or how to react if the storm descends on you when you least expect it.
Your company resiliency depends on anticipating and planning for unpredictable business (weather) events.
Unfortunately, strategic vision is darn near impossible to accomplish when you choose not to leave the storm area.
While the adrenaline rush may be exciting when inside your business tornado and the comfort that “busyness of hard work” provides, but is it really progress? The reality is the odds of survival are not necessarily in your favor.
What is your next step? Communicate, communicate, communicate. Making assumptions will get you into hot water almost every time. Setting the clear strategic big picture vision requires being concise and compelling with laser-focused clarity in communication of your expectations.
So the first step is sharing your vision and expectations with your trusted lieutenants because they will be responsible for the very next step of how they plan to deliver tactical traction and results.
Here is a Sherpa Coaching Point (SCP): Take one hour a week, same time every week, to think about your business and what it will look like in the future.
Visualize your customers, employees and the services you offer in impactful ways. Do not do this task in your office but rather somewhere that is stress free for you.
Put Together Simple but Pointed Action Plan
Tactical execution is built upon the principles and expectations set forward by the strategic vision and that compelling picture or story you have in your mind.
Your trusted management team has to outline a simple one- or two-page tactical action plan (the steps necessary to support your vision) and then share that with you.
It does not need to be perfect, but it does need to be action orientated. As the tornado descends, will you stand still and hope it misses you; run to a safe shelter; or predict and outmaneuver the storm’s path to strike out in a bold, new direction?
Your team may surprise you with their creative ideas and plans! Each decision has pluses and minuses. Do your business bus passengers know what to expect, know their roles and responsibilities, and know how to effectively execute business survival plans?
I prefer business simplicity and really strong communication in preparing for and surviving unpredictable weather. Be sure your business has tactical but logistically simple, action-oriented plans to execute.
Another SCP: Limit key tactical elements to three. Three is the perfect number for people to remember — three goals, three key responsibilities, three measureable job success factors.
In August we’ll complete your tornado training with the final two principle recommendations. In the meantime, go watch Pink Floyd’s “Learning to Fly” on YouTube for further perspective.
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