To create a successful company you need to have a vision and mission (either implicit or explicit ), the right people, market demand, good economics etc. Yet, as I meet with clients and potential clients, I see companies with all this and more who are struggling. Why? Because I believe that many times the 3 P’s are missing: Proper Planning, Persistence and Performance Tracking –
- taking the time to create a solid plan,
- the ability to keep doing the same things again and again until they can take root and bear fruit, and
- tracking performance to answer the question “Am I getting the results I thought I would?”
PERSISTENCE: I look at most of the work I do as “water on rock” – small impacts over and over again until there is huge impact, until the company moves down the field. The beauty in making these small impacts is also that you can implement course changes as you go. I don’t mean changing direction but tweaks to modify and enhance.
Sometimes big change is needed and in those cases it is even more important to understand the direction you are going before movement begins. And also especially with large changes, persistence is absolutely critical because inertia is strong and resistance to change (particularly change that we didn’t create ourselves) is an automatic response in most people and it will take persistence to educate, cajole and prove results throughout an organization.
PLANNING: That’s why in B2B CFO we say “First Direction, then Velocity”, so that when you move into action, there is commitment and the ability to persist. I have found that the research and time taken to create a sound plan always pays back the effort several times over. Any time that I have ever succumbed to the pressure to move into action without proper planning, it became very clear almost immediately that I was on the wrong track.
PERFORMANCE: “Are you getting the results you wanted?” is a very important question. And the only way to answer it is by 1) knowing up front what you expected and 2) tracking the right data to get the answer.