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Growing Business In Tough Times (1)

Patrick Kuwana Topic:  Vision And Leadership

Whenever we are faced with tough economic times, one of the key things that we need to look at is how we do business. Our vision becomes extremely important. As an entrepreneur, as a business owner, or as a leader in a business it becomes absolutely imperative for us to be very clear on what the vision is for the business, both as a leadership team, but even more importantly to get that vision clearly articulated to the staff. Without vision and without buy-in of that vision the staff will typically underperform in their positions.

Another critical aspect that we need to look at is the issue of strategy. What is the strategy of in our businesses to achieve the vision? Businesses should clearly map out what their desired future will be. This future could be in terms of profitability, in terms of service delivery, or in terms of the transactional engine of what the business is trying to achieve.

After mapping out this desired future one then needs to look at the current reality. Where are we right now? The gap between desired future and current reality, the things that need to be done within the organisation, will then form the basis of setting up KPI's - Key Performance Indicators - across the entire organisation, so that the entire organisation is moving with one focus towards that vision, towards achieving that desired future.

Two other critical elements that come into play during tough times are innovation and creativity. How do we create an environment where every person within the organisation can contribute creative ideas to improve the performance of the business? Interestingly enough, if one is in the delivery business, it might very well be the drivers who have the best ideas in terms of how to cut costs and increase efficiencies within the delivery of goods and services.

The key, as leaders, is to harness all the human capital, including the intellectual capital that is within the organisation, so that we can create an environment where innovation and creativity thrives. Through innovation and creativity we will be able to set ourselves apart from the competition in our industries.

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