In the year 2010, we are going to see some changes. There are many companies that struggled through 2009. There is hope on the horizon for them. I'm not saying that everything will be easy, but I am saying that things will be better.
Why will things be better? They will be better because businesses will be working smarter. We've all heard the saying: "work smarter, not harder." Well, I have witnessed businesses working smarter this past year and will continue to do so in 2010. Actually, my clients were working smarter even back in 2008. The best and brightest companies have been working smart for many years.
What is smart business? Smart business is when companies stay true to their vision and invest in their core. Businesses that practice this have been successful for years. The best and brightest mentioned earlier have been doing just that for many years. As they have done that, they have become the best and as they continue to do it, they will continue to be the best.
What do they do? Smart businesses stay true to vision and invest in their core. Staying true to vision sounds straight forward enough and you would think it was basic business. Unfortunately, many businesses stray from their vision and have trouble getting back to it. When this happens, the business suffers. Clients and customers are alienated, employees are confused and often disgruntled and the performance of the business reflects all of this.
The clients and customers are vital to the business. Without them feeling comfortable and satisfied, sales become more difficult. When they don't know what to expect, they will go elsewhere to get what they can expect.
There is one thing that smart businesses know that has helped them remain the best and brightest. In fact these actions have helped them hire and retain the best and brightest employees. And that is the second part of the equation- Investing in their core. Employees become the company and the company becomes the employees.
The best and brightest companies know this and they use it to their advantage. They invest in the core of their company by building their workforce and taking care of it. They know that a happy employee is a dedicated employee. They know that a healthy employee is a productive employee.
Most importantly for smart businesses, they combine these two principles into one. They invest in their core and encourage them to continue driving forward. They share the vision and make sure it is clear and emphasize the importance of sticking with it.
I have learned a lot about smart businesses in my years as a consultant. I have seen what works and what doesn't work. What I find most interesting is how employees and employers are so intertwined.
Why are they so intertwined? Employers and employees are intertwined because of the principles of smart business. Business taking advantage of these principles are seeing success. Those that do not are likely struggling or even disappearing.
For a more specific answer, let's take a look at the principles in a more literal sense. Vision and sticking to vision: a company that sets clear goals and sticks to actions that lead to them achieving those goals is a successful company. In order to do this, they need to have employees that have clear goals and stick to actions that lead them achieving those goals.
It sounds simple because it is that simple. What makes it even better is the fact that employees that can do this in the office can also do it in their personal lives. People are the same at work as they are at home. By investing in the person, you are encouraging them to keep the vision, both the company vision and their own personal vision.
By investing in employees, they invest in the company. Think about it, all employees want to be healthy and feel good. If their employer not only encourages that but takes an active role, it speaks volumes. The best part about it is that you can keep reinforcing these habits and they will keep moving your company in the right direction: more and more work toward the vision with better capacity and energy.
Again, this is working smart. It's not working any harder. It is simply setting priorities, communicating those priorities and supporting them. This doesn't take any more effort. In fact, it is easier. Once your core (employees) is on board with the vision and working hard to achieve it, everything works smoothly. As you continue to invest in the core you are reinforce the importance of the vision and even help strengthen their ability to work toward it.
Smart business is a company staying true to their vision and investing in their core. More specifically, smart business is investing in their core and making sure that they stay true to their vision while helping the company stay true to its vision.
You've heard me talk about healthy business. This actually sounds a lot like healthy business. In fact, healthy business and smart business are one in the same. A healthy company is a smart company and as we've discussed, it is clear to see that a smart and healthy company is going to be a successful company.