Homeowners aren’t the only ones who spend their spring renovating. Use that time to innovate your business strategy.
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Springtime renovations aren’t just reserved for homeowners. If anything, entrepreneurs and CEOs have an even greater obligation to renovate their business strategy in order to beat their competition. So, just as homeowners want to keep up with current design trends and routine maintenance, you need to revamp your business strategy to stay on your industry’s leading edge.
Doing so is easier said than done, however. Updating your business strategy requires a bit of preparation, as well as an acute understanding of how each innovation will impact your organization as a whole.
Check industry trends when developing your renovations blueprint
Renovating your business involves more than just changing the look of a few offices. It’s about reinventing yourself to appeal to your customers. The first step, then, is to learn how your customers’ needs are evolving so you can determine in what direction to take your innovations.
Trade journals, consumer magazines and discussion boards are all great resources for staying up to date with what’s current in your industry. Alternatively, you could catch up with colleagues or attend a conference to get a firsthand look at what your organization may be missing. Basically, take any opportunity to get an update on your industry’s trends before you map out all of your desired changes.
Once you’ve made sure you’re up to speed, deciding what changes to make and how to make them is where the real work begins. Consider these tips as you develop your springtime business renovations blueprint.
1. Before wielding your sledgehammer, get a whole-house view.
Change doesn’t occur in a vacuum. When homeowners tear down a wall in their house, they have to consider how it will affect the adjacent room. Similarly, if you have a great idea for one department, you have to think through how it will affect other departments or procedures. Making sure these changes are compatible with your business’s existing technologies, for instance, is crucial.
Inderpal Singh, founder and managing director of Northshore Partners, advises you to ensure that your IT aligns with your business strategy. “As you begin executing on your strategic thesis, you’ll soon learn and adjust,” Singh says. “As those adjustments are made and your strategy is refined, oftentimes your supporting organizations such as IT are an afterthought and don’t make the shift required.” Recognizing that every component of your business is affected by your decisions can help you identify the most practical renovation ideas.
2. Renovations are fun, but don’t forget about routine maintenance.
It’s easy for homeowners to get excited about their next project before checking to make sure no upkeep is needed on their last one. The same can be true for business leaders. When conceiving your springtime renovations, then, check in with your team to see whether your last innovation requires any additional support.
Don’t make the mistake, however, of focusing solely on maintaining the past while forgetting about the future. The point “isn’t that we need to do only maintenance and get rid of innovation,” says Andy Russell, co-author of “Hail the Maintainers” and professor of history and dean of the College of Art & Sciences at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Utica, New York. According to Russell, focusing on maintenance reflects “a shift in values away from glittery new things” and toward the day-to-day resources that make an organization run properly.
Ultimately, it’s best to strike a balance between developing new ideas and making sure your previous projects are still functioning properly. Understanding the factors that keep your company’s lights on not only keeps your current work running smoothly but gives you the technical ability to expand.
3. Consult the experts, but don’t hand over the house keys.
Just as homeowners consult builders, interior decorators and flooring experts, you should consider advice from analysts to give you data-driven insights for your innovations. When you know the role everyone plays in your organization, you can tap the right professionals to put your plans into action.
The problem is that too many CEOs and other executives take this philosophy to the extreme. For example, a McKinsey Quarterly article states that when it comes to data analytics, “the complexity of the methodologies, the increasing importance of machine learning and the sheer scale of the data sets make it tempting for senior leaders to ‘leave it to the experts.’”
Involving the experts in your renovations is important, but as a business leader, you need to drive the change for your business. You may not be a data scientist, but taking an active role in your company’s technical renovations could separate you from your competition.
Renovating your business strategy is no easy task, but it’s necessary to survive in a competitive business landscape. By using these tips to innovate your current strategy, you may just find yourself ahead of the curve by summer.