• Maureen O'Toole

Take the Blinders Off

What I’m Thinking About: Possibility Blinders

The backbone of business is Idaho is small business, companies with less than 100 employees. And, usually, a lot less that 100 employees. And a lot less than a profitable business structure. Well-meaning business owners don’t know how to become more efficient, modernize and grow the business. So, they stick to “tried and true”, “this is always how we’ve done it” and “we can’t invest in new technology.” Looking at the past and the present, the owners can’t see a positive future and share the future vision with team members. Blind to the possibilities in the company and its employees, all they see is more of the same. Or, worse, all they see is doom and gloom.

Why You Might Be Thinking About This: Looking at Now

Hold up a mirror to your organization. What do you see that you like? Keep that. What do you see that you don’t like? Get rid of it or change it. Feeling uncomfortable about peering at your own company? Find someone to hold up the mirror for you.

Ask teammates to tell you what they see. What do they like and want to keep? What don’t they like that could be eliminated or changed? And (this is a big AND) what recommendations do they have to make these changes?

This list is how the company looks now.

Now, compile all of the feedback into a list and analyze it. Where is there agreement on what’s working well and what isn’t? Agreement often means there is a pattern/structure/system that either works or doesn’t work. Maybe the lack of a pattern/structure/system is the reason something doesn’t work.

Why It’s Worth Thinking About: Future Vision

You took a good look at the company. Others took a good look at the company. You saw some good. Great! Keep doing the good things.

You saw things that could be better or eliminated. Great! Make a “Future Vision” list of positive changes. Prioritize the change. Get input from trusted team members on how to make positive change and who can have a role in specific changes. Identify where the organization needs outside help. Commit to moving through the list. Set dates to put specific change in place. Track and celebrate the steps taken forward.

Congratulations on making the future now.

#smallbusiness #growth #vision