• Maureen O'Toole


What I’m Thinking About: Get Focused on the What and How of Your Business

I am on the Board of Directors of a nonprofit that helps military veterans become entrepreneurs. At the Veteran Entrepreneur Alliance, we’re clear on our Mission – What we do – “Helping veterans reconnect and find success through entrepreneurship.” And, we’re clear on Execution – How we do this – through business education and networking.

Lots of people and organizations reach out to the founder, Isaac Belden, to connect, offer to partner, and see if we want to buy their products or services. The first and most important question to ask before building such an alliance is “Do these people or partners align with and support our Mission and Execution?” If so, this is worth considering. If not, no thank you.

Focused business efforts prevent business confusion.

Why You Might Be Thinking About This: Unfocused Efforts

The Sandbox Group works with for profit and nonprofit businesses. Both sectors struggle with the same issue, lack of business focus on what matters most: Mission and Execution. Mission statements are not placeholders in a business plan or nonprofit Articles of Incorporation. Mission statements are the reason the organization exists, the “What we do” call to action for employees that unites all in a common understanding of the purpose of the organization.

Clarity on Execution unites employees in “How we do business” – the steps we take in conduct of business. Execution may be education, training, connecting, product sales, design, etc. Execution may also include business structures and systems that lead to consistency of performance and expectations.

Why It’s Worth Thinking About: Focused Efforts Lead to Growth

Last year, I met with the team of a small technology company. First, I asked the 4 team members to write out what their company did – Mission – without talking with each other. I received 4 different statements. Next, I asked them to explain how they did business – Execution. Again, team member responses were not unified. Lack of clarity of the What and How of a business leads to unfocused efforts. We talked about how to create a unifying mission statement and understanding of how the company executes the mission.

I met the CEO of the small technology company a year later at a business event. She enthusiastically explained that the company had created a common understanding of what they offered and how they offered their product and services. She invited me to come visit the team again and experience the growth that clarity on Mission and Execution had created.

Clear business focus led to growth. For The Sandbox Group, which helps blend the art and science of business, it was Mission Accomplished!

Ready to focus your efforts to create unity and growth? The Sandbox Group is ready to help you.