A clear purpose can lead to a bright future. The business must be profitable, or everyone loses.
Is everybody a winner? Your employees, customers, suppliers and shareholders?
Make operational excellence part and parcel of your purpose, and don’t allow any other pressure to distract from it. This will enable you to sell more products to more customers, and see the impact on the top-line.
These are the three pillars required for purpose-driven improvement:
1. Produce or sell more and better products: this drives sales revenue
You want to increase production efficiencies to increase output and better meet current demand for your products.
You want to enhance your current products or create new products to satisfy the current demand.
2. Grow existing markets and/or find new markets: this drives sales revenue
There is risk involved here, but risk can and should be managed by the ability to quickly adjust. Flexible and innovative leadership supported by robust technology and the ability to measure instantly are key factors that can contribute to success.
3. Increase margins and reduce overhead, be more efficient: this drives profit
This area is the low-hanging fruit for many organisations; the quick win that has a direct impact on the bottom line. It is important to bear in mind: even though the gains can be substantial at the beginning it will only be effective to a certain point. You cannot improve beyond your quest for zero defect.
The three actions above are a balancing act. As you innovate, expand and grow, there will always be areas and functions that demand your attention. Your emphasis will shift and move like water.
Looking ahead, purpose without clarity is an oxymoron. Purpose without clarity is like looking for kebabs in the kennel – it does not exist. That will be discussed in Part 5.