One of the deepest instincts in adult humans is to achieve excellence. In other words, we want to win. Yet, winning in business doesn’t happen by itself. It requires hard work, dedication, focus and, most of all, a desire to win. All organisations will tell you they’re in it to win. But if you look behind the curtains, you’ll find that most are merely playing not to lose rather than playing to win.
Here are five strategies to position your company to win in 2019.
1. Define and communicate your vision of winning
Employees don’t know what winning for your business looks like unless you tell them. Moreover, they need to be constantly reminded, because they’re typically focused on what needs to get done today – reacting and responding only to the urgent.
To get everyone focused on winning, paint a crystal-clear picture of where your organisation needs to go and what it will take to get there, then communicate it on a regular basis. Make the destination as specific as possible, to minimise personal interpretation and keep everyone working on the same page.
Also, communicate why it’s important for the organisation to win. Remind people how your business makes a difference in the world. If you operate in the B2B sector, talk about how you help customers solve problems and run their businesses more effectively. If you’re in retail, point out how your product or service saves time or improves people’s lives. Let employees know that opportunities for advancement and professional growth will increase when the company wins.
To encourage buy-in, expose the thinking process that led to your definition of winning. For example, what data did you and your team use to support your vision of winning? What does the data indicate about where the organisation needs to go? Why does your current plan represent the best course of action for getting there?
Most importantly, if your destination has changed within the last year – which can easily happen in today’s topsy-turvy markets – tell people why it has changed, how that will impact the organisation, and why you will still win.