I tend to gain a new sense of clarity and appreciation for the world we live in when looking out the window of an airplane. When I’m on the ground, I see individual pieces of a larger puzzle; the land, the forests, the water, etc. But when I’m in the air looking down at those various pieces, I understand how each piece contributes to the larger puzzle: Earth.
Your business is similar. It’s comprised of many people, processes, technologies, investments, etc. that all contribute to its overall wellbeing. Each part is crucial to the success of your business, but in order to take your business to the next level, it’s important to examine how these moving parts are related to gain a deeper understanding of their true purposes.
So, every once in a while, it’s a good idea to get out of the trenches and into the sky to look down upon your own business and assess it from 30,000 feet. It’s a good time to ask yourself:
Are your goals and visions still the same as they were when you built your business? Are they the same as last year?
Why is this a good idea?
Consider your business like a forest. As people professionals, we tend to focus on our day-to-day tasks, or individual trees. However, it is important to see the entire forest, not just the trees. Sometimes, a forest is only as healthy as the least healthy tree, and other times, it’s actually thriving in spite of a few unhealthy ones. You can’t know that unless you look at the whole forest. From a broader view, you can examine your big pictures. When you’re stuck in the midst of doing your business, you can lose sight of the direction you want to go (or have been going).
How do you do this?
You first need to step away from the business to see the business. You can’t get the high-level view while you’re doing it because you become hyper-focused on the tasks at hand. You may also need some trusted and honest input from others.
Make sure you…
Set aside enough time, find a neutral place, invite the right people, and have an agenda that is both strong and flexible.
What the flight above could look like:
Purple Ink recently spent 3 days in Vero Beach, FL to do some high-flying examination and strategic planning. They had an agenda, topics to evaluate, and plans to reconsider business goals based upon last year’s accomplishments, but also took time to rest and nurture relationships so they could be honest and fruitful. They encouraged ideas from each team member, in addition to soliciting ongoing feedback from clients and other trusted sources throughout the year.
Some of their topics were:
Key clients (How did they become key? How do we retain them?)
Review of last year’s goals and creation of next year’s
Why do our clients buy our services?
Overview of services and goals for 2022 for each core offering
Review of company values and mission
Get Up Above the Battlefield
Coach and podcast host Mary Mavis wrote a book called Creating Remarkable Results. One of the chapters is titled “Get Up Above the Battlefield.” In this chapter, she notes, “Taking that broad view to the current reality helps us see pathways forward (and also) creating forward.” In other words, it’s not just about looking to the past, but also seeing a potential future and then making it happen. Indeed, when zooming out and examining your business, it is inevitable to look at past mistakes and accomplishments, but the true purpose of this strategy is to understand how you would like to move forward. You get to determine what the future of your business looks like, and this can only be done if you take the time to be mindful and intentional of every process that is currently happening at your business, while ensuring that these processes align with your core values and mission.
Sage Klinger is an Operations Specialist at Purple Ink. She has a passion for the psychology behind improving workplace satisfaction.