How to make your business make sweet music | Stiernholm Consulting

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07 Oct

How to make your business make sweet music


Datum: 2009-10-07 11:51

We can be very effi­cient as indi­vid­u­als, but to be suc­cess­ful in mak­ing the com­pa­ny evolve into what we want it to become, we need to con­nect our struc­tured and pro­duc­tive work­ing habits with the over­all struc­ture of the company.

This struc­ture can be expressed in terms of the analy­sis of the present state of the lead­ing process­es, our busi­ness con­cept, the vision, strate­gies, plans of action, goals, process­es and results.

In a busi­ness it is easy to iso­late each of these parts and work on them sep­a­rate­ly as indi­vid­ual enti­ties. In actu­al­i­ty, they need to be firm­ly con­nect­ed to each oth­er and worked on as a whole. Used prop­er­ly, these tools become the pow­er­ful means to give your busi­ness the desired direc­tion in a smooth, orga­nized and sys­tem­at­ic manner. 

Since a few years back, I work with a mod­el which I call Eupho­ny”, which is Greek for har­mo­ny or musi­cal and melod­ic accor­dance. Just like the musi­cians of a sym­pho­ny orches­tra need to play in a com­mon key, in the same tem­po and adapt to each oth­er in order to make beau­ti­ful­ly bal­anced music, we need to coor­di­nate our work so that what we are deter­mined to accom­plish in the long term (that being pri­mar­i­ly the vision and the strate­gies) clear­ly cor­re­sponds with how we work in a short term per­spec­tive (mean­ing how we han­dle our goals and plans of action), as well as how we func­tion in our every­day oper­a­tive processes. 

When big and small, short term and long term, the com­pre­hen­sive and the more detailed per­spec­tive con­nect and cor­re­spond to each oth­er coher­ent­ly, we will hear sweet music emerg­ing from our busi­ness. Our busi­ness is in har­mon­ic res­o­nance with itself. 

Here are exam­ples of five con­cep­tu­al rela­tion­ships which need to be in res­o­nance with each other.

Analy­sis of the Present ver­sus the Plan of Action


When ana­lyz­ing the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion and its cir­cum­stances, we iden­ti­fy the strengths and weak­ness­es of the com­pa­ny as well as the pos­si­ble threats and oppor­tu­ni­ties with­in the mar­ket we are oper­at­ing in. 

Do we have suf­fi­cient cours­es of action to empow­er and capac­i­tate the weak­ness­es we iden­ti­fied? For what antic­i­pat­ed threats have we cre­at­ed coun­ter­ac­tive and pre­ven­tive cours­es of action?

Analy­sis of the Present ver­sus the Busi­ness Concept

Our analy­sis of the present can also describe and com­mu­ni­cate the nature of the pro­fes­sion­al envi­ron­ment, the mar­ket, in which the com­pa­ny func­tions. Is our busi­ness con­cept still the accu­rate, rel­e­vant and com­pet­i­tive found­ing ele­ment of the com­pa­ny that it needs to be in rela­tion to the par­tic­u­lar envi­ron­ment we are involved in? What devel­op­ments might have occurred in our clien­tele which are pos­si­bly mak­ing our assump­tions of what we should sell to who and why, inac­cu­rate and outdated?

Vision ver­sus Goals

Our goals should rep­re­sent and con­sti­tute a detailed break-down of the vision with regards to a rel­e­vant time per­spec­tive. If we accom­plish our goals this year, have we advanced in our striv­ing to real­ize the vision? If we extrap­o­late and imag­ine that we do indeed achieve the goals we set out to reach in the years lead­ing to the accom­plish­ment of the vision, where does that leave us? Will we cross the intend­ed fin­ish­line or do we end up some­where entire­ly dif­fer­ent? Are there any parts of the vision which are not rep­re­sent­ed by spe­cif­ic goals, key fig­ures or ratios intend­ed to bring us clos­er to real­iz­ing it?

Strat­e­gy ver­sus Plans of Action

The strate­gies basi­cal­ly indi­cate how we intend to actu­al­ly reach our final des­ti­na­tion, the ful­fill­ment of the vision. The plan of action con­sists of detailed activ­i­ties intend­ed to alter and devel­op our busi­ness in ways which make the vision attain­able. Are the cours­es of action con­sis­tent with and clear­ly cor­re­spond­ing to the frame­work of the strat­e­gy? For instance, if a project is con­cerned with estab­lish­ing a shop in a new city, does that har­mo­nize with the company´s expan­sion strategy?

Busi­ness Con­cept ver­sus Busi­ness Processes

In the oper­a­tive process­es, all our dai­ly, more detailed work occurs. In our sale­sprocess­es, do we work on and han­dle the clien­tele we have intend­ed to focused on in our busi­ness con­cept? Do we per­form our ser­vices in accor­dance with how we set out to per­form them in the busi­ness con­cept, with regards to what we want to sell and to whom?

Review from time to time

Just like you from time to time review your to-do-list and your ref­er­ence­ma­te­r­i­al, go through and revise the over­all struc­ture of the analy­sis of the present, the busi­ness con­cept, the vision, the strate­gies, the goals, the plans of action, the process­es and the results. 

Do this every six months, per­haps even more fre­quent or not so fre­quent­ly. Make sure the con­nec­tions are there, that the parts har­mo­nize into a sin­gle coher­ent con­text, and that sweet music emerges from your business.

What is your tip?

How do you make sure your orga­ni­za­tion makes progress in the direc­tion you desire? E‑mail me at {encode=“david@stiernholm.com” title=“david@stiernholm.com”}, or com­ment below, and share your best tip. The top­ic of how excel­lent struc­ture may bring us to our vision inter­ests me a lot and I hap­pi­ly share my own and oth­ers’ experiences.

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