Important Business Questions – Building Effective Groups

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Dear M & M:

What are some questions I should be asking as a business owner to ensure I’m on the right track with my business?

-Tom

Dear Tom:

Here are five key areas with important questions all business owners should ask themselves.

1.) Vision/Mission: Does your business have a clear, meaningful, and easily understood vision and mission? Do your employees know what your vision and mission is?

2.) Right People: Do I have the right people in the right seats? Ask yourself, are there any weak links? Are the right people doing what they do best? Do you have any seats missing that need to be filled? Are there functions within the company that are not being done because you don’t have anyone qualified to do the job? On the other side of the coin, are there too many people sitting in the same seat on top of each other? Could we eliminate some of the efforts that are being overly duplicated?

3.) Making Time to Improve: Just as a shark dies if it stops moving, so a company will die if it stops learning and growing. Once you have identified what you need to change you will be able to identify what you need to learn. In today’s fast pasted society it would treacherous to believe doing things the same old way will work in the future. Remember, organizational improvement is impossible with unimproved people, not keeping up with new trends and failing to adopt new technologies.

4.)  Corporate Values: Are you creating and cultivating the right set of corporate values that you want to? Are the things you are doing in the company driving the behavior you want in your organization? Are you creating a culture that increases employee engagement? Do your employees give the type of customer service before, during and after the sale that you want and expect?  Do your products and services create lasting and positive memories for your customers like you promised?

5.) Measuring Results: Do you have the best, latest and most important data and information to help you make good business decisions? Are your key performance indicators the right ones you are collecting? In other words, are you measuring what matters? Finally, are you making the time to analyze the data to see if you are meeting your goals on time like you wanted according to your expectations?

 -M&M

 

Dear M & M:

We are starting to do a lot of team exercises at work. I am finding that some things are done more effectively in groups. Do you have any tips on building more effective groups or teams?

– Pete

Dear Pete: 

An effective group has a clear purpose so everyone understands the task and understands what roles they play (who does what when). Encourage everyone to participate in finding solutions to problems and not to engage in activities that create more problems. Establish open communications allowing for people to speak freely, encourage listening and don’t suppress civilized disagreement.  Have the leadership function change or shift from time to time so everyone has an opportunity to work towards the common goal utilizing the team’s core competencies more efficiently as the skills of each member of the team might be better suited to lead depending on skill sets of the group and what needs to be accomplished at the time. Enable the group to mobilize external relationships outside the team or organization if external resources are needed. Strive for diversity within the group. Try to get some members who are task driven, members who are creative, members who are goal setting, members who focus on the process and members who will question how the team is functioning. Create an environment that allows for people to grow and develop.

 -M&M

 

To ask your questions: Call the Small Business Development Center(SBDC) at Cochise College (520)-515-5478 or email schmittm@cochise.edu or contact the Sierra Vista Economic Development Foundation(EDF) at 520-458-6948 or email  hollism@svedf.org .

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