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    This business method takes the risk of failure off the table

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    Within any living organism, certain systems must coexist and function properly for homeostasis, survival and the need to reproduce — and businesses are no different. Except for companies, survival is the bare minimum, and ‘reproducing’ is the mission. So the question becomes, “How do you make a business thrive?”

    The only ways to successfully execute a strategy is to avoid problems with a clear understanding of potential catastrophic failures from the start, and to create a plan to mitigate or defeat them. In this way, the opposite of success is not failure – the opposite of failure is clarity, but no one is responsible for success. And no person is responsible for failure. Getting clarity across your organization is key and it may not be as difficult as you think. By using this method, which I call the “beat failure” method, you give everyone a seat, a voice and value at the table.

    Related: Why Overcoming Failure is the First Step to Success

    How to “beat failure”

    Instead of focusing solely on achieving success, focus on identifying and justifying failure points that may arise along the way. When people at the top develop a strategy to get from point A to point B and only send the assignment to everyone who will contribute to that strategy, the path to success ends up full of unidentified potential points of failure. There are always people who have been toiling with an idea or strategy for six months, and when it is delivered, they often give everyone six minutes to understand it (metaphorically, of course).

    If you’ve ever been in a relationship, you know what this is like. It leads to a surprise – and not a good one. In business, these kinds of surprises are bad, so let’s eliminate them. On the other hand, the key to achieving any goal is to address these failure points ahead of time and create a plan to prevent them from happening. It also invites people into the conversation rather than throwing an idea or plan over the fence to ask for feedback. By openly addressing all the points of failure that can go wrong, you will get closer to the desired outcome than just blindly trying to execute a strategy that focuses only on the end goal. We will, of course, hear an idea, and our brains will begin to look at all the things that are unknown, or are wrong, or things that will change. This can register in the brain as stress and can be overwhelming.

    In any initiative, big or small, total transformation, launching a new product or changing your entire strategy, reduce the margins of error by asking everyone involved where they think problems could arise. In other words, what would make this fail, you fail, we fail? These observations become a table of contents to shape the plan and strategy to achieve your goal.

    Discuss and define it for each failure point. Then identify any dependencies and what you should know and have in response to the emerging problem. Finally, assign the task to a person or a person who leads a team and who is responsible for preventing the point of failure from happening. It is then up to them to prevent this with a clear picture of the dependencies and extra support that is needed. While they may not prevent it on their own, they are responsible for bringing together all the components needed to prevent it.

    Related: Your Employees Want to Be Heard – Listen to the Details That Matter

    Increase clarity

    Most organizational problems stem from a lack of Brightness and cause internal cause drama, misalignment, unclear roles, surprises or liability issues, all of which can easily derail even the best-laid plans. In other words, lack of clarity leads to drama. The strength of your corporate culture is directly related to how much clarity there is in your organization.

    A company gets where it’s going, not because of its strategy, but because of its people, but for people to do their best work, they need clarity. When each team member questions the strategy, everyone moves forward with confidence and knows exactly how and what they need to perform their individual task, as well as how it contributes to the overall success.

    The most important part of the “beat failure” method is the “clarity sessions”, which are used to evaluate any initiative you take by asking your team what could make it fail – for the company or for themselves as employees. Rank each failure point based on the likelihood of it happening and the degree to which it would affect the business. Then work your way down from the highest-ranked and most severe areas, developing a plan for each failure point and assigning one person to prevent it. This creates a strategy where everyone contributes to achieving a goal and knows the march order to success.

    Related: The Best Employees Display These 6 Traits

    Take a seat at the table

    With this method, everyone sits at the table. People who feel welcome to talk to their managers and colleagues about what they see as potential points of failure feel their contributions and value, making it easier to believe in what they are doing. By being candid about the possibility of failure, you can define the clear roles needed to overcome it, giving employees a greater sense of purpose and more likely to stay on your team

    The “beat failure” method should be the go-to for everything from daily meetings to annual planning and performance reviews. After a clarity session, the whole team knows the strategy and priorities, and each person is responsible for preventing specific issues along the way. They know the importance of their individual assignments, how those contributions support company goals and are rewarded for that performance.

    Start with such a meeting and within an hour you will have more clarity than ever and the most important meeting of your entire career. But more importantly, you have a clear plan of action to achieve your business goals.

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