Have you made any business resolutions for the new year? Better yet: a business revolution. It's a new year, full of possibilities. Here are some ways to create far-reaching changes that make '14 your best year yet.
Start by dumping out the imaginary drawers full of everything you've collected over the past year. You'll find an array of ideas, plans, goals, assumptions and thoughts. Dump them into a big, messy pile and then:
What were the wins? The losses? Where did you really overthrow the status quo? Did you create a disruptive new offering or just wish you had?
Have you asked a customer lately? What's the competition doing? Be sure you're not getting outflanked... or just imploding on your own because of breaks in processes.
What else is coming that you may not expect? Are there innovations you can bring forth because there's an unmet need? It's a basic question but is one that's often overlooked.
Everyone on the inside should help. Frontline employees, customer service people, product developers, trainers, HR, operations—each has the ability to offer up smart solutions. Are you asking them? Are you actually listening? Is there infighting? Silos? Ask, thank, connect and act or suffer a bloody coup.
Just because it's in the plan doesn't mean it should stay. Get some distance from your work: create some revolutionary thinking groups to dig into that big, messy pile. Ask those reengaged internal audiences what they think. "Are we doing something that's completely stupid?" Then turn them loose to attack it with strategy and vigor.
Does your brand have battle fatigue? Look for places where the brand really shines and where it might be a bit tarnished.
Do internal audiences still share the passion and purpose that attracted them to your company in the beginning? Does your external brand still have luster at every single customer touchpoint?
A brand alignment audit can help you uncover whether you need a spit-and-polish or a radical change.
Resolve never to settle. Overthrow the comfortable. Raise a rallying cry that brings everyone to a higher level of performance that leaves you breathless. Now, that's a resolution!
Tags: internal brand, brand alignment, employee engagement, business strategy, brand value, silos, ROI