Maximise the hidden resource in your business

One of the most pressing challenges for any business leader is to ensure that they have as much information as is required to make the best decisions for their company.

Sadly, “full knowledge” isn’t always possible, and there’s a measure of “discomfort” that arises from making big decisions without it.  Part of the “deal” of being a business leader is that, hopefully, the financial rewards compensate for the discomfort and uncertainty that comes with this decision-making responsibility.  

We recognise this dilemma, and how, in extreme circumstances it can lead to stress and worse. Our Quest at Armstrong Watson, “To help our clients achieve prosperity, a secure future and peace of mind”, addresses this issue directly.

One process that can improve this decision making is to ensure that the business knows about everything it already knows.  That sounds a little illogical, but it can be a very common issue.  Understanding the experiences and opinions of individuals within your business is a resource that is sometimes overlooked, but can reveal information that you had not previously known.

Does your business know everything that is known about your business by the individuals who work within it, or have a close association with it? Does your business act on the feedback that is available in-house?  To put it bluntly, you’ve already paid for the experiences and opinions, so you might as well have a mechanism that allows you to benefit from that investment.  

Uncovering this hidden resource

You might be familiar with the concept of a marketing focus group.  The format presents a great opportunity to test ideas, learn opinions and capture observations from a select group of key stakeholders. 

Our Blue service line for business advice uses something similar. Our trained facilitators uncover hidden information that helps business owners make superior business decisions. It’s natural for individuals to reveal different things to an impartial third party than they might to a line manager or boss, and our questioning reflects this.

Not only does the exercise add value to a business planning process, but it also has a very positive impact on your employees. In our experience, colleagues get a sense of engagement and reassurance from the experience.

Over a number of years involvement with this activity, I’ve worked with a business leaders who have been surprised (and disappointed) to learn how little their teams knew about the company’s vision and purpose.  These business leaders have felt significantly better when they’ve been able to capture information and implement solutions to improve overall performance. The positive effect on the team is the icing on the cake.

If you want to learn more about maximising the hidden resources in your business, contact Nick Palmer

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