Is Your Company in its Prime?
As all of you know, part of my job is to travel to industry events to gain the pulse of the market and then share that with you our readers. What are the hot issues? What do door and window companies have to do to compete in an increasingly competitive marketplace? Well for the past three days the tables have been turned. This time I was the one who was able to travel to an event and learn key items that can help me do my job better, and ultimately serve you the readers with the content you desire. I spent three days in sunny Florida attending a magazine conference where I sat taking pages and page of notes of great ideas and how I can implement some of these at DWM. Still, while learning about magazine tactics and strategies my thoughts still came to you soI wanted to share what I learned in one session that can also apply to your company.
Ian MacDougall, founder, Corporate LifeCycles, told us that every company in every industry is either in its prime or aging. If you are in your prime you are growing and if you are aging you are slowly sinking to your death. The age of a company is irrelevant as is its size, when it comes to what category you belong. However, a prime company must have all four of the following attributes in order to excel.
1. Produce Results.
2. Administer. In other words, run a tight ship—an efficient organization. “One dollar wasted comes off the bottom line,” said MacDougall.
3. Entrepreneur. Taking an organization where the world is going. ‘Don’t differentiate between opportunity and threat,” he said. “Write all your plans in pencil and carry an eraser. Write your end goal in ink.”
4. Integrate. At the organizational level, MacDougall, says integration is a “true competitive advantage.” “Ask yourself, ‘Do people want in your company or want out? Are they trying to join or leave?” Why does integration offer a solid competitive advantage? “The hardest thing for a competitor to copy is your culture,” he said.
He also challenged attendees to gather their management staff together and ask each of them to write down the five key things that are absolutely essential to get right as well as their ten most wanted improvements.
MacDougall definitely caused the remaining members of the management team and myself to ask the tough questions. We patted ourselves on the back for the things we get right and we challenged ourselves to look at the areas where we can improve.
I know that long after we are gone we want our company to still be in its prime. Take some time to ask these same questions. Were you surprised at the results? What’s your company culture? Are people knocking down your doors or running for the nearest exit?
If you see yourself in the aging category or on the cusp of heading there, I want to remind you of the key piece of advice I took away from the conference. Always have your end goal in mind—oh, and an eraser to help you along the way.