- Most companies have goals and objectives which they want to achieve.
- Such may among others include good services to customers and making profit to shareholders.
- This is good and the right thing to do, but grossly lacks in one key element – the habits or activities that should be done in the right manner to achieve the goals.
A couple of months ago I had a wonderful meal at small restaurant in northern Kenya. It was so memorable that last week while in the same area I took my colleagues there expecting the same experience. I was disappointed to the point of doubting whether I ordered the same menu.
I raised the issue with the waiter who agreed there could be a ‘slight’ difference because the chef who cooked last time was on leave.
Many of us have had similar experience in various places where the level of customer service or even the quality of products varies depending on such factors as the staff in charge, the supplier of raw materials used and time.
Such unpredictability is the greatest undoing in establishing a winning brand and success in a business, and sadly, it is what characterises many small firms.
The major cause of this phenomenon is lack of a well-defined business process or procedure of doing things that is understood and followed by every employee.
In simple terms, a business process is a set of related, structured activities and steps systematically executed by firm to achieve the desired goal. Whether this is done by different people or machines the end products must be exactly the same.
Most companies have goals and objectives which they want to achieve. Such may among others include good services to customers and making profit to shareholders.
This is good and the right thing to do, but grossly lacks in one key element – the habits or activities that should be done in the right manner to achieve the goals. These activities should guide every employee on hourly and daily basis and may not be visible to outsiders. They should form part of organisation culture and behaviour in order to produce a predictable outcome.
This principle applies to the pursuit of all goals in life both individual and corporate.
For example, if your goal is to reduce weight or save a specified amount of money in a period, you already know what you want to achieve. That’s the first step.
The next and most important step is to draft set of related, structured activities and steps that you must consistently and systematically do. You must decide what to eat on regular business and the kind of exercises you need to do or the amount of money you need to save regularly and how to do it and forget the goals in order to stay focused on those activities.
The final step is to develop the self-discipline of sticking to those activities until they form part of your habits and ultimately character.
As a business owner or manager you must invest in drafting business process that enables you to achieve your objectives and goals. Such process should form the basis of staff recruitment, training and purchase of equipment.
Most people fail because they focus on the goals and forget the activities. When focus is on the goals and not on activities the results are unpredictable outcomes.
Mr Kiunga is author of ‘The Art of Entrepreneurship: Strategies to Succeed in a Competitive Market’.