Merriam-Webster dictionary defines effectiveness as:
“the power to produce a desired result”
Why Effectiveness Matters
How would you like it if your business had the power to produce a desired result? Would you know if your business was on track for that result or missing the mark? One of the core tenants to an effective business is the ability to benchmark and measure progress towards a goal or result.
I have worked for several companies who did not understand their business, which is a shame. In two specific cases the businesses had shifted from their original industry into being technology companies. Unfortunately, the leadership in both cases neglected to acknowledge this transition.
Both companies were industry leaders, but I would argue they were not as effective as they could have been. They were measuring their success against the wrong yardstick. This caused them to pour resources into old ways of doing things and risk losing their place within the industry they deserved.
These companies both struggled to realize the results they desired. They were hitting business plateaus and unable to realize their intended target.
The Key to Effectiveness
Effectiveness as an organization is more than this article will cover, but I have a step-by-step guide in another post. In this guide I want to give you the key that I have found to help increase effectiveness in other aspects of my business, and home life. Ready? It is exercising intentional control over the thing you’re wanting to impact.
“The thing” mentioned above can be anything. A meeting, a process, finances, etc. Whatever you want to impact, to make more effective, you have to assert intentional control. You will never “produce the desired result” by accident. Entropy, the gradual descent from order to chaos, is natural in any system and is the antithesis of effectiveness.
In the two cases above, both companies were losing control over their businesses and clients due to not understanding how they needed to maneuver in their industry. Being able to identify this difference, and allocation resources appropriately, would have allowed both companies to have more intentional control over their results.
It is important to make sure that you can be effective at all levels of the organization. The next section helps you assert your power to prevent entropy from taking over.
Asserting Your Power to Produce
For finances, a budget helps keep order and produce the desired result. In a meeting, which can be the purest example of entropy, can be kept in order by a proper agenda. The key here is to inject a well-defined process around “the thing” you want to become more effective.
In order for the process to be well-defined, you have to start with the goal in mind. You can’t produce a desired result if there is no result defined. This result is the expectation and goal, and it should be publicized to all stakeholders. What this means is that everyone involved in achieving the end result should clearly understand the goal and how the goal will be achieved.
Once the goal is understood by all stakeholders, structure can be placed around the process. This structure, like a meeting agenda, will help stave off entropy. Creating the well-defined process is the first step in asserting your power to produce the desired result. Once the process has been defined, everyone within your organization should be utilizing the process, from top-to-bottom, every time the opportunity presents itself.
Following the keys mentioned above, intentional control over “the thing” to produce the desired result, will help your company start down the road of effectiveness.