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Monday, June 22, 2015

The Six Elements of Success

How do you define success? For some business leaders, success is defined by monetary rewards, while others say success is having a positive impact on others.

The mundane definition of success is of course a company that provides "value" to its customers, owners, shareholders, society and employees. This encompasses the entire business cycle from generating profits, using capital efficiently to delivering superior customer service.

Sure, success in business and in life means different things to different people. Whether or not you are successful depends on how you define success, and on the tradeoffs you are willing to not just accept but embrace as you pursue that definition of success. We can have a lot but we can't have everything.

Success is every organization’s goal. But what is the key to success?

1. Clear Shared Vision
In today’s rapidly changing world, it’s not just enough to have a purpose for existing.
Identifying and communicating a clear vision is one of the most important functions a business leader can perform. Leaders have to focus the organization’s resources on the greatest opportunities. Not only does a clear, shared vision help define the values of your company and its employees, but it also helps guide the behavior of all employees.

2. Bias for Action
It is basic human psychology that people do not change the way they do things unless there is a pressure for change. If you do nothing, nothing changes. Things at rest have a tendency to remain at rest. High performance cultures are impatient to get things done. They are doers, not talkers, keeping an eye on where the value is to ensure their actions will enhance the business. Failure cannot be unduly punished. Unless people feel free to make mistakes, they will not feel free to take bold actions.

3. Engaged Staff
Without people being engaged in continuous improvement and wanting to participate you will simply encounter resistance. People today want some direction and structure, but they also want freedom and encouragement to develop their skills and knowledge. Effectively managing people requires balancing constraining forces (providing direction, structure, organization, some rules) with liberating forces (encourage personal growth, development and creativity).

4. Capability
The ability to be able to successfully deliver products and services to the customer base of a business is tied up with the maturity of its capabilities. These capabilities—the collective skills, abilities, and expertise of an organization—are the outcome of investments in staffing, training, compensation, communication, and other human resources areas. They represent the ways that people and resources are brought together to accomplish work. They form the identity and personality of the organization by defining what it is good at doing and, in the end, what it is.

5. Efficiency
Business operations should also see efficiency as a primary goal. The efficiency focus began with practices such as lean management and systems management used primarily in manufacturing circles, but the concepts soon found their way into other industries. How the business arranges its production chain physically, how many steps of the production process it can do at the same time and what the downtime of its equipment or process is are all vital factors in increasing efficiency. The goal is to produce as many goods in as short a time as possible.

6. Quality Control
While the steps of the operational process are important, the organization must also assess its work at the end of the process. Quality control examines the final product and looks for defects and ways it can be improved. Most businesses will only accept a certain level of defects or problems -- some prefer not to accept any at all. This improves product flow and solves minor problems that could become major issues later on.

Success in business is not by chance. Success does not find you. There is no shortcut. It takes hard work and a long time. And success would not exist without failure. Failure is not final. If you want to succeed where others fail, you have to step fight over the failure and keep walking. Success is a journey not a destination. Follow these keys to success and you will be on your way to success.

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