What are the main factors that hold most businesses back?
Like a heavy fog that can be difficult to lift, the five reasons that follow reflect inherent characteristics dogmatically practiced by executives operating businesses that seem to consistently struggle.
The first persistent thinking that stands in the way of prosperity is that of seeking simple answers to complex challenges, also known as ‘silver bullet’ thinking.
Leading an enterprise is challenging primarily because it is comprised of many moving parts. Moving parts call for advanced co-ordination as opposed to a simple, linear approach.
Highly profitable enterprises understand this and take the time to develop and embed a whole series of tactics, processes, and sub-strategies deep within the organisation. As a result, these businesses become increasingly complex and prosperous.
When we lift the hood and take a good look at what drives these successful businesses, what we find is a complex ‘engine’ that has taken years to design.
Marketing is intricate. Sales is intricate. Finding people that can deliver is intricate. Internal structures and frameworks are? Intricate and multifaceted. The list goes on.
To the contrary, enterprises that take the simplest route tend to have short, uneventful journeys.
Most people are closed to the possibility of taking a different approach, to take time out and reflect on their activity. Business executives are not immune to this thinking and so it should be no surprise that obstacles based on limiting beliefs and personal biases proliferate business cultures.
A lot of people are so emotionally committed to their current beliefs around their business that they prefer to retain such debilitating thought patterns rather than exchange them for new beliefs that deliver unforeseen prosperity.
People in essence fall in love with their limitations, subliminally choosing to be right rather than rich.
Peter Senge, the author of ‘The Fifth Discipline’ says it well. “We are all prisoners of mental structures to which we are unaware.”.
Nowhere is this truer than in the discipline of business. We are living in times where access to clients, opportunities, outcomes, possibilities, and the ability to leverage resources is greater than ever before – yet self-imposed limitations reign supreme.
Day in, day out, most people operating a business reach a point of exhaustion simply because they approach activities in a haphazard, chaotic fashion.
A culture of reactiveness abounds – one that wastes precious resources especially those around human capital and its effective deployment.
Little time is given to alignment within the organisation, in creating a symmetry that integrates strategic intent with marketing, sales, and the delivery of world class products that meet client needs.
Little thought is given to the analysis of results derived across varying timeframes, and as to the reasons why such results deviate from desired expectations.
Most leaders embrace chaos (entropy) and chance, culminating in a blurry environment underpinned by stress and inefficiencies. As a consequence, prosperity is nowhere to be seen.
Talking The Talk
Implementation, the ability to focus on in and get things done, one activity at a time in a timely fashion is a rare skill. In this, the age of distraction, identifying and completing critical projects and drivers lead to a competitive advantage.
Everyone says ‘yes’ but how many get to ‘done’?
A bias for action without the guarantee of results is a pre-requisite to success, yet for many executives finishing that which has been promised remains elusive.
The common excuse is they can never find the time to focus on what really matters.
As a result, nothing much matters in the quest for sustainable results.
The power of association is subtle yet extremely powerful. Just like the pull of a planet on an asteroid that enters its gravitational field, it is equally impossible to overcome the equally unseen yet pervasive gravity of our associations.
Who we let across our boundaries and into our minds influences our thinking and our results, whether we are aware of it or not.
People that are on a mission, dedicated to building prosperous organisations (cash producing) tend to associate with similar minded, prosperous people – exchanging transformational ideas in the process.
Mediocre organisations, on the other hand, are associated with leaders who listen to any voice that shows up and as a result live and make decisions based on misdirected communications that go nowhere.
A few voices, a few of the right voices make all the difference. Too many of the wrong voices, even though the might mean well, leads to scarcity.
Prosperity Is Not That Difficult
For every ten businesses that struggle, there is one that thrives because it counteracts the aforementioned obstacles.
Yes, there are other reasons as to why most enterprises miss the mark but in my experience, prosperity takes place once we decide to stand back, identify, and remove these five obstacles.