Avoid Death by 1,000 Cuts

September 11, 2018 Anthony Wood Comment(0)

Work on your business’ Core Values, Core Focus, and Core Target Now

 

Working in my backyard last weekend I hit my finger with the mallet whilst fixing up some paving. Amid some expletives, I looked at my hands and legs and noticed a bunch of cuts that I had received without being aware.

This reminded me of the ancient torture technique called Lingchi, otherwise known as Death by 1000 cuts.

Now banned, it was the process of inflicting a series of small cuts, none of which was life threatening by itself but when combined, it was both excruciatingly painful and fatal.

CEOs have everyday practices that in themselves are innocuous but when combined can be terminal to the business. CEOs and business owners have to get clear on who they are, what they do and where they are going. CEOs have everyday practices that in themselves are innocuous but when combined can be terminal to the business.

CEOs and business owners have to get clear on who they are, what they do and where they are going.

Cut, cut, cut
This then got me thinking about life in business (free form thinking on a Saturday afternoon) and how similar this is to the decisions we make every day that in themselves are innocuous but when combined can be terminal. Examples of this can range from large to the mundane:

• CEO listens to a podcast and comes into the office instructing everyone to drop what they are doing and start putting in place this great idea she has heard about (3rd time this has happened this month)
• Going for a lower grade tissue because Dave in Accounts saw it on special
• Starting a meeting late due to the late arrival of a team member
• Delaying a prospecting call as you weren’t quite ready
• Overhearing two staff members gossiping about a third and not doing anything about it. Yes, inaction is a decision
• Calling meetings without a clear agenda or purpose
Alone, none of the above are really big deals, but when combined, they begin to snowball into something large and potentially deadly for your company.

Stop the Bleeding
Decisions created when there is no context are typically disjointed and random. Context is provided when you are clear on who you are, what you do and where you are going. In other words, what are your Core Values, what is your Core Focus and what is your Core Target? Briefly,
• Core Values articulate who you are as a business and are shared and understood by all staff as they see them in action everyday
• Core Focus defines why your company exists and how you are bringing it to life
• Core Target is your long-term goal of where you want to be when you grow up as a business
When you are clear on these, every decision is made in the context of its impact on your Values, Focus and Target. This way of thinking helps filter out the “shiny stuff” and keeps you aligned as a team and a business. Reviewing the previous examples through the lens of Values, Focus and Target will generate significantly different outcomes:
• CEO listens to a podcast and comes into the office instructing everyone to drop what they are doing and start putting in place this great idea she has heard about (3rd time this has happened this month) – If not in line with Core Focus, don’t do it
• Going for a lower grade tissue because Dave in Accounts saw it on special – Is Cheap one of your Values?
• Starting a meeting late due to the late arrival of a team member – Is slowing others down part of your values too?
• Delaying a prospecting call as you weren’t quite ready – Will this help the business achieve its Target?
• Overhearing two staff members gossiping about a third and not doing anything about it. Yes, inaction is a decision – Use the Core Values to remind the staff of what is appropriate behaviour
• Calling meetings without a clear agenda or purpose – Unfocused activity is a waste of everyone’s time

How do your Core Values, Core Focus and Core Target rank for your business?

Take this simple 20 question diagnostic here.

Know you need help immediately call Pinnacle Traction.

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