Reacting to market changes and disruptions depends heavily on business management: Are you managing your business, or are you letting it manage you?

In today’s business environment, there are three things we can count on: 1. the marketplace will change, 2. disruptions will occur and 3. uncertainty will always be present. 

This is today’s business world and the ability to handle and/or react to these events will determine the level of success achieved, in addition to the capability to evolve. How a company handles and/or reacts will mostly depend upon one question: are you managing the business or being managed by the business?

Now, before we progress further, here is a table listing characteristics of both:

Managing the Business Being Managed by the Business 1. Manage by the STRATEGY

1.Manage by SHORT-TERM PERFORMANCE

2. Executive leadership time focused ON the business  2. Executive leadership time focused IN the business  3. More PROACTIVE company environment  3. More REACTIVE company environment 4. Focus on SOLVING problems or issues when they arise 4. Focus on ADJUSTING to problems or issues–never truly solving them 5. More likely TO DISRUPT the market 5. More likely TO BE DISRUPTED by the market

Being managed by the business will present challenges for sustainable success. Lack of consistency, indecisiveness and attrition are only a few things that organizations may experience when they are being managed by the business. So, if a company fits into this category, what are some things that will help the shift towards managing the business?  

Well, for starters, ensure that the right people are in the right positions. Without the right people in the right positions, any fixes or changes implemented will eventually unravel due to the people handling them.

Once the right people are in place, there are multiple areas to consider when moving toward managing the business:

Develop a sound strategy–If a strategic planning process is in place, it is important to not lose the strategy in the process. Having a sound strategy not only provides the “how to achieve success”, but also provides clear direction and focus for the organization. Establish a cadence for developing, implementing and measuring the strategy–As mentioned earlier, events will occur that will require immediate attention.  These events will not only distract from day-to-day operations, but will most likely slow progress with strategy development and implementation.  When strategy becomes secondary, this is a warning sign of being managed by the business.  Establishing a quarterly cadence can help minimize the impact of disruptions while also maintaining focus and control.

               Q1 – focus on implementation and execution–putting the strategy                            into action

               Q2 – focus on measuring initial results and making course corrections

               Q3 – focus on measuring results and fine tuning; identify gaps

               Q4 – focus on finalizing strategy and plan for next year; communicate                        to organization

Addressing the two areas mentioned above will improve planning and better prepare the organization from being on the wrong end of market changes, disruptions or uncertainty. 

In today’s environment, every business will react to some event at some point; it’s unavoidable. However, what is avoidable is being managed by the business. Take control of success and begin managing the business today.

Anthony McIntosh is founder and president of SSE Advisors, LLC, a strategic business advisory and consulting firm focused on helping clients build and sustain success. You can contact Anthony at either anthony@sseadvisors.com (email) or 847-668-1909 (cell).