Recipe for Business Success in 2006

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Recipe for Business Success in 2006

Deb Clifford, founder of Inspired People in the Greater Hartford Area, predicts Blue Ribbon businesses will find the recipe that blends the best ingredients in the proper amounts in 2006. The food metaphor seems fitting for this year’s people predictions. It is the holiday season. Folks can relate to cooking.
How was your holiday meal? If it was delicious …congratulations. If it was less than satisfactory, what went wrong? Businesses that win in 2006, just like the meals that win rave reviews, have similar qualities.
Too much salt
It’s all about the blending of ingredients. We’ve had the ‘year of process’, the ‘year of quality’, the ‘year of change management’ and the year of ‘talent management’. Too much emphasis on any one ingredient will spoil a great recipe — and an organization’s opportunity for greatness. Businesses that succeed in 2006 will understand the need for both great people and effective process. The best employees will be undermined by poor process. Conversely, superbly designed processes need people who are capable and willing to implement them. The best chefs, like the best leaders, know how to blend essential ingredients.
Too much time
Rachel Ray has it right. Her great meal in thirty minutes concept has propelled her into a national success. Why? We don’t have the time to make meals that take any longer. We’d rather buy fast food. Yet, we know we can’t live on fast food. Similarly, organizations can’t sustain success on a steady diet of short cuts and fire-fighting measures. We need a quick way to make healthy, good business decisions everyday. Businesses can’t take the entire first quarter of 2006 to create the winning plan, and they can’t afford to cook a gourmet meal every time a program is rolled out. What is needed is a process to make quality decisions in time to meet market demands. Great business plans in thirty minutes? What do you think, Rachel? A new spin-off?
Too complex
Some of the best meals are handed down from generation to generation without a written recipe. The reason they succeed is their simplicity. If I can’t remember it, I can’t do it. If I can’t remember it, I can’t teach it to someone else. This year’s successful businesses will cut out the complexities and cut through to the essence of what matters for their goals and wins. The leaders will be able to concisely articulate the core ideas in a way that spreads easily throughout the organization. The concepts will be easily executed in the same successful manner over and over again – because they were simple, powerful and easy to pass on to the next person.
Over- or under-cooked
No one enjoys a dry turkey. And, certainly, stomachs will turn if the first slice draws blood. Excuse the vivid imagery! Organizations that promote balance for their people will reap the rewards of greater productivity. Burning and churning our people is simply not a strategy – it is a tragedy. Overusing the key players produces lower quality output, a higher error rate and, worst of all, increased absenteeism and turnover. By the same token, winning organizations will realize their untapped resources and begin to develop and utilize them to their advantage. The right temperature (work environment) and the proper amount of time in the oven (production capacity) will produce the best businesses in 2006.
Recipe for 2006
In summary, this writer predicts the Blue Ribbon businesses for 2006 will follow this recipe:
1. Place proper emphasis on both people and process.
2. Develop and employ a method to make sound and fast decisions.
3. Create a message and resulting plan that is easily understood and taught to others.
4. Utilize human resource policies that maximize people potential.