Your Management System as Competitive Weapon

by Dr. Donald N. Sweet

Do you have a “management” system?  When I ask most CEOs this question they usually respond regarding an accounting or ERP system.  Those are both management information systems.  While they are important to keep track of things, they are not what we mean by a management system.

A good management system keeps track of important things, too.  Items like core values, purpose, long term goals, current strategy, brand promises, target market(s), three year goals, quarterly priorities, key performance indicators, etc.   These are many of the critical pieces of information a well-run and successful business needs to communicate to the entire team.

We believe a key competitive advantage can be had by making sure that every person in the organization understands at least those nine items listed above.  Core values are the social contract we live and operate with.  They help us make better interpersonal, hiring, vendor, and customer decisions.  They inform our communications with all stakeholders.  When the entire team adheres to core values things run smoother.

When the entire team understands the strategy, purpose, and long term goals, we find people are more likely to pull in the same direction.  Too often we find organizations where the right hand doesn’t know what the left one is doing.  That’s no way to run a railroad or a business. 

When the team understands the company’s target market and brand promises we empower them to make better customer and commercial decisions.  At the end of the day, we need more people in our organization understanding that the customer is our reason for being in business.  It is up to us to educate them about those issues.

Priorities are key to get the right things done.  We all have long “to do” lists but it’s usually impossible to get them all done.  Focus on the important few is critical to making the progress we desire.  Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) help us keep score of our progress.  Data reduces subjectivity.

A good management system will help you accomplish all of these and more in your business with less effort.  We help our clients implement the Gazelles One Page Strategic Plan to this end.  It’s simple, straightforward and elegant.  It helps to get the entire team on the proverbial same page.  Communication is critical to get everyone understanding the most important aspects of your business.  A good management system will help you do that effectively.