The recent Superbowl win by the Seattle Seahawks reminded me of just how crucial it is to continuously improve upon fundamentals. Teams who are successful never underestimate their competition irregardless of their tenure, reputation or past performance. Interestingly this very same rule applies in business. Regardless of the longevity of your business or the tenure of your employees, there must be a consistent structured effort to improve upon current performance. Think about tenured companies like Sears and RIM that struggle today as a result of disregarding this fundamental rule.
A successful sports team is built upon a very simple foundation:
- Individual talent
- Collective capability
- Strong leadership
- A clear vision of success
- A series of proven plays
A high performing organization is built upon a very similar foundation:
- Individual knowledge and experience
- Collaboration and alignment
- Supportive leadership
- A clear vision and mission for the organization
- Proven and effective business processes
To outperform and outlast your competition, it's necessary to place continuous effort on improving performance in each of these five fundamental areas. Next to sales growth, improved performance in delivering products or services is the single most important focus for a business owner or executive. Consider each of the five areas above and where your weakest performance exists, then formulate a simple plan to address this weakness, making it a priority for both yourself and your employees.
On the other hand, if you don't believe there is need for improvement in any of these areas then just sit back, relax and let the game play out. Really, what's the worst that can happen?