Start with the chart
How do you make decisions in your business? Are you still at a stage where you can simply get a sense of things and make the call? Or are you growing enough that this loose intuitive way isn’t reliable any more? Are you teetering on the edge of chaos all the time?
Great. That’s a sign that, if you handle the next steps right, you’re approaching a state of predictable success, according to Les McKeown.
In his book aptly named Predictable Success, McKeown explains that to minimize chaos and maximize success, you need to organize for ongoing reliable decision making. The business can’t just be a reflection of you any more. It has to become an organism that operates smoothly no matter who’s involved.
To achieve that, start with the chart – your organizational chart, that is. As your company has grown, it’s gotten more complex. To maximize your organization’s decision-making ease and reliability, look at that chart and ask five key questions.
1. Do your key players’ titles match the work they actually do?
McKeown describes a situation where three sales managers are on the same level organizationally, but one actually functions as the VP of sales. Does your business need a VP of sales? Give him that title and authorization to make decisions.
2. What key management responsibilities do you still need someone to handle?
Don’t go by what some boilerplate chart in a book tells you. Look at what you actually need in order to strengthen your team’s decision making.
3. Do your role descriptions match the company’s true needs, or do they simply describe what the person currently in that role does?
Concentrate on the positions, not the people. Returning to the VP of sales, ask your sales force, some key customers, and perhaps your order fulfillment team what they need from him or her to insure sound decisions and a successful process.
4. Are there real-life decision makers who don’t even appear on the chart?
Why, and is that a healthy thing? Make the reporting lines on the chart accurate, either by changing the chart or by reforming the communication flow.
5. Who in the chart needs access to what level of information in your CRM system in order to make strong decisions?
Executive management may need a dashboard with business KPI's
Or your sales manager may need a dashboard showing the current scheduled activities and immediate past conversations by his sales reps.
Do you have regular management meetings that include the whole team? Who chairs it? What happens if that person is gone?
Remember, you want a mechanism for making decisions that doesn’t depend on any one person. Have only the meetings that are appropriate, tailor their size and shape to your organization, and use ACT! reports to make informed decisions.
Ask your leadership team and those who report to them what works and what doesn’t. Listen and be prepared to adapt. Then watch chaos shrink as strong executable decisions become habitual in your successful business.
Gain insights of the benefits a CRM system can provide for these specific various organizational roles and responsibilities, here.