The 3 C’s of business success
If you have worked with me, you will know that I am prone to dropping the odd C word here and there but, in this post, I intend to use the three that are at the core of a successful business. Here are the 3 C’s of business success:
Be clear about the organisation. This starts with the vision and mission of the organisation. Why do we exist? Who do we serve? What do we do? What are our values?How do we do it? Why do we do it this way? What value do we add to our customers? What is the definition of success? How do we measure it?
Every organisation should have clear and well-defined answers to these questions.
The answers have to be at the core of all the organisation’s activities, all actions and decisions should be moving towards the vision and be in line with the values that are set.
The answers to these questions define the starting point for the brand and brand image. The actions and interactions that the organisation has both internally and externally with the outside world will either reinforce the brand or damage it. How can you positively reinforce the brand if the reasons for the organisations existence and its values are not clear to customers, employees and other stakeholders.
This is often the biggest problem faced within organisations, the senior management may well have set the vision, mission, company values and goals with absolute clarity but communication becomes an issue. If I was given even the smallest amount of money every time I had heard the phrase ‘I wasn’t told’ whilst in business I’d be very rich by now.
As organisations become bigger they often develop silos which are hard to break down and communication pathways can become very vertical, with information passed form manager to subordinate down the chain and possibly back up. The passing and holding of information can become a source of power in itself with people seeking to control who knows what for their advantage, the good old ‘need to know’ basis.
It is imperative that communication is developed in a number of ways that ensures that information does not just flow in a vertical fashion but flows across departments and via a number of methods. Information must flow from the top to the bottom and back up. The routes should be both formal and informal, where communication is not clear and transparent the grapevine will flourish as people share information with a select few they trust. In many positions I have had, I could always rely on certain staff to be in the know for things that I hadn’t been told and vice versa, it became a reciprocal relationship.
This isn’t for the good of the organisation though, yes certain things stay confidential but people should have the information to do their job correctly and efficiently.
If communication isn’t the biggest problem, then consistency is. Having defined the organisation in absolute clarity and communicated it to all, everything then has to be done consistently. This requires every product manufactured to be the right standard, every employee to behave in accordance with the expected procedures, every customer interaction to be satisfying, every piece of marketing to be on brand, the list goes on.
It is not about doing it right once and doing it right first time but about doing it right every time, repeatedly, over again and again!
I’ve seen senior managers announce new plans and ways of working, one example everyone will have an appraisal every six months. Some managers did it, others complained they didn’t have time, they were too busy keeping the customer happy (Lets not mention how a properly appraised and motivated employee can provide better customer service). Eventually the appraisals became known as the ‘A’ word and weren’t mentioned publicly and the scheme was abandoned. Due to a lack of consistency in the approach another company promise was broken and engagement with employees was dealt a blow.
To me the 3C’s are listed above in the order of application, none are more important than the others, but they have to be present for the business to be at its most successful.
The 3 C’s are interlinked, if one of the trilogy falls down then the other two will be severely disabled. How do you communicate or apply consistently a message that is not clear? Clarity is no use if it is not communicated and applied consistently. A clearly defined organisation with excellent communication can’t be as good as it thinks if things are not consistently applied.
When all three are implemented successfully you have an organisation that clearly knows where it is going and how to get there. The whole team are able to pull in unison to achieve the correct goals and targets, the sum becomes greater than its parts, synergy can be achieved.
Let’s be realistic no organisation achieves perfection but those that strive to do so have the chance to gain competitive advantage and business success. Clear vision and communication play key roles in engaging employees which lead to better customer satisfaction, greater employee retention, lower staffing costs….the list goes on.
My experience shows that if people can see a clear vision and path there, have had it communicated and it is applied consistently when the unusual crops up they know how to handle it in the right way for the organisation. Problems get sorted quickly and efficiently, they know the boundaries of their actions and what they can and can’t do, life is simpler and customers more satisfied. So there you have it, the 3C’s of business success.
At Bona Fide Business Development we can help you with all 3 of the C’s, by helping to set a clear corporate vision, mission and values, communicate these consistently so that everyone is on board and pulling towards your goals.
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For help with any aspect of improving the 3C’s in your organisation email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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