Business reflection

Back-to-basics checklist for your business

Back to school marks the start of a new academic year. It offers a time to pause, reflect, and plan for students. Shouldn’t your organization do the same?

We all know the rhythm of going back to school (whether for your own kids or when you were a kid): school supply shopping, new shoes, new friends, and new rhythms after summer vacation. Going back to school often offers a time to “reset” our lives and start fresh, but do we as business leaders also take the time to step back and “reset” our business lives?

Get a fresh perspective

Here are a few ideas for ways to get a fresh start in your business:

Set aside time away from the business to think "about" the business. We recommend a half-day away from the office.
  • Strategy – Do you have a clear vision for where you’re going? What might you need to do differently based on the changing landscape?
  • Execution – Do you know the top 3-5 priorities for the next quarter? Do you have the right rhythm for follow up and discussion?
  • People – Do you have the right people in the right seats? Are expectations clear? Are you managing each person how they need to be managed?
Assess your processes
Get better visibility into your data
  • Do you understand and trust the financial reporting you have? Talk to your accounting leader and external accountant.
  • What other information would be helpful to know? How can you get it? What would change with the right data analytics in place?
Understand the major problems your business is facing
  • Do you have a way for problems to come to your attention? What employee reporting mechanism(s) do you have in place?
  • Are you dealing with problems and concerns or just avoiding them?
Identify your risks
Get outside input
  • Talk to your existing trusted advisors.
  • Hire a consultant.
  • Form an advisory board.
  • Join a peer group.
Invest in yourself
  • Read a new book.
  • Sign up for training.
  • Commit to time away from work.
  • Build personal relationships with family and friends.

In conclusion

While it’s not practical to do everything on the list, choosing a couple of things will help you start proactively working on your business and provide a fresh start for the fall. Here’s to a fresh start!

For more information about improving your organization or leadership, contact Daniel White using the information below.

Daniel White

Vice President
Org. Development & Family Business Services

Daniel White assists organizations with their organizational development needs, including strategic and operational planning, leadership development, succession and exit planning, and family business advising. He has worked with a wide range of industries, including construction, healthcare, manufacturing, banking, not-for-profits, and government organizations. He has also worked internationally as an organizational development consultant, serving organizations in Bolivia, Guatemala and Ghana. Prior to advising organizations, he worked in not-for-profit leadership and operations, directing projects with clients such as the US Department of State and the United Nations Population Fund.

Daniel serves as associate director of the Kansas Family Business Forum, hosted by Wichita State University’s Center for Entrepreneurship. He holds a certificate in Family Business Advising from The Family Firm Institute. Daniel also earned his Certified Exit Planner designation from BEI. This designation demonstrates he is qualified to provide comprehensive, professionally executed exit planning services. He has been published in Fast Company and several academic journals, and he has presented at a number of national conferences.

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