Benchmark Business Group

Focus On The Future

February 22, 2022

Is your business future focused? Too often in businesses the conversation gets stuck on the past or even the present. And while both are important, it means that the future is often the point of view that doesn’t get discussed as much, because the business is consumed by past and present issues.

When a business is stuck discussing only the past or the present it means that the future is often left to chance instead of having a strategic plan in place. When this happens, businesses end up dealing with the same frustrations over and over instead of solving them and creating more time to deal with improvement. Strategic tasks often get buried because necessary time and attention aren’t focused on tasks such as growth, improving efficiencies, employee development, changing culture, research & development, and sometimes even sales.

The good news is that there’s a simple correction that all businesses can easily make. That is to put a future-focused spin on the conversation when discussing both the past and present. By using today’s knowledge and information to focus intelligently on the future your business will strengthen how it works.

  • The Past: We examine the past to help us make better choices today and in the future. The past is an easy place to dwell, especially if the conversation is focused on assigning blame or even justifying why a goal was not met. Instead, ask questions such as:
    • What did we learn?
      • What system needs to be updated or put in place to ensure this doesn’t happen again? OR
      • What system needs to be updated or put in place to ensure we reach this result more often?
    • What training is needed for employees?
    • How does it impact our goals?
    • What needs done (action) to get our goals back on track?
      • Who will do it?
      • When does it need to be done?
  • The Present: We examine the present to baseline the gap between where we are today and where we need to be in the future. The present is an easy place to dwell because there are often decisions that need to be made in a very short time frame. For a future-focused spin:
    • Identify the dashboards and metrics that tell if the business is healthy.
    • Always discuss issues and opportunities from the perspective of
      • “Will this (action/decision) help us achieve our goals?”
      • What systems need to be updated or put in place to ensure that the solution is widespread?
      • What training is needed for employees?
        • How do our goals need to be updated?
  • The Future: We Examine the future to focus energy on moving closer to the goals that have been defined. Too often the future gets less attention but using the above questions and implementing the following will change the point of view within your business.
    • Mentor employees to always bounce decisions with questions such as:
      • What does the business need?
      • Will this move us forward?
      • What do we need to consider to reach our goal?

When your business can put a future-focused spin on all conversations you’ll notice that it doesn’t seem like the business is stuck in blame, in excusing, or even in solving today’s problems. Instead, the focus is always centered on how to reach long-term goals. And as an entrepreneur, that’s where your focus should always be.

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