What Are We Doing?
This is a question I ask myself on a regular basis. What are we doing? This isn’t a question of self doubt, rather a question to ensure we are doing the right things, at the right time, with the right people.
Where are we going?
Before we ask ourselves this question we need to ensure that we have a destination. Asking what we’re doing without knowing what the goal is, or where we’re headed can create self doubt and break down what foundation we may have established.
The question is pretty loaded. It requires us to examine many things as it doesn’t really have a limitation. We could look at our leadership, the decisions we’ve made, how we’re serving our clients/customers, and really anything else that we directly have our hands on. It’s necessary to have checks and balances to make sure we’re on the path we should be on.
We’ve talked before about the hedgehog concept as described by Jim Collins in Good to Great, however there’s another great principal that describes what we’re talking about today. I don’t recall who I first heard talk about the principal, however it’s simple:
Stay in your lane.
Let’s do what we do best, and don’t worry about the other things that come up, or opportunities we could (but shouldn’t) take.
Stick to your Map
We at Helium have had, and will have in the future, many opportunities to partner with other businesses and have other products to sell. They would be outside of our lane. Easily justifiable things to add on, however not part of the core. When these opportunities come up, we need to ask ourselves, ‘What are we doing?’.
If that product or service, doesn’t line up with our answer, then it’s probably a good indicator that we shouldn’t do it. Adding these things as a cash grab generally results in poor focus and underperformance as compared to those people that do it well. If we take on a product to sell, how will that improve the experience that our current clients have? How will it add to our core business model? If it doesn’t improve what we currently do, it does not belong in our organization.
Part of my role includes further development of client services. We have added tools by partnering with companies that offer a service or product that line up with our core model.
With each addition we have asked ourselves that question, and will continue to do so with every new opportunity that presents itself.
I encourage you to do the same.