Blog · Sep 28, 2015

Improving Business Performance – Strategies that Work

Improving business performance – Back to basics

The end of September marks the beginning of the end of the year. It’s an excellent time to take a step back and review how you have performed over the last 9 months and, crucially, consider how you will improve that performance in Q4 and into next year.

It can be easy to become overwhelmed by the huge number of tasks most of us have to perform every day. Being able to prioritise effectively is an essential part of improving business performance. If you don’t do it, you risk being completely overwhelmed by a series of tasks that may be better delegated to a colleague, postponed or not done at all.

Focus on what’s important

When Ben and his team were preparing for the Sydney Olympics they had a simple question that they asked themselves before they did anything: “Will It Make The Boat Go Faster?”. It’s a question that we’ve continued to ask ourselves every day as we work to grow our business. We find it an incredibly useful way of prioritising the tasks that are in front of us.

Before you can ask yourself the question you need to understand what’s important to you and your team. This can be more complex than simply meeting a set of SMART objectives. It involves understanding exactly what floats your boat and which tasks you are best placed to achieve.


Stop doing what doesn’t work

Albert Einstein defined insanity as: “doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results”. Unfortunately this particular piece of Einstein’s wisdom hasn’t filtered through to many people in business. We continue to do things that we have been doing for years, not because they bring us the results we want, but because it’s what we’ve always done. We spend valuable time performing tasks that don’t bring us the results that we need.

If you’re really interested in improving business performance as an individual and across your teams, a key step is to stop and consider why you are doing what you do. Open up your diary, look at everything you have scheduled in the next week and ask yourself “Will it Make The Boat Go Faster?” – or your equivalent question. If the answer is no, then consider if the task can be delegated, postponed or not done at all. You can use the time this frees up to focus on tasks that will move you closer towards your goals, or simply reduce the stress and sense of panic in your working life.


What motivates you?

What is it that truly motivates you to perform at your very best? Is it money, a feeling of success, security for your family or something completely different? Take time to consider what floats your boat and you’ll be able to focus on the tasks that you perform best and make sure that the rewards that you give yourself motivate you to perform even better in the future.

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