I recently returned from Italy where Joe Cirulli and I spoke to two REX Roundtables, made up of Italian health club owners and operators. While there, the discussions quickly led to how difficult things were because of the economic crisis in Italy. Over and over, we heard the term, “Economic Crisis.” It became clear that their issues would never improve as long as they see the economy as the problem. The same can be said with struggling companies here in the U.S. Instead of seeing the economy in crisis, look at the situation as, “Economic Challenges.”
A challenge is something you can overcome with patience, hard work and most importantly, with taking time to think. As the saying goes, “you can’t get rich worrying about the bills you have to pay.” If you are focused on the problems you can’t control, how will you ever focus on the things you can control?
“Good is the enemy of Great.” In Jim Collin’s book, “Good to Great,” he discusses how being a good company is what keeps you from becoming a great company. When you are doing well as a company, what is the motivation to become better? Why spend time strategically thinking and planning? Why make sacrifices and difficult decisions when things are good? It’s easy to be successful when things are going great. However, when you are doing well as a company is when you need to focus the most on how to improve. When things are going bad, it’s extremely difficult to focus on getting better. You can’t think about getting better at the same time as worrying about how to get by.
Here are three teams your company can develop to focus today on getting better in the future:
Strategic Thinking Team
- Made up of four or five members — meets three times a year.
- Looks at what the business is today.
- Determines what the business can become.
- Determines what the business should become.
- Defines your unique strengths and passion.
- Reviews the vision, mission, core purpose and core values on a regular basis. Determines if our actions are in sync.
- Determines champions for new products or services.
- Sets time for accomplishing/implementing new products or services.
- Determines things we need to stop doing.
- Visits outside the industry conventions and trade shows.
- Visits other clubs that offer new or better programs than us.
Strategic Objective Team
- Made up of every department head.
- Meets one time a year to present the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the company (SWOT Analysis).
- Makes sure the department has a major overriding goal.
- Makes sure the strategic thinking team’s goals are part of the Strategic Objective Agenda.
- Puts together a comprehensive action plan.
- Sets up monthly accountability meetings.
Get Better Team
- Made up of six to eight people, meets six times per year.
- Reviews the goals of the Strategic Thinking Team.
- Determines new challenges and opportunities facing the company.
- Looks at each department to determine what can be done to better prepare it for the future.
- Every two months reads a new book and discusses what we can implement to improve.
- Reviews magazines and pertinent literature.
- Once per year, reviews vision, mission, core values and core purpose.
- Analyzes the structure and culture of company to make sure it’s in alignment with your goals and plans.
Shawn Stewart is the Operations Manager at Gainesville Health and Fitness Center. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org