By Lee Kester
Why do some businesses succeed when countless others fail?
It’s a question that’s haunted leaders for hundreds of years. But it doesn’t have to. Regardless of the size, type or specialty of the company, success in business often comes down to three things, all of which are interrelated.
Take, for instance, these best practices, gleaned from spending thousands of hours helping health care and technology companies across the nation build high-performance teams that achieve and exceed their goals and objectives:
- Culture. The best-performing companies nurture mission-driven environments in which the enterprise takes on the personality of its team members, and vice versa.
It starts at the top, with the C-suite executives showing that their focus extends beyond the bottom line to include the personal and professional development of their employees. For instance, many high-performing companies strive to create a collegial atmosphere, a haven in which everyone celebrates team achievements, defines individual career paths and respects the contributions of all.
To underscore the importance of culture, the best companies write it into their DNA. Literally.
Mission and vision statements, core values, purpose — anything and everything that communicates the central tenets that guide the organization—serve to establish and reinforce culture. Once these principles are in place, they support the company’s overall strategic plan and help to create customer connections that drive the organization forward (think Todem).
- People. The most successful companies spend a substantial amount of time and resources to attract, hire and retain A (+) caliber talent. They understand that investing in a professional recruiting business partner to help them identify, recruit and hire key members of their commercial operations team is a small price to pay for the peace of mind and return on investment that top talent can deliver to an organization.
Of course, it’s not enough to simply have the best employees on your team; once you’ve assembled your core group of talent, you should invest in professional, ongoing reinforcement sales and leadership training (think Sandler Training) and other programs designed to maximize performance.
- Process. Companies that achieve greatness focus on building the foundation of their business prior to raising large sums of capital or expanding rapidly.
To position your organization for long-term sustainability, you’d do well to focus on developing absolute clarity around the five W’s:
- who you serve
- what product or service you provide
- why customers should trust you (your unique value proposition)
- where you want your company to go
- when and how you intend to get there
After you’ve answered these questions, work closely with your board, investors, senior leadership, advisors, etc., to understand your financials, secure and allocate venture funding, finalize business plans and create go-to-market strategies. Then, collaborate with your team’s frontline managers to align processes with an overarching strategic plan that all employees can use as a definitive road map.
Although adhering to these three guidelines won’t guarantee your organization hits all of its goals, applying the lessons learned from others to your own business, you can position your company for long-term, growth-oriented success, year after year.
Lee Kester is CEO of Kester Search Group LLC, a consultative talent acquisition firm that specializes in executive search and commercial expansion projects for diagnostic, medical device and health care technology companies throughout the United States. He can be contacted via email at [email protected].