Eight Things To Consider Before Launching Your Next Big Initiative

Last week I was speaking with a client about his business and his professional goals. He has been in business for many years and he wants to take it to the next level. He wants to grow his business to 10 Million and do it fast - quite a big initiative.

When I asked him what it will take to grow his business to 10 Million he gave me that deer in the headlights look for a second before he stated: "Capital, I need capital". I asked him to consider other things he needed and introduced him to a tool that any leader can use to do a quick assessment of an organization's capabilities. I called the tool the Wheel of Success - adapted from the Co-Active Coaching Wheel of Life - and I wanted to share it with you.

As you can see the wheel is comprised of 8 quadrants, each representing a domain that is important to success. Startups, small businesses, and other organizations need strength in these areas in order to succeed. If you want to assess your organization, print out the Wheel Of Success assessment tool and give your organization a score of 0 - 10 (with 0 being lowest and 10 being highest) for each of the dimensions. Here is a breakdown of each domain and a few things you should consider when evaluating what you bring to the table.

Experience - it goes without saying that experience is needed in order to succeed. However, this dimension is not evaluating your own experience it is evaluating the experience of your team. What experience is needed in order to succeed in the space you want to do business in? What experience do you and your team already have? What experience do you and your team lack?

Network - if you want to take your business to 10 Million you are going to need a strong network to support you along the way. How many people do you know who can support you and your business? What do you do to cultivate that network and what value do you add to the network? What relationships do you need to be successful? How large is the gap between the network you need and the network you have?

Information - successful businesses have access to information that others do not. What are your customers looking for? What do your customers need? How long does it take you to get information that is relevant to your business? When a customer has a need are you one of the first to know?

Leadership - the best organizations have strong leadership and shared leadership. Are people in your organization leading or following? Who are the leaders within your organization. What are a few examples of how leadership is shared in your organization. How often do people who lack formal authority or a leadership position title take risks that result in business growth and success? Do you have a leadership culture or a command and control culture in your organization?

Team - this dimension is slightly different from the network. Your network is bigger than your team - or at least it should be. Your team is comprised of the specific people who are dedicated to the success of your business day in and day out. What does your team look like and what does it need to look like in order to achieve your goals? What skill sets does your team possess and lack? How deep is your team - if you loose someone to attrition what won't get done?

Political Standing - organizations always operate within a larger context. Startups, small businesses, large businesses, non-profits, and government organizations all operate within our societies and cultures. Expectations are high for all institutions and leaders need to be mindful of the politics at play. What are the concerns that others have regarding your organization? What is the political climate that effects your organization? Who are the key players, or influencers, in your space? What do they desire and avoid? How can you be connected to the political pulse that will effect your organization when you least expect it? How good are you at playing politics and how good do you need to be?

Capital - yes we do need money in order to run an organization. The truth is all organizations need money, assets, and investment in order to succeed. What is the financial status of your organization? What assets do you need in order to grow your business? What is the gap between what you need and what you have? How easily can you access capital?

Opportunity - have you heard of the saying: "opportunity knocks but once"? I do not completely agree with that statement, being an optimist, but I am very mindful of the fact that opportunities are limited. What opportunities exist in your line of business? Are there customer needs that your organization can help satisfy? How many opportunities are on the horizon? How many opportunities surfaced recently? What opportunities can your organization respond to quickly?

So there you have it. A quick assessment that you can use to evaluate your organization before you launch that next big initiative. Remember that strength in each of these areas will increase your likelihood of success and balance - having strength in all of the areas - will increase it more!

Discussion Question:

What other areas do you think leaders should be mindful of before launching their next big initiative?