Nearly every business I visit worries about the competition. They are constantly working with one glance over their shoulder at the competition to see if they are cheaper, quicker, better. This is not an effective way of running any organisation. Effective organisations only have one competitor and that’s themselves. The same is true for effective individuals. No organisation or individual really has control over others but we do have control over ourselves.
All we need to do is ensure that every day / week / year we are better than the last one. It should also be remembered that “better” is a word we must define. It might be more profitable, or sustainable or anything else we decide. All we need to do is compete with ourselves and improve. Best of all, better should mean that we have moved toward our objective.
Where businesses often get things horribly wrong is that they consider missing targets or budgets in the short term to be a failure. This is often not true. If you have improved on last time and just missed the target then no great problem especially if you are continuously improving. If you want to understand this in detail have a look at Simon Sinek on the subject of the Ultimate Game. Far better to be continuously and effectively improving than to be making last minute dramatic and short term decisions that take you away from your ultimate goal but give short term satisfaction.
When setting budgets and targets it is vital to ensure that they incentivise individuals and the organisation to move forward. the business graveyard is full with organisations who fell foul of the law of unintended consequences as a result of short term decisions to “beat the competition”.
If you want to have an effective organisation, or be an effective person, set targets based on the ultimate goal, compete against yourself. Remember, you can’t win, but that’s not the objective. Self competition drives the organisation and the person forward in an effective way.
If you want help setting effective goals to improve the way your organisation works then please contact us Contact and we will be happy to help.
A race against the competition is one you can never win and ultimately you will lose. A race against yourself is one you can gain from every day and you will always be in the race.