#31: The Intentional Business
I say the words "Intentional Business" a lot. In my marketing materials, in my conversations with clients, in my public speaking. I've even crafted a strategic planning and visioning framework around the idea of running your business intentionally. But what, at the end of the day, does that mean? What IS an Intentional Business? (I'm so glad you asked!)
An Intentional Business:
Begins with the end in mind. And I'm not just talking about the exit (although it is good to think about what you'd like the very end of your involvement with a company to look like). An Intentional Business begins every project understanding what they want the end result to be. They put deep thought into the end state that they want to achieve, and they outline that result before beginning any strategic planning or goal-setting. An Intentional Business understands that if you don't begin with the end in mind, it is incredibly easy to wander off the path and end up somewhere entirely different.
Develops a strategic plan that considers unintended consequences. Before making decisions related to that end state, or setting strategic plans in motion, the leadership of the organization thinks through, fully, the plans and progress, working hard to understand the ripple effects of the decisions they are making, and tries to ameliorate the risks and potential negative outcomes before moving forward. An Intentional Business does not make rash, off-the-cuff decisions that have disastrous consequences.
Maintains focus. They do not allow "shiny objects" or ideas of the day to drain off resources or energy. They move forward with purpose, understanding that the work they put in to deciding their intentions was not wasted, and should not be thrown aside for the next "big thing."
Sets specific, measurable targets. They understand that what gets measured gets done and that every member of the team needs specific, measurable targets to work toward. KPIs exist in every department, and at any point, anyone on the team can say whether the company is on track to hit their targets and accomplish their strategic plan.
Reviews progress regularly and pivots when necessary. Just because a business doesn't get taken in by shiny objects doesn't mean it can't innovate or change direction. But those pivots, innovations and changes in direction must be done with the same care and intention as the original plan.
In summary, an Intentional Business is a tightly-focused, well-run organization where every member is rowing in the same direction toward a clearly-articulated goal. If that sounds like your business, congratulations. You are working with intention. If it doesn't, give me a call. I'd be happy to help you build your own Intentional Business.