When you take over a new business or step into a new management position, there are a few areas you need to assess before you can take advantage of new opportunities. And you need to do it quickly. Many people refer to this time as the first 100 days. Here are a few of the areas you should look at:
· Talent – What are the current capabilities and potential of your employees, especially those in management and other leadership positions? If you see any leadership deficiencies, can training or development help address them?
· Processes – Are the operating processes of the company focused on adding value through every activity? Can they be standardized across business units? Are you providing your products and services to customers in the most effective way?
· Technology – Is the technology you are using appropriate for the business you are running? Are there opportunities to automate repetitive and/or manual activities? Is the technology supporting business decisions instead of driving them?
· Business Partnerships – Are you partnering with the right suppliers and getting treated as an important customer? Are your business partners coming up with ways to help you improve performance in your business?
· The Numbers – Are you profitable in certain product or customer segments but not in others? Are there sacred cows that used to be important to the business but are now unprofitable or in decline?
· Culture and Flexibility – Does the organization have a history of adapting well to changing industries and environments? Is there a culture of change and empowerment? How is change managed within the organization?
If you are able to quickly assess where your company stands in these areas by talking with employees, business partners and advisers and reviewing and observing the operations, you will quickly be able to develop a priority list of the biggest opportunities for improved performance and profitability.