Organisational reflection is the art of looking back at previous actions and outcomes while planning the next steps forward for your strategic business planning.
It’s great to see an increasing number of our clients business using processes and structures for building business plans, and marketing plans to support decision making with clear KPIs and business goals.
Few, however, reflect and analyse past experiences when building business strategy and understanding outcomes previously achieved. Decision-making processes during strategic planning involving reflection create opportunities that are value based, based on information that is real and is, therefore, integral to ensuring successful progression for the business.
Evaluating results from decisions made in the business by a full appraisal conducted with collaboration and involvement of the team will demonstrate in very real terms the quality of our past decisions – definitely a valuable factor in making future decisions. This is the value of business experience.
Organisational Reflection demonstrates an inclusive, learning commitment to excel, grow and continuously improve, with a value based philosophy. As an example: A business undergoing a growth strategy that drives more leads to the front line of contact may be unaware of the additional pressure this may place on front line staff. Compromised quality of service due to additional pressure may result in a less than optimum customer experience – thus undermining the growth objective.
A process of reflection by business leaders in considering feedback from all team members and touch points involved with the new strategy should identify this potential barrier to future success, and plan to put in additional resource or training to allow growth to continue. A lack of reflection disregards or diminishes previous learning or values, and results in a cost at some level. Customers may see this as a compromise of your business integrity, while team members may become frustrated and understandably disengaged.
Having a competitive advantage over your opposition is to fully engage in a process of continuous improvement. Organisational reflection is where continuous improvement starts and is a life-long learning experience. When conducting Organisational Reflection adopt a leadership approach that requests the input of others during the process to gain real value from people and their contribution. Experience and learning should never be neglected.
Clarity and vision can only be achieved when reflection is respected and given full recognition in the organisational planning, delivery, monitoring and review of performance. Creativity is then encouraged to drive continuous improvement.
Organisational Reflection should include the following:
• What were our goals and did we achieve them?
• What were the pain points?
• Where and when were we performing well in productivity, service, communication?
• Where and when were we performing poorly in productivity, service, communication?
• What are our key learnings from actions taken?
• How will we plan around road blocks we experienced to remove them for future?
• How will we build on the positives?
This balanced approach considering both positives, negatives and solutions in moving forward will make future plans stronger and more effective – even more so for having worked as a team rather than as a group of individuals – with all team members engaged and contributing actively to the future success of your business.