The Leadership Insider network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in business contribute answers to timely questions about careers and leadership. Today’s answer to the question: What’s the best way to keep your company successful? is written by William Craig, founder and president of WebpageFX.
There’s no surefire business model that will make every company successful. However, any company can achieve success if it adopts this collective mindset: strive for continual improvement. When your company is continuously seeking ways to improve, it naturally changes for the better. Your teams become more productive, your clients receive better end results, and your processes operate efficiently. These changes may start out small and take weeks, months, or sometimes years to come to fruition, but I can promise you will thank yourself later.
The landscape of the business world is changing. Across many different industries, new success indicators are becoming increasingly important. The big challenge for many businesses comes in considering that these indicators have very little to do with traditional business models. For example, according to a 2014 study by Coca-Cola, many CEOs believe profitability and shareholder value will remain as indicators of success in the future. However, future leaders (specifically those coming out of the millennial generation) believe that indicators such as environmental and societal impact, development of future talent, and innovation will be more important predictors of company success.
When your company strives for continual improvement, many of these future success indicators develop out of necessity. When your everyday includes addressing inefficiencies among your teams, you end up learning how to be more innovative and how to address talent acquisition and development in the future. In short, you learn how to proactively evolve as a company. If you think your company is lacking in its current drive for improvement, here are a few ways you can begin to incorporate this mindset into your culture:
Are you doing your best work?
What could your company do to create better products or improve the quality of its services? What would make your clients happier than they are right now? You may not have the time, resources, or personnel to make these changes right now, but if you keep track of these improvements and implement them when you have an opportunity, you’re sure to see success. Even finding ways to improve employee efficiency and engagement impacts your company’s financial success, so why not improve all that you can?
Don’t ignore the ‘little things’
For many companies, it’s tempting to rush through low-priority projects without considering how they could be improved. But is important to ask if even your most ordinary work could be streamlined or enhanced in some way. Over time, these seemingly unimportant improvements can have a positive impact in how your company operates as a whole. The search for improvement keeps teams improving their efficiency and quality, ultimately leading to happy clients.
Study your successes
It’s important to learn from failures, but its equally important to take note of your wins. When your company has a major success, do you study it? Do you take strategies from that success and implement them into your everyday processes? While it’s nice to experience a big success — be it a sale or a happy client — one big win does not drive continued success. With a mindset of continual improvement comes the need to study what’s working well for your business and integrate it into as many processes as you can.