One of the things I learned early on in wheel building is that you can have a wheel that is true, but is fragile due to the tension on the spokes. My wheel building mentor some 20 years ago taught me that the only way to true a wheel, and have it be strong and reliable, was to have equal tension on all the spokes. He went on to explain that years ago they used to tune a wheel to a specific note on the piano. Every spoke was plucked to see if it had the right pitch. Now we have tools like tensiometers that are more accurate and help us build reliable wheels.
What are the tools you use to get the proper tension or support for each of your departments?
I would like to suggest looking at the balanced scorecard as a way to develop an organization that is true, and also strong enough to handle the bumps you might face in the road. The following are 5 categories I use when working with businesses to give them a balanced approach.
- Customers: You should always be focused on their needs. I have said before in this blog that the custom frame builder is a great example that delivers products that exactly meet the needs of the consumer. As a result they have a loyal following who tell everyone they meet about that bike and the person who built it. Do you deliver products and services that create that type of loyal clients?
- People: Behind every product or service there are people who make things happen. They are behind the scenes and in front of the customer. Building the right culture in your organization can take many years to accomplish. It can also take only a few months to destroy. Are you taking care to create a great and lasting culture in your organization?
- Financial: Every organization needs to make a profit. You do that through having a margin, selling more and spending less. Managing these three variables will help make sure you are in the black.
- Internal Operations: Does your organization run as efficiently and effectively as it could or should. Take a look inside to see if there are some better ways to do things that will ultimately save you money.
- Growth: What are your plans? Where do you expect to be next year and the years after that. Look into the future to see where you would like to be down the road and make goals now to get you there.