"The biggest barriers to strategic renewal are almost always top management's unexamined beliefs."
--- Gary Hamel
As business leaders, we must take time to renew our mission, goals, processes, and strategies. If we don't, we will become stagnate and lose our ability to lead. Not only do we need this period of renewal, but it is extremely healthy for our team members to experience it as well. They need to be reminded of the end goals and the paths you've selected to get there. With this information, all of your team members will now be able to work in the same direction. In addition, they may contribute some useful ideas that will help the business reach its goals even more efficiently.
Picking a time, either quarterly or annually, like at the beginning of a new year, is a good strategy to adopt. It's at this time that you take the time to review past successes and failures and tweak or adjust the path the business is currently traveling. It is a great time to get rid of things that don't work and introduce some new, fresh ideas.
"We don't even know how strong we are until we are forced to bring that hidden strength forward. In times of tragedy, of war, of necessity, people do amazing things. The human capacity for survival and renewal is awesome."
--- Isabel Allende
Unfortunately, many of us are sometimes forced to make changes and renew our way of doing business. It could be the loss of a business partner, a good chunk of needed capital all gone, a pending lawsuit from an employee or competitor, or a change in the market that causes renewal. But we don't have to wait for these tragedies to happen, and we shouldn't, before implementing a period of renewal. We should be proactive and cause the change ourselves.
"Problems can be experienced as... a chance for renewal rather than stress."
--- Marilyn Ferguson
Although we don't want problems to force change on us, we know that they are a part of doing business. Along with regularly scheduled periods of renewal, we should also use upsets and those tiny mosquitoes that bite us on a daily basis disrupting business activities, to establish renewal efforts. Today's business is so fast-paced that renewing business strategies regularly is simply a good business practice.
"Top athletes understand that to play at their best, they must alternate periods of intense performance with periods of strategic renewal."
--- Robin S. Sharma
Ultra large businesses like Google, Amazon, and Facebook enjoy the luxury of having renewal meetings on a weekly basis. They are always looking five, ten and twenty years down the road to see how and where they need to renew their current business practices in order to compete for the long haul. They know that there are smaller firms nipping at their heels just waiting for them to slack off.
While we can't afford to meet regularly to strategize how we can renew ourselves, we can at least begin planning to renew regularly. We can set up a renew committee even if it is just two people, to meet annually to discuss the future of the business: how it is doing, where it is going, and how it is going to get there. To renew is to revitalize the staleness of the company. It is a chance to air out the linen, bring in some fresh air and sunlight, and hit the restart button on your business.
"Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day."
--- 2 Corinthians 4:16