Today, with the internet and so many social media access points, we are bombarded with information about what is going on in the outside world. It's a bit like trying to take a sip of water from a fire hydrant — we only want a little bit of information, but we become overwhelmed with the outpouring of information available. Focus, therefore, is important, and deciding where and when to focus can be difficult.
Focusing Inward vs Focusing Outward
Focusing inward helps you develop better processes, diagnose and solve problems, and make better business decisions. Focusing outward can be a distraction because it requires you to be reactive to outside issues — issues that you frequently have no control over, like the economy, changing technology, your competition, politics, etc.
Why You Should Start By Focusing Inward
While the need to focus outward is impossible to ignore, it shouldn't be your main emphasis. You must be aware of the environment your business is operating in, but concentrating on what you can control is more important — by focusing on the development of business processes, the most efficient use of business systems, and business organization, you can be better at what you do. If you can't solve internal issues, looking outward is pointless, so your focus should be on the things you can control versus those that you can't.
How to Do It
But how? It's so easy to get caught up in the outside world; stemming the flow from a fire hydrant would be just as simple. First, consider business to be a continuous journey that involves the need for continuous improvement. At a minimum, that involves an annual business evaluation — examining processes, testing systems, talking to employees, etc. Look for barriers and roadblocks to success, gaps in processes, places where productivity is suffering. Observe work being done, test work yourself, ask difficult questions: “Are things getting done?” and “Is there a better way?”
Only after you ensure the inner strength of our business can you afford to look outward.
Need help looking inward? At Asyma Solutions, we have a process to guide you through continuous improvement. Contact us today.