Business lemons fall far short of permitting you to deliver the greatest possible return on your team’s and your client’s mutual investment of time, competency and innovation.
Let’s not even discuss the difference between the cost of the contracted project compared with the actual cost of that project in terms of non-billable time, anxiety, delays and dysfunction.
Business lemons can be pure professional torture while you are in the midst of them.
Remember that saying? “Make lemonade out of lemons.” Your business lemonade recipe consists of Collaboration, Connection and Strategy. Let’s get to work.
Business Lemonade is made from Collaboration.
Share your mistakes? That’s the last thing you want to do when a project goes south amidst chaos and cost overruns, rework and defects.
Instead of burying what’s going on, share your “joy” with colleagues. They may have found themselves in a similar situation with that particular client or similar customer personas.
Making business lemonade out of business lemons translates into more than making the best out of a bad situation. Making business lemonade permits your team to build a business case from what has transpired. When you share your business lemons, your team will discover internal processes (yours and your customer’s) which were overlooked, non-existent, or imperfectly executed.
Turn your business lemons into business lemonade. Develop critical-to-outcome process improvements.
Business Lemonade is made from Interrelated Connections.
When you develop the workplace habit of reviewing business lemons, your workplace culture disrupts itself. Teams gain a more complete understanding of your company’s processes and practices. Everyone learns “what everyone else does” in the workplace, not just on your team.Your team connects to resources throughout the company.
Discover areas of complement and synergy within departments you didn’t even think were related to “what you do.” Aggregate benefits from insights gleaned from multiple generations of workplace folks – the people whom you previously thought you had nothing in common with.
Turn your business lemons into business lemonade. Which ingredients, team contributions, and processes were perfect resources for preparing and delivering the project outcome? Which ingredients were missing? Which ingredients reflected poor choices or less-than-perfect options?
Business Lemonade is made from Perfectly Targeted Strategy.
In order to make perfect business lemonade, you need great ingredients, expertly-blended. But who are you planning on serving your business lemonade to, repeatedly over time?
Is the number of your business lemons increasing? That scenario is a sure-fire signal that you need to take a solid look at business strategy.
Review the anatomy of your business lemons. Understand the benefits of targeting more A-List Customers. A-List client personas are better-suited to appreciate the value of your company’s core competencies and internal processes. These clients may differ slightly, or greatly, from the majority of customers who currently take up a lot of your company’s time and resources.
Turn your business lemons into business lemonade. Download this Grade Your Customers Worksheet for a quick-start how-to approach.
Develop Your Business Lemonade Recipe.
When teams: 1) collaborate, 2) thoroughly utilize inter-relationships and resources, and 3) apply into a well-thought-out business strategy targeting A-List Customers, the results are delicious.
When this process becomes second-nature, it imprints itself on your workforce’s professional DNA.
Develop your business lemonade recipe. Cook up an impressive portfolio of business outcomes that create tremendous customer success stories.
Babette N. Ten Haken is a strategist, coach, analyst, author and blogger. Her focus: the interrelationship between teams, leadership and culture in technology and manufacturing. Her Workshops and Professional Coaching Tune-Ups focus you and your teams on context, clarity and confidence in the execution of strategy. Babette’s Playbook of collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.
Image source: Fotolia.com