My wife and I attended the open dress rehearsal of "Gypsy" last month at the invitation of SCK Design.
It was my first time at an open dress rehearsal, and it was a unique opportunity to get a glimpse of how the process of staging a musical works.
During the performance, the technical director stopped and started scenes several times, fine-tuning the lighting, staging, sound and cues. It was just days before the musical was set to open, and obviously, they hadn't yet worked out all of the kinks.
The performance made me realize just how important understanding the process is for running a business. It is one thing to have a 30,000-foot view of your company -- "We manufacture braking systems and sell them to the aerospace industry" -- but it is another beast altogether to have a firm grasp of how each of the departments works together to make it all happen. Understanding the process of how your company works is imperative to its long-term success.
As a business leader, ask yourself if you honestly know what processes your company -- and employees -- use to execute your business plan from start to finish.
If you don't, you may find that your company isn't clicking on all cylinders. And that could be the reason you're not growing as quickly or efficiently as you would like.
Many entrepreneurs who have made the move from doing it all to having a staff in charge of different segments of the business -- finance, product development, product delivery, sales and marketing, accounting -- rely on those second-tier leaders to execute their vision. In practice, that is exactly the way it should be. But it is crucial to never lose sight of the processes executed by each of those people.
Michael Rabin, president of the International Angel Investors Institute -- Ohio Chapter, recently told me that while his organization's mission is to educate high net worth individuals about financing early stage businesses, he and his staff would be remiss if they didn't also help facilitate a process for evaluating and investing in those deals.
According to Rabin, developing and understanding the process is every bit as important as educating people about investing in business owners.
And it goes deeper than that. Once you, as the business leader, understand the process of your individual business, it's important to make sure your key staff members understand it as well. Do your top managers have a holistic view of your business or are they just focused on their individual responsibilities?
Executing your vision is their job, but having a clear grasp of how they fit into the organization as a whole is something successful business leaders should communicate to their staff.
Why is this important? Because the more astute people are about how their job fits into the overall goals, products or services of a business, the greater the opportunity that company has at reaching its objectives and succeeding. And isn't that why you went into business in the first place? Dustin Klein (firstname.lastname@example.org) is editor of SBN Magazine.