A client of mine, who is the visionary owner of a small to medium-size business (SME), was constantly coming up with new ideas, as you would expect from a visionary. Every now and then, one of these ideas would prove to be a real gem that took the business to the next level.
The problem is that many of the other ideas were not aligned with their Core Focus™ and would distract the business away from what they were good at. SME’s cannot afford to deviate away from their Core Focus.
What is the Core Focus?
The Core Focus is “what you are.” It is your core reason for being. The reason that everyone in the business gets out of bed every day.
It is a combination of your:
- Purpose, cause, or passion – which is your driving force
- Niche – the thing that differentiates you as a business or the thing that you do better than any other competitor
SME’s have to stay laser-focused on what they do well. If they get distracted by the visionary’s unfocused ideas, it can take the business down some very dark and costly holes.
The benefit of having a Core Focus
When you have clearly articulated “what you are” as an organization, you can use it as a decision-making benchmark tool.
Every time the leadership team needs to make a decision as to whether something is on or off-focus, they need to ask themselves: “Is this idea aligned to, and will the idea enhance, our Core Focus?”
If not, drop it. It will just distract the team and waste time, energy, and money.
One of the key roles of the Integrator and the leadership team is to use the Core Focus as a guiding star to help them sift out and make happen the ideas that are real gems, and to discard the ideas that will take the business off its focus.
“BMW the ultimate driving machine,” is a great example of an organization with a laser-focused Core Focus. Every time BMW is faced with a decision as to whether to add an enhancement to their cars, they ask themselves, “Will it improve the driving experience?”. The answer for BMW is simple: If it will not improve the driving experience, don’t do it.
For example, if BMW had to decide between adding a safety feature versus improving the feel and handling of the car for the driver’s pleasure, they will always focus on enhancing the driving experience as their priority because that is their passion.
A real estate client said to me once that they are the same as every other real estate agent. “We all just sell houses,” he said. I responded by saying, “If you are no different from all of the other real estate agents, then try telling that to your clients and see how they respond. Your clients will either ask you to drop your fee or will fire you and look for a better agent.”
So, it is important that you have a Core Focus that truly represents “what you are.” Therefore, when you are determining your Core Focus, you need to take the time to dig deep and discover the real reason you are in your business.
Ask yourself what the difference is you are trying to make to benefit your customer. When you think you have determined your Core Focus, push yourself a little further and ask, “Why is that important?”
Eventually you will reach the real core that will guide your focus moving forward.
- Watch Mark O’Donnell describe the 8 Questions Your Leadership Team Should Answer to help you clarify your company vision
- Download a copy of the EOS V/TO™ to help you clarify, simplify, and achieve your vision
- Learn to make decisions faster and better by downloading a copy of our free eBook, Decide!