Somehow conversations about return on investment all too often focus on the financial bottom line without considering all the (sometimes elusive) pieces which are part of the equation. Yes it is always a good thing to see positive numbers in the net income column, but there is more to success then that final number at the bottom. Every stockholder loves to hear about increased revenue and a bottom line growth. But there is so much more that goes into generating consistent results then the obvious two catchalls: working harder and spending less. In the long run, it is just as important for your business to make a difference. Yes, a business needs to make money to exist, but I would suggest that a business also needs to matter. You need to create value or you will not last. You need to generate value for your customers and value for your employees, not just a positive bottom line.
Creating Value is the Secret to Getting Results
Every business needs to find their sweet spot; the place where the right people are doing the right things and getting the right results. OF course it isn’t the “what” which is a mystery so much as it is the “how”. How do we find and/or develop the right people? How do we know what constitutes the right thing to be doing right now whether that relates to product development, product delivery and service or any of the other components of a thriving business? How can we be sure that we are making a difference both for our customers and for those individuals who make the parts all come together?
Well, you could ask them. You can ask your customers what they need and what they want. You can listen to the people interacting with your customers every day because they know a great deal about how your products and your customers interact. You can give your staff the tools and the freedom to create value and give meaning to what they do and how they serve. Most people, when given the right tools and a sense of engagement in what they are doing will give you results because they are receiving value and meaning. That is real ROI.