Those who think and those who do
Our world is made up of three types of people. Those who think and spend time planning before they do. Then there are those who do and spend time fixing what they’ve done after its done. Then in the middle are those who do a bit of thinking and a bit of doing.
In business thinkers frustrate those who do and those that do tend to worry thinkers. People run good businesses when they know when to think and when to do . Achieving this is down to habit and behaviour.
At Thomas Jardine we help businesses grow by supporting small changes in their behaviour that allows a constructive focus on thinking and doing.
On it not in it
At the Guild we run the ‘on it not in it’ club where we all spend time rebalancing the time we spend on our businesses (thinking) and the time we spend in our businesses (doing). This is a real peer group of people who can genuinely support each other as we balance the need to think and do.
Be the Business and develop good habits with your peers
We must stress that the best people to encourage habits that balance your thinking and doing are those in the same boat as you. This is where peer groups and advisory boards come into their own. We are working with Be the Business to deliver both peer learning and advisory boards for the North West Family Business Programme. If you want to know more contact ourselves or any of our partners (The Family Business Network, North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce; East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce and Cumbria Chamber of Commerce). Of course some times you need more than peer support to develop an idea and this is when you need more focused time thinking about and planning for your businesses future.
Innovation Design Programme
There are numerous programmes available that allow businesses the time and space to plan and innovate. We are currently working with Lancaster University to develop a programme to encourage innovation in Cumbria’s Supply Chain. This is an exciting concept working across a supply chain and is based in part with work we did with Cumbria LEP on the food and drink sector. For more details please contact Lancaster University Management School .
Take time to talk to potential customers and fellow businesses
Programmes aren’t the only way you can share experiences with your customers and peers. Last year we spent three great days in the company of This is Cumbria. At surface level this was a Cumbrian Food and Drink Pavilion at the Farm Shop & Deli Show. Like all trade shows it allowed our businesses to connect with old and new customers alike. The extra benefit was the time that these businesses could share their experiences with peers from the local area. You get new ideas that drive your business thinking forward by talking with other businesses. If you want to join us in 2020 please give us a shout.
Sometimes you just need to see the bigger picture
Most businesses don’t get a lot of time to really step back and think about the bigger picture. Some would argue that this ‘thinking time’ is just too far removed from actually working in the business. However taking a deep breath and occasionally scanning the horizon can really help you check that the short term direction of your business matches with your long term goals. With this in mind we are working with Cumbria Forum on a two day event in September. This will use design thinking to deep dive into future relationships with customers and suppliers. If you’re interested please contact the forum.
Always leave with an action plan
Thinking and planning are essential for sustainable business growth. But they are useless without actions. So hopefully this article has made you think and you are now tempted to make a new plan. Please, please give yourself up to three actions that you will take to make sure you convert thinking into doing. Ideally share these with one of your peers ( they can then hold you to account) or if you want share them with us and we will remind you of your plans in 6 months time. Let’s all think and do and make our businesses the best they can be.