“Reflection” is growing rapidly within the process of  producing personal development plans and in “Wellbeing” programs. Its impact has been positive and significant and it will start playing an increasing and vital role within business planning.

“Success is a process not a one-off event” Richard Walters

Screen Shot 3CirclesofSuccess

The 3CirclesofSuccess are just a simple diagrammatic way of showing what could be described as the DNA of a successful owner managed business, often referred to as an SME. The reason a differentiation is made between an SME and a large corporation answerable to shareholders is because whilst there is a lot of cross over between the two, you do need to recognise that some of the driving forces for owner occupied businesses can be different to those companies where shareholder’s returns are the principle driving force.

Whilst the 4IR will have a huge impact on our lives and the way we do things we, the basic human being, will not change significantly and therefore the basic principles of life and work will not change, such as:

  • We are at our happiest when we are doing something we enjoy.
  • We will always be more enthusiastic and driven when doing something we want to do.
  • If we want something, then generally we have to make it happen.

The 3CirclesofSuccess represent each of the above, passion is the joy of doing something we love, vision is what we want to achieve and action is what we must do to make it happen. The three interlocking areas are:

  • Why the vision because of the passion, the vision fuels the passion
  • How can I make my vision come true? What actions have I to do to make it happen?
  • Motivation will be needed to carry out the actions which are on-going and at times hard work, but as you are passionate about what you are doing then it will feel less like work.

At the heart of every strong, successful company is good leadership ensuring that everyone is working towards achieving the same goal, that the sum of the whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts, holding it all together and being instrumental in developing the culture of the business.

The basic principles of the 3CirclesofSuccess as outlined above are straight forward, to turn it into a working business tool and ensure everything is aligned to give you the success you want, requires you to consider and gain a deep understanding of the fundamental, core principles of any business:

  • Your brand/brand values, what you stand for, if you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.
  • The markets you operate in.
  • The customers you serve.
  • Your economic drivers – how you are going to make the returns you need and want.
  • Having a manageable action plan.

Building the 3CirclesofSuccess model:

The passion circle:

It is in your DNA, like the colour of your eyes, it is what it is.

The vision circle includes:

  • Your brand and your brand values –what it is you stand for.
  • Your markets.
  • Your customers.

The action circle includes:

  • The actions broken down into manageable sizes, to make your vision happen.
  • A deep understanding of your economic drivers which include:
    • How you are going to make the returns you need?
    • The work life balance you desire.

The key is to always build in a clockwise direction to ensure that you move forward. However, it is vital that before you move forward with your actions you ensure that your economic drivers will produce the results that are needed. The reason for this is, because we live in the real world, and a key aspect to running a business is that we generate sufficient returns to pay our way in life. To this end your economic drivers are all powerful, and if you build a model and do not co-ordinate them to the market’s you operate in and the customers you serve to ensure they give you the returns you need they will dominate and dictate and you will effectively be building in an anti-clockwise direction and when this happens to the wheel you are effectively going backwards and the likely outcome is:

  • Your vision will become muddled.
  • your values and decisions will be dictated by finance.
  • Your messages to the market will not equal your delivery.
  • your principles will be compromised.
  • Your customers will become disenfranchised.
  • Your staff will become confused and discontent.

The reason that Economic drivers are included in the Action circle is because in order to be able to work them out you have to first of all have a deep understanding of the markets you are going to operate in and the customers you are going to serve. Knowing that your economic drivers will give you the returns you need and want will also give you the confidence to drive through your plans and in doing so help deliver strong leadership.

The work life balance is important to the extent that if it comes out of sync, whilst it may take longer for it to have an adverse impact on the business, for those that are suffering the imbalance it can be devastating and ultimately it can have just as an adverse impact on the business as when the economic returns of the business are out of sync. Asking and driving employees to maintain economic returns when the markets have changed and you are effectively asking and demanding the impossible can only have one result. Because the 4IR is likely to have a massive impact on how we do things the work life balance will be challenged:

  • When the change impacts on business returns, the first instinct is to work harder impacting on down time.
  • When the change impacts on how we do things, the changes may not always be to our liking there by having a negative impact on our attitude to work. “Teaching an old dog new tricks” is not always easy.

Whatever the change is it is important that you take control of it and don’t just let it evolve and hope that it does not adversely impact on your or your staffs work life balance.

The principles contained within the 3CirclesofSuccess model have always been used to build a successful business. What is going to become essential in this new disruptive era we are now in will be to ensure that there is a system in place where by businesses regularly:

  • Reflect on where they are and what is happening in the markets that they operate in.
  • Assess what changes they need to make to keep the 3CirclesofSuccess in sync.

they need to:

  • monitor their income streams and be aware whether they are growing, static or falling and have reasons for their findings.
  • They need to regularly consider what impact changes or likely changes could have on the market they operate in and the possible resulting impact on their business model?
  • How can they use those changes to provide a better service/product for their customers?

It is only by asking questions that you will be able to develop foresight and project.

The 4IR is going to mean that today’s businesses need to understand the challenges that it will bring to their customers, they need to ensure that what they are delivering and offering is appropriate to their customer’s needs and wants which are likely to change and keep changing. In the same way that there are unlikely to be many jobs for life, businesses are likely to have to re-invent themselves and sometimes several times.

You need to have a process that is sufficiently structured and robust that you complete the process and have a prioritised, manageable action plan, but at the same time it is flexible enough to take into consideration everybody’s views, wants and aspirations.

Remember markets are becoming ever more dynamic so Reflect then Project – RP, if you don’t and “rest on your laurels” you are likely to “Rest in Peace” – RIP. If you believe that is dramatic statement remember the statistic on the fall in the average life of a company from 1958 – 61 years to 18 years in 2015.

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