The SmartCompany Olympics challenge: 400 metres – Take a lap of your business

feature-200m-lapFor Australians, the 400 metres track event has become forever linked to Cathy Freeman after her gold medal performance at the Sydney Olympics.

You’ve probably been reliving the race in your mind every time you see that Coles advert on television while you’re watching the Olympics, so why not take some inspiration from the event.

Rather than sprinting a lap of the athletics track, take a lap of your business.

Why not spend a day visiting every part of your business, from administration to sales to finance to procurement and find out each department’s challenges and opportunities.

David Knowles, partner at Pitcher Partners, told SmartCompany he recommends to clients that they have a rotating program of making sure that every department reports back at least once a year.

“Having that formal rotation policy so everybody gets in front of the decision-makers so they can report on challenges and opportunities is important,” Knowles says.

Knowles says having an overview of all the different areas of the business allows a “more holistic” approach to running a business.

“Gains or improvements in one area of the business can spillover into other areas so you have a more cohesive approach to running the whole business,” he says.

“The other thing you get from this is the opportunity to have different departments talking to each other better, so communication can really be enhanced and that becomes more important as the business gets decentralised.”

Knowles says regular visits to all areas of your business are important in today’s fast moving business environment.

“The pace of change has got faster so things don’t stay the same in any environment anymore. So you can’t neglect any part of your business for too long. That is the main thing, keeping your finger on the pulse.”

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