Most often we don’t have the time to stop, look back and learn from the road we have travelled. This process is called a reflection process. Reflection is “the way we learn from an experience in order to understand and develop practice.” – Jasper. This is when we connect the dots backwards and learn from experiences we have gone through. Reflecting on experiences is the most effective way of learning, whether personal or in business.
As a business owner, you are expected to plan your business for the year ahead. Taking the time out to reflect on what has happened in the past year gives you a much more valuable data to work with in your planning process. Look at the following 5 reflecting tips before you engage in any business planning for your business:
1. Purpose and Vision – Running a business can stop certain parts of your life completely if you are not aware. Taking the time to reflect on your business purpose and vision helps you to ascertain if the business is still in line with the bigger picture as intended. It also helps to establish if all activities you are busy with and have done in your business supports the purpose and vision of your business. This reflection allows you to rectify what has gone wrong, align what has been misaligned, enhance what has worked well and improve what needs to be improved. Reflecting on your Company Purpose and vision helps you to have a much more effective business planning that represents your existence.
2. Company Values – Most successful businesses are value-led businesses. If your business is built around values, it is crucial that you stop and reevaluate your values. One of the effective methods of doing this reevaluation is to reflect on your company values. Reflecting on values ensures that your conduct and employee’s conduct is still in line with your company’s values. Most small business owners disregard the elements of values in their businesses. For businesses who are in for a life time, values are critical elements of business continuity and sustainability. Reflecting on values and your experiences around them keeps you in sync with the behavior and practices of your business.
3. Goals – What have you achieved for the year that has passed, is it in line with what you have planned?. Identify all that needs to be improved in the planning process and have an action plan on how to improve. Reflect on the goals and how you have gone by to achieve your business goals. What have you done differently to see phenomenal results, what will you do differently in future to maintain the same level of results?. Reflect on whether your goals are still in line with your vision and purpose. Make sure that you are still pursuing the right things that will lead you to success. Reflect whether you have achieved or not, learn how you have achieved certain goals and understand why others were not achieved.
4. Your Leadership Impact – What has been your leadership impact in running your business. Remember that your business is the reflection of your leadership. Do you think you have led the business effectively to the direction in which you want it to go?. How has your leadership been to your employees and customers?. Look at what have you done well, what can you develop going forward and what are the key learnings on your leadership as a business owner. All these elements form an important part of reflecting on your leadership and its impact on the final results.
5. Personal Growth – Dont neglect to take out nuggets for yourself in all this. Reflecting on your growth as a person makes you a much better leader. Understand what has just happened and identify critical experiences and how you have dealt with such experiences. What are the take outs and areas of development, How will those make a difference in shaping your journey going forward.
Share some of the results of your reflections with your employees and help them to do the same process. They will help you with a set of extra eyes and ears in building your business going forward.