Over the past quarter-century it’s become commonplace to say that the rapid evolution of technology and globalization have changed the business landscape. But have they? According to author and business coach Howard M. Shore, the basics of good business haven’t changed.
Shore’s book, The Leader Launchpad, explains a system he claims will optimize any business by concentrating on five fundamentals: Stewardship, Human Capital Management, Strategy, Planning, and Accountability.
Stewardship is about giving your business a clear purpose and a culture to support it. Human Capital Management rests on the principle that employees are not “resources” to be expended but assets that grow in value over time if properly nurtured. Strategy is about steering your business toward its target, taking into account your competitors, business model, and need for sustained growth. Planning is about developing long-term objectives and prioritizing what you can do today to realize your goals tomorrow. Accountability is about ensuring that everyone takes responsibility for their actions. Together, these five areas comprise Shore’s “Business Acceleration System.”
Many of Shore’s recommendations, for example “replace poor managers” or lead with integrity (“Do the right thing always”), are commonsense—and often easier said than done. But what Shore contributes is a broad perspective that sees your business as a complete system. It’s a holistic approach that requires patience when many companies can’t see past the current quarter. As Shore writes, “It takes discipline to work on the business rather than in it.”
Shore claims that any business can plug what he calls “leaks” that leave businesses mired in mediocrity. He has identified costly issues that are invisibly costing businesses money each day, such as employees who are not engaged and are either just going through the motions or even thwarting your goals.
Written in a clear style that avoids the confusing jargon in many business books, Shore’s offering will be helpful for leaders of small to medium-sized businesses looking for a leg up.