I’ve been thinking recently about the word “enable”.

I believe that there are five steps to success:

  1. Where are you now?
  2. Where do you want to go?
  3. How will you get there?
  4. Take action
  5. Evaluate

No one gets things right the first time round. In practice, excellence is a constant cycle of these steps, especially steps 3 to 5. I imagine that most would agree with these fundamental steps.

Every business should have a vision that defines the core objective of the company and what success will look like. Invariably, that vision revolves around the customer and “doing the right things”. But how often do we forget the importance of the word “enable” throughout the entire process?

Where are you now?
To truthfully evaluate its current position, a business needs to enable the right people to honestly appraise the activities and not be afraid of identifying weakness as well as strength.

Where do you want to go?
The vision of any business should be about pushing boundaries and thinking big. But how many organisations really enable their people to think in this way? In a previous blog, I said that the winners will be those who can throw traditional thinking out of the window. How often does that happen?

How will you get there?
5 small words for a huge task – defining a strategy. An effective strategy identifies the detail. It establishes a plan to turn vision into reality through meaningful action. This is where technology plays an integral part. This is where IT specialists need to enable the business to understand the capabilities of technology. They need to enable business leaders to think strategically about IT as a generator of value not just of cost.

Take action
Success is achieved through action not words. Delivery is the only thing that really counts with customers. Technology has to successfully enable change – and that change has to enable customers to interact more effectively.

Evaluate
Evaluate the action – the measure of success. Evaluation is essential; nothing will be perfect the first time. Companies need to be brave enough not only to make mistakes, but to make changes quickly when they realise that something is not working. Again, this makes demands both on people and technology. Business owners need to feel enabled to honestly evaluate outcomes and recommend change. The technology has to enable that change quickly and cost-effectively.

Honesty and integrity are essential values for longstanding success. Our view, covered in previous blogs, is that trust is hard to win but very easy to lose. Trust starts with a simple premise – the people involved have to do the right things. But the underlying truth seems to be – and here is that powerful word again – for excellence and success, we need to enable each other to identify and then do the right things.