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Questions Executives Should Ask To Avoid Pitfalls

The Clifton Review 


The Clifton Review is a tri-weekly column that examines the question of the Clifton project along with the evolution of the war between two billionaires. We covered the start of this war with articles describing the battle over easement rights, the mysterious burning of a home, the blocks to rebuilding, and countless questionable court filings.

While the 2018 series salutes fashion mogul Peter Nygård’s Golden Jubilee detailing his rags to riches story, his incredible business success over these past fifty years and an inside look at how he did it, The Clifton Review will also continue to address current affairs as they relate to the good of The Bahamas.


Questions Executives Should Ask To Avoid Pitfalls

By P.J. Malone

One of the pitfalls business leaders experience is that they set a goal and identify strategies to implement, but they fail to review their organizational components to ensure they line up with the goals and strategies. That’s not a winning formula for success. 

Fashion mogul Peter Nygard’s fifty years of success came from doing the opposite. He focused on every related part that impacted his ability to reach his goals.

Nygard has always had a goal of always being the best at everything he does. From the time he was a teenager competing in sports, to being a sailing champion in Canada, all the way to his fifty years in business. To that end, he was prepared to do what it takes to ensure his number one position.

That meant practicing free throws every day after basketball practice when all of his teammates went home for dinner. It paid off not just in basketball, but in all the sports he played in high school. Nygard received the Male Athlete of the Year award at his high school graduation.

In sailing, Nygard learned everything there was to learn about the sport that led to him winning a number of sailing championships. In business, he applies the same dedication to learning everything there is to learn and paying close attention to all of the details required for his business success.

With a goal of always wanting to be the best, it means that every part of your organization has to work in unison to maximize its effect. Peter Nygard’s strategy was to distinguish himself from the competition in every way he could. It meant looking at ways to improve all of his organizational systems.

One core approach Nygard used was to create his own fabrics. While everyone else went around to fabric fairs to choose fabrics for their upcoming seasons, Nygard would go abroad and work with the fabric makers: first learning everything there was to learn about creating fabrics, then picking out the best yarns for creating the best fabrics.

When it came time to then align his systems, in addition to training the manufacturers on his standards of production, he structured his operations to work as teams so that designers, merchandising, and production could all be on the same page in executing. Because a goal such as being the best in your business requires a high level of alignment to achieve it. 

When the financial services company—we talked about previously—decided to offer more financial products targeting millionaires, they didn’t review their systems to make sure that all of the components were supporting their goals and strategies.

Questions executives should have asked to avoid the pitfalls they encountered include:

  • What structures, systems and processes are required to achieve our goal? What structures, systems and processes are required to effectively implement our strategies?
  • What structures do we now have in place and how do they differ from the ideal that’s needed? What is the status of our system and processes, and what tweaks are needed to have them align with our goal and strategies?
  • How do our structures, systems and processes impact each other? Are they helping or are they hindering our efforts in any way?
  • What changes do we need, if any, with our human resources? What drives them toward achieving our goal?
  • How best can we support the achievement of our business goal?

These are the types of questions you must ask in your business to ensure that when you establish a business goal and identify strategies for achieving them that you can increase the likelihood of your goal being achieved.

Coming up, we’ll look at what it looks like to apply this type of a review to your organization.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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