Business advice often focuses on minimising and overcoming weaknesses in order to improve performance - and that's a valid approach - but just as important is to develop our strengths even further. What are some ways we might do that?
Think about how much knowledge and expertise you already possess. Imagine you are writing your CV for a dream job and list out all the skills and abilities you have. You will be surprised just how much knowledge you have acquired over the years. It will also become apparent where your strengths lie. You should think wider than just skills, though. Think about the value of the resources in your organisation's that you have built up or contributed to -
Processes - all the functional knowledge about your profession, systems, wisdom, operational expertise - how you deliver your service/product, etc.
Product or service - everything along the chain from research and development, in-depth product knowledge, production, marketing and market/industry trends, and distribution.
Intellectual Property - specific knowledge or 'trade secrets' are a potential source of key strengths that you keep within your company.
Business Relationships - consider your strengths in networking and maintaining these vital business resources. Although intangible, the relationships with our suppliers, vendors, clients and staff have a huge impact on our business success.
Prioritise your top five strengths that you would like to develop further.
What actions can you take to develop each strength? Undertake more training? Offer a wider range of services that use them? Teach them to other people? Write a book or article about them? Give yourself a timeframe.
Undertaking the above activities on a regular basis is empowering and motivational. Kind of like "accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative". It's hard to go wrong with that approach to life and business!
However, you can only do so much on your own in business. The effectiveness of anyone's strengths is always enhanced and magnified by working together with others who have complementary skills. The synergy of these interactions can create an environment where innovation thrives, and this in turn creates a culture that helps each team member be more creative and pioneering. So, by using complementary strengths to advance your skills, you can dramatically boost your capabilities, thus building around your strengths.
So: are you capitalising on your strengths? If you find it difficult to figure out, try a different approach. Ask yourself some questions, like: "Which product is our strongest seller and has the least amount of issues associated with it?" Can you figure out how to accelerate the production of your star product/s to maximise sales? Or, is there another geographical region you could tap into?
Or maybe you have an employee who is great with clients and building relationships - how can you capitalise on that? Can he/she move into relationship management? Maybe he/she is in Technical but should really be in Sales?
If you need guidance in this area, we can help out. We are experienced at undertaking SWOT analyses for our clients, so contact Lisa at (03) 577 7128 or email her.