December is right around the corner, and with it, the year end. But you don’t have to wait until the new year to kick start your practice. In both my practice and my other business ventures I’ve discovered that small changes can lead to significant innovations. Keeping that in mind, here are three tips you can take to kick start your practice into the following year.
1. Evaluate Your Successes and Failures
Take some time to consider the status of your practice as it is now. First, ask yourself what mistakes have you made leading to where you are now? Next consider what did you did right. Create a list of five mistakes you made while running your business in the past year and five successes you’ve achieved. Understanding your mistakes and why you made them will help you avoid making them again. Understanding your successes and how you brought them about will help you understand how you can repeat them.
Make these evaluations based upon as much information as you can obtain by encouraging feedback from clients, employees, and colleagues alike. In fact, if you have a partner or employees, consider scheduling a meeting to discuss these issues. The meeting can focus, in part, on evaluating where you are and brainstorming ideas for where you can go. In business, as in life itself, sometimes a single realization can lead to changes that can change the future course of your entire practice.
2. Experiment With The Ways You Run Your Practice
Once you’ve already evaluated your past successes and failures you can use that information to help innovate your practice. In some cases, you can implement immediate changes with reasonable expectations for how those changes will affect your business. In most cases, though, the best options aren’t necessarily obvious. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ways of running your practice, different ways of structuring your staff, and/or different methods for acomplishing the day to day affairs of your business. Indeed, running a successful business should always be considered a work in progress. After all, even small changes can lead to significant growth in your practice.
3. Allow Your Employees To Innovate
It’s not only important to be flexible and innovative in the ways in which you run your practice, but you should allow your employees the room to experiment and innovate as well. Indeed, this has become official policy at Google, for example, which implemented a 70/20/10 rule. Employees are expected to dedicate 70% of their time to their core job tasks, 20% of time to projects related to those core job tasks, and 10% of their time to projects unrelated to core job tasks. Gmail was one of the projects born from this policy. Providing this freedom to your employees encourages innovation with the added bonus that it will help prevent your employees from burning out.
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