In my prior post I listed 15 business challenges and received another eight (8) and counting additional ideas from the crowd. When I wrote the list I purposely stated similar problems a few different ways to see if they would form “bunches” in the responses.

Based on preliminary feedback (I’ll post an updated list later in the summer), the following are the top 5 statements/challenges:

  1. Hiring good people and long-term employee retention; having the right people.
  2. The people in the business are so busy with serving customers and keeping the business alive they don’t have time to work on the business, let alone a strategic plan.
  3. Business plans are made once a year (or less) and then seem to disappear off the radar.
  4. Our business needs to become more of a learning organization; one that constantly reflects, learns, implements, measures and repeats in continuous cycles.
  5. People are busy every day, but the important long-term work keeps slipping

And one more that was close:

  • Communication of the strategic vision from the board of directors to the management team and down to front line workers is not as good as it could be. Visibility the other way is almost non-existent and filtered through a select few.

Conclusions So Far

The results are far from unanimous; every business has a different top 5. This is not surprising since all businesses are in different stages, etc. and facing different challenges. I expect as we talk to more organizations, the list may change slightly.

This exercise has been very useful and we will continue this process of crowd sourcing, including getting more sophisticated at it.

After all, we are building these tools to help others, not just ourselves… and knowing who will relate to our solutions the most is invaluable as we start to reach out with our mission:

“Help people achieve their full potential; including living a fulfilling life.”