Growing companies face a predictable problem: Over time, the business becomes too complex for its own good.
To untangle this complexity, forget over-engineered PowerPoint presentations or lengthy reports. Turn to pen and paper, and draw a picture of your business model. What does it look like at its most basic level? Make clear in your drawing what really matters to the business.
Focus on the key outcomes, whether they’re in-store sales or revenue from secondary products. Then think through and write down what causes those things to happen. With this picture in front of your team, dive into the implications for what the organization should be focusing on — and, more important, what it could stop doing. If a unit can’t clearly show a link between what they do every day and the outcomes they hope to drive, resolve to eliminate it.
The simplicity of a hand-drawn model can also help to separate out responsibilities, streamline communication, and determine decisions more quickly.