Ever wondered why you got that nasty surprise in your business due to outside events? It's a real tough one. On the one hand experts are telling you to keep scanning the horizon for the unexpected and on the other hand you must keep delivering on that great total customer experience.
Being aware of what is happening around you is called Situational Awareness. It applies both to what is happening literally around you and to the wider context or situation in which your business is operating. Situational awareness covers awareness of what is happening around you relative to where you are, where you are going (your vision) and the risks to your business from people or events around you on your journey between the two.
Your knowledge and experience do help you to understand what is happening around that might impact the successful development of your business. However, in addition to having to focusing on delivering a great customer experience, there are plenty of other distractions about.
So it helps to have a way of systematically recording and reviewing what is happening outside your business, which is where the Flow & Feedback (2F) diagram can help. BTW We are still looking at your business organisation using the Study phase of the Study-Act-Plan-Do (SAPDo) learning and improvement cycle in 2F.
In the top right hand corner of the 2F diagram above it talks of processes for understanding customers and context. A process that can give you situational awareness of your context or outside world is known as a PESTLE analysis. PESTLE is a mnemonic to help you remember to look around at your outside world under six headings. These are P for Political, E for Economic, S for Social, T for Technology, L for Legal and E for Environmental forces. Below is simplified example of this analysis from our ebook Simply Manage for a web tech company. It uses the 2F Worksheet format. It may be simplified but the idea is to start you thinking about your situation.
What forces are you noticing around your business? Have any of them changed? What might that mean for what you need to do to reach where you are heading (i.e. your vision)?
So what action are you going to take having Studied what's happening? In my next blog as we continue to explore the 2F diagram I will be looking at leadership. Once again I will draw on both my book Picture Your Business and on our new ebook Simply Manage. Picture Your Business is available from me priced £12.00+P&P. The latest version of the companion 2F Worksheet is now available free in MS Word or PDF on request from me either via a Linkedin message or by emailing email@example.com.