Jan. 16 2012 09:36 AM

With a new year upon us, and hopefully a reenergized team and a solid strategic plan in place, how can we increase our chances for success? Focus, coordination and collaboration on mission-critical processes and execution—amongst all stakeholders, especially your internal team— increases your opportunities for success.

Sometimes, we become our own worst enemies by withholding information from others within our company to protect our position, ignoring change or subconsciously staying in our comfort zones. With so much external competition and noise in the market, we have to ensure that “our own house is in order.” While this sounds simple and basic, most companies abide by the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” rule, as the status quo is more convenient than change.

There’s a reason the globallyrenowned business strategist, Michael Porter, coined the term ‘value chain.’ When products or services pass from person to person within your company, and if done orderly and efficiently at each touch point, your service or product should increase in value. If you’re not consistently (and objectively) reviewing, dedicating resources to and documenting your processes, success may elude you.

Begin by prioritizing key activities such as marketing, sales, and estimating, purchasing and field logistics, making certain that through collaboration and collective input, you’ve improved and added real value for your stakeholders. Enhancing your value chain requires committed leadership, investigating and investing in technology, and assembling a team capable of analyzing and executing the changes.

Focusing inward on key internal activities and creating highly efficient systems builds a solid foundation for the balance of your value chain partners, and paves a path for your success.

I wish you all a peaceful and bountiful New Year. EDITOR’S NOTE: Judith M. Guido is is chairwoman of Guido & Associates, a business management company. She can be reached at 818-800-0135 or jmguido@sbcglobal.net.