Most fledgling and poorly functioning businesses fail to recognise and grasp how to address problems as they surface; by being well prepared on how to address the day-to-day and left field issues, you will be more likely to position yourself for success.
Most businesses think that their product is their most important asset; that their produce, or merchandise is the centre of their businesses existence; studies have proven this theory wrong – your `service` is rated by your customers above all else.
Also know that when to comes to service, understand this simple fact, without sound leadership, driven direction to assignment and a team that deliver results at a high level, even the best product and team won’t make a company successful.
You as the business owner, as a manager or as a leader must be able to keep the team performance and service on track; your ability to effectively self-manage, enables your business to provide a steady, reliable and consistently high provision of service.
You can identify and reduce potential business hazards by reducing the impact of predicted or unforeseen risks on the standard of your service delivery; How? I offer the well-defined and effective Fire Department approach – PACT…
`P` The Fire Way -Prioritising actions such as choosing which area to begin our initial fire attack.
By Prioritising we are firstly deciding whether to be Offensive or Defensive in our initial actions.
Offensive is an attack at the heart of the problem, the heart of the fire: we do so knowing that if we don’t, the people or property involved are at a greater risk. This decision is not taken lightly, it is made knowing we MUST act with authority and decisiveness.
On the other hand, a Defensive attack is a decision made knowing the people or situation cannot be entirely saved, and we risk our own safety. We understand that a Defensive approach accepts the shear intensity of the fire and currently involved losses are unavoidable, therefore set ourselves to stop it effecting or spreading to other exposures I.e. buildings.
`P` In Business – Prioritise only after you have a full understanding the situation. You may decide it is appropriate to be Offensive: a decision to attack the very heart of the problem because of the danger and risk; to nip it in the bud, so to speak.
Where over it may be the case where you need to accept the current situation and damage done, and simply stop it from spreading to other areas by taking a Defensive approach.
`A` The Fire Way – an effective Fire Department Officer in Charge (OIC) of any fire will consider alternatives; such as not fighting the fire, but may instead choose to instead simply remove fuel and allow fire to extinguish itself, as in wildfire fighting. Another alternative decision may be to decide the type of extinguishing agent or size of hose they would use, based on what is on fire and how intense the fire may be.
`A` In Business – as the OIC of your space, consider all alternatives that may extinguish the situation, rather than react immediately consider your options: sometime its best to go with the tried and tested, but then again, a different method or alternative approach maybe the best choice of action.
Know your options, know the alternatives in advance.
`C` The Fire Way – It’s all about Choosing an effective, safe and fit for purpose solution.
Effective simply means it is proven to `get the job done`. Safe, well safe speaks for itself, it is also recognised and confirmed to be acceptable in risk through your experiences.
In the Fire & Rescue industry `fit for purpose` literally translates to `designed for the reason you are about to use it for`. For example, we wouldn’t take a 19mm hose reel into an intense house fire; a 19mm hose just wouldn’t have the required output and knock down– a fit for purpose choice would be to select a 38mm or 50mm hose, this would allow us to perform effectively and achieve an efficient internal attack.
On to many occasions to save on work load, due to lack of knowledge or owing to lack of skill, I have seen firefighters select the easiest to work with hose, rather the most suited.
`C` In Business – In business to address risks, you too will need Choose the most suited, proven and effective options available; but as importantly ensure you also select `fit for purpose` tools or methods.
Don’t select a technique, process or means solely on your ability to apply only it alone; instead ensure you develop and enrich your abilities, repertoire and options to address all predicted and anticipated risk and hazards.
Should you select poorly and go with an easier option, you may not get the knock down you desire – never choose based on how easy it is. Always chose the `fit for purpose` solution.
`T` The Fire Way – All the training, theories and Size Ups under the sun don’t serve a OIC if they can’t convert it to decisions and actions in a timely manner. At a Fire Department incident, the first 10 minutes of actions or lack of decide the first 60 minutes of outcomes; that 60 minutes then defines the next 8 hours. Hence the importance of early intervention and sound undertakings – Action or Inaction defines the outcomes.
`T` In Business – Too often fear of making the wrong decision leads to no-decision therefore, no action. Not doing anything can be far more damaging then doing the wrong action. Least if you make the wrong one, it can be recognised as wrong and rectified.
Hence the military term; fire for effect, then after the initial shot, for effectiveness and accuracy they make adjustments.
PACT has effectively served the Fire Department and its managers for many years, we have continually trained our leaders and troops to its methods; PACT ensures sound effective results in a timely manner. PACT can also serve you in your day-to-day business decision making, but even more so at the heat of the moment where quick, decisive and effective assessment is required to set a solid foundation and go forward.
To enable a successful business model, you must be able to keep the team on track; it is up to you to ensure a steady, reliable and consistently high provision of service.
You lead the team into and out of the fires.
To run a successful business that prides itself on effectual and thorough service, make a pact to use PACT.
Dean S Hawkins