Anita Campbell, our good friend over at Small Business Trends, includes an article by John Wycoff, in which he describes an on-going challenge called "working on the business, not just in it." This phrase seems to have originated with Michael Gerber's "E-Myth" process. It is repeated and further described in Six Disciplines for Excellence.
In the article, John describes the essence of the challenge:
"Okay, so what would change if the owner started working on the business? First, he or she would not be the first one in and the last one out. He wouldn't necessarily come to the store every day. She would be circulating in the community making contacts with other owners of small businesses getting ideas. He would seek out organizations made up of like-minded business people in his community. She would be joining associations like the Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club, and the Lion's Club. Once a member the owner would be attending regular meetings to become an integral part of the community. The owner would be expanding his or her circle of associates and yes, even friends, outside the industry. He or she would be spending "think time," that quiet time spent thinking about the future and how to use all that knowledge bottled up inside but not exercised because of day-to-day pressures."
BOTTOMLINE: Business owners must make the transition from working IN the business... to working ON the business. It requires a formalized effort (a methodology) to learn how to execute strategy. This capability is critical - the core competence to define and execute a strategy is one that an organization needs - forever. Six Disciplines is the first complete program for sustainable execution.