We hear a lot about work-life “balance” yet for me this is the wrong focus. It implies two things in different “pans” on either side of a ‘judgment machine’ that tests if we do too much of one, too little of another. Especially when we own the business; the dividing line is at best blurred, but often nonexistent. Hence, I talk about “work blend“.
A healthy work blend benefits you individually, but also the organization as a whole. It requires strategic design. The business must develop a plan that not only focuses on satisfying the customer yet remains sustainable in the long term.
The Business Model
Smart business design recognises the importance of great work blends. The most successful have profound clarity about the business model, both as it is today and as it will become. That clarity ensures that work remains aligned to the strategic design and direction of the firm. Projects gain clear leadership, and their timing is understood. They take account of the needs of everyone involved, at work, at home, and socially in a blend that motivates and inspires.
Developing a robust business model should take into account, at least, these factors:
- A clear statement of the core value of the firm.
- An understanding of where value sits and for whom.
- Who and what is needed to create that value efficiently.
That ensures that you focus on the things you are passionate about delivering well. You will also make sure that you do that for customers who recognise and value the work. As your skills are properly brought to bear the output takes less time and is more profitable, freeing you to improve your work blend.
When we first became involved with our client, the team were frantic, and often working late into the evenings and at weekends. The work they did wasn’t making much of a difference, and their best clients were leaving. Using the Business Clarity Model they recognised a need to focus more on their ideal customer type.
That corrected some costly mistakes in the past that had taken them into markets they did not understand and in which they could not deliver the quality that was needed. By refocusing, they were able to unlock sustainable profits and reduce the workload per client. With a better work blend, they made more money, had more time and felt far less stressed.