Balancing Day-to-Day Operations With Future Potential

Julie Shenkman
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As many as 70 percent of all startups fail within their first 10 years, and even companies that survive beyond that point face daily challenges from competition and technological improvements to try to remain relevant. Human resources and upper management personnel need to learn to balance current performance levels with the future potential of the firm so the company stays on track for a growth pattern as opposed to stagnation.

How do firms achieve this balance? A concept known as vitality comes into play. Some businesses focus too much on current performance and daily responsibilities without developing a plan to explore new options and different revenue streams in the future. Other firms do the opposite — they innovate first without being able to deliver products or services to customers.

Vitality happens in an efficient, well-run organization. Businesses must adapt quickly to changing business climates when disruptions happen and chances to the current performance occur. Firms should prepare to change things in the middle of a project, especially If something doesn't seem to be going according to plan. An agile company adapts quickly to meet the needs of customers.

When planning for the future, companies need to fail fast, learn from mistakes and move forward before customers flee to the competition. To achieve vitality, an organization has six key elements to nurture.


Good leaders execute effectively, stay on top of trends and communicate to teams to get things done. The leadership team balances making weekly goals with moving in new directions once the business climate changes.


A company with great performance currently has the right talent to achieve its goals. HR assists in employee development so that workers get the right training while allowing employees to thrive in the working environment. Proper talent instills confidence through the entire company once everyone sees that goals are met.


Firms need to nurture customers as one aspect of current performance. Otherwise, startups never develop a loyal customer base that returns to buy products and services again and again.


How efficient does a company run things? Having a streamlined, efficient process from research and development to market is crucial to how a company adapts to changes. Businesses must have very efficient quality control, innovation, customization and adaptability.


Offerings change over time as businesses adapt to customer needs. A startup usually delivers one product or service very well in its current state, but as the company grows, customers may demand newer products or services as a future potential. Specific offerings may hurt a firm over the long term.


Customer service ties all of this together. How do companies treat their most important assets? Customer loyalty comes from value beyond just the price tag of a product or service. Employees, from the C-suite to entry-level workers, must know how to treat customers properly to thrive.

Balancing current performance with possible future gains is tricky, but businesses that find the right mix have a better chance of surviving beyond their first decade. All it takes is a good leadership team that examines the right data and inspires employees. Once that is established, an entire firm can move forward in the right direction.

Photo courtesy of Sira Anamwong at


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