The DNA of leading Daily Business

You may wonder why it's worth looking into the DNA of leading the Daily Business, when my main focus is leading development, change, and improvements.

It's all about having a base for comparison.

By understanding the DNA of leading the Daily Business it will become easier to see how it differs from leading more development-oriented initiatives, where they are similar and where to pay special attention.

The theory

Before we go practical in a short while let's first look at the core of leadership:

Deep down, leadership in all aspects is about building the balance between direction and action - or simply put:

WHAT to achieve


HOW to make it happen

This is: We have a goal of X (WHAT), which we achieve by doing Y (HOW).
When looking into the DNA of leading the Daily Business, we often define WHAT to achieve as targets, objectives, KPIs or other measures for 'what good looks like'. And we often express these in relation to Quantity and Time, for example to sell X.000 pcs within Y days, produce Z items within Q hours etc.

Next to the often measurable elements, there is an additional Quality aspect. This may be clearly defined, yet at other times it remains unspoken. This includes things like quality in customer interaction, 0 errors in the financial report etc.

The HOW to make things happen is about what physically is taking place in the team to ensure things gets done.
Considering the tasks happening on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, lots of these tasks are re-occuring. These re-occuring tasks are often done in more or less the same way or they follow the same pattern in the way they are done.
In other words, there is an element of process that is repeated every time the task is done. Think of closing the books every month in finance, the process of producing stuff in a factory, the steps project managers always go through when leading an IT project.
Finally, there are different controls to ensure that things happen in the right way and produce the right results. These controls include the sales report, production report, the testing of IT functionality, the reconsciliation of books in finance.
We define WHAT we want to achieve in Time, Quantities and Qualities.
And we make it happen (HOW) through Processes and Controls to ensure we get what we strive for.

How does this look in reality?

To make theory closer to reality, here are 3 examples of how the 4 elements work in reality (scroll left/right to see more):

With this framework in place, it becomes easier to understand the fundamentals of leading development, improvement, and change.

The book LEADERSHIP: LESSON ONE provides extensive details on this, yet you can get a brief overview of these dynamics here: