We have recently noticed a trend that encourages people struggling with organization at home to adopt key organizational strategies used by businesses. As the thinking goes, it is possible to run certain aspects of your home like a business in order to keep things on track. Does it work? It does for some people, but not for others.
Whether or not it works for your home and family really depends on how you approach life. The only way to know for sure is to try it. To that end, this post will describe four organizational principles families can borrow from the business world. If they work for you, great.
1. Create a Family Mission Statement
One of the first things entrepreneurs do when establishing a new business is come up with a mission statement. In the simplest possible terms, a mission statement lays the foundation for why the new company exists. You can do something similar for your family.
A family mission statement doesn’t go as far as to attempt to try to explain why you exist, but it does force you to think about what it is your family wants to get out of life. Understand that business mission statements evolve over time. Your family mission statement can and should do the same.
2. Create a Plan of Action
Businesses start with a mission statement and follow with a business plan. A business plan simply lays out how, in practical terms, the company hopes to fulfill its mission. It touches on everything from financing to marketing and branding.
Again, a similar plan for your family would not be nearly as extensive. Still, consider coming up with a formal plan for how you will achieve your family mission. Perhaps part of your mission is getting involved in certain social initiatives. That’s great. Lay out practical steps that establish how your family will get involved.
3. Assess Your Resources
Businesses fulfill their missions and implement their plans using the resources they have on hand. This requires that said resources be constantly evaluated. Those tasked with evaluating must be diligent about what comes in and goes out.
Likewise, fulfilling your family mission and plan requires evaluating your resources. This is where the organizational rubber meets the road. You might go through your house and discover you have a lot of resources that are irrelevant to your mission and plan. At the same time, you are lacking some critical resources your mission and plan call for.
The solution? Rid yourself of resources you don’t need while also acquiring those resources you do need. Organize your resources in a way that facilitates your mission and plan rather than inhibiting or distracting from it.
4. Have Regular Meetings
The fourth and final principle is one of having regular meetings. In a business setting, management routinely meets to talk things over. They assess their progress and look for ways to improve. They acknowledge their weaknesses and encourage their strengths. All of this takes place over coffee and bagels (or doughnuts, in some places).
Your family can do the same thing by bringing back the traditional dinner hour. Spending time talking over how things are going during mealtime is invaluable. Mind you, it is not necessary to discuss your family mission and plan at every meal. You might not even formally discuss them once a week. But just spending the dinner hour together will facilitate the kinds of discussions that naturally lead to talking about how things are going.
These four business principles might prove to be immensely helpful for your family. If so, that’s great. If not, there are other ways to tackle organizational issues. We would be glad to help if we can.