3 minute readPublished on February 14, 2014
James Strickland

James Strickland

CTO at PeopleGoal

What is homeostasis? A business owners perspective

In the business environment, how can you keep your business on an even keel in todays highly changeable market? This article examines some ways to maintain homeostasis in the workplace

Homeostasis (biologically speaking) is defined as:

An organisms ability to keep an internal equilibrium in response to changes in the environment If we extend this metaphor to the business environment, how can you keep your business on an even keel in todays highly changeable market? Let's examine some ways to maintain homeostasis.

Set your goals from the top down

Businesses should define their top level objectives for each year. These should be decided at the management/executive level but using input from the whole company. Once the objectives and strategy have been decided upon it's important to ensure that this strategy is communicated and understood throughout the entire organization. One of the ways you can do this is to cascade your strategy down through the business like a waterfall. Make departments, teams and individuals set their own goals in alignment to the strategy. For example, if your key business objective is to "Grow sales by 10%" then you should require that individuals set goals which directly support this business objective.

Monitor changes in the environment

Companies nowadays have so many channels of information available to them; but how do you know which signals to listen to any more? It starts with identifying the key metrics which impact your success as a business. For example, your key performance indicator can be number of customer complaints, number of returning visitors or recurring sales revenue. When you've defined your KPI's it's critical to set up a business dashboard to monitor these. If you have a repeatable and reliable business dashboard it should funciton just like the dashboard on a car or airplane - i.e. let you know when there's a problem!

Adjust your strategy

Be bold and listen to your instruments. When you have confirmed that there's a change in the macro-environment which is visible on your performance (through the dashboard) you should be brave enough to make a decision and go with it. Adjust your strategy, cascade the new strategy and go for broke. Change is good, and listening to your instruments will allow you to maintain homeostasis in your business