Growth is the lifeblood of a business’ continued success. As marketplace and client expectations change, the services we provide should evolve to accommodate their needs. So, enabling a culture of growth is the best way for every member of a team to improve your business, both on the inside and out.
“That’s the way we’ve always done it” can be the enemy of an enduring business, as newer, more agile businesses adapt better to what your clients need. By the time your business has instilled an open, growth mindset (if it ever does), you might always be playing catch up with your competitors.
The likes of Blockbuster and Kodak perhaps fell victim to this type of attitude, but we see it all the time with all kinds of businesses. So after understanding the ‘why’ of growth, what can we do to encourage it?
Attitude and Purpose
A positive attitude to growth should be part of a functioning business strategy. A culture of growth only exists when your team knows they are afforded the time to explore new ideas that can improve your business operations or services for your clients. So, it’s crucial that ideas from all members of a team are taken seriously, as any idea has the power to be relevant and game-changing.
Encouraging attitudes towards growth begins with giving a purpose to this kind of work. A team needs a belief that they are working to a shared vision. This goes beyond having your mission statement written on your office wall and is more about having key principles to work by. Where possible, giving people ownership of areas for growth and feeding back into the team will drive home their sense of purpose and contribution to something bigger.
Clear and Defined Objectives
Whilst the right attitude to growth is important, how you foster growth can be the difference between measurable success and wasting too much time on projects that never see the light of day.
When looking at the areas of business you want to improve, or the services you want to introduce, you need to define how this can take place alongside your normal day to day objectives. Who will be the key stakeholders in research and development projects? How long should they spend on these elements? How will the feedback loops work and what results are you actually looking for?
New innovations need to be beneficial to the company and you need to know how much time to commit to a project. If there’s measures to follow, you can set time aside, review progress and if it doesn’t work, chalk it up to experience and be more knowledgeable for it.
The collective knowledge within a business grows from shadowing and learning from one another. Knowledge sharing is crucial to maintain business as usual operations as often as possible. This reduces knowledge bottlenecks when people are missing from the business for any reason.
So, when you have questions on how certain aspects of the business might be improved, it’s worth bringing people directly involved with those tasks into the focus group. They are the key to really understanding the issues within the business, and involving them in the strategic process will reduce resistance of implementing new ideas. This is also helpful in removing the barrier of ‘assumed ways of working’.
Utilising Your Current Environment
Where you are right now is a great benchmark to work from. For example, you could assess additional services or upsells for your clients or their lookalikes.
Syphon new ideas off and pitch them to your most open and dedicated customers, or maybe to a select pool of new customers. That way, you haven’t radically changed a core service that was initially the reason people bought from you in the first place, you’ve tested new ways of making good works happen, with honest customer feedback.