Does your company have these three fundamental foundations?
Unless you are part of a hobby or lifestyle business, it is likely that the Company you are associated with talks about future growth. Afterall, staying still is the same as going backwards in today's world.
The question is, how do you go about growing it? Before we get into this, I thought it might be an opportune time to take a few steps back and reflect on what a Company really is.
For the purposes of this article, I am going to lump Business / Company / Organisation into a single definition. Yes I know, they can mean different things to different people, but let's just assume just for a moment that they are all the same thing.
A definition I like to use is...
A group of two or more people working together in a predetermined fashion for a common reason or towards common goals.
Sure there are other definitions that could be used, however for me this is the one that provides the simplest reminder of what is important. Let's break it down into its three parts: 1. A group of people working together. 2. In a predetermined fashion. 3. For a common reason or towards common goals.
Foundation 1: People working together (effectively)
Businesses need people if they are to grow. Not just employee-type people, suppliers and customers and investors are also people. But its not just about having people around you, its about them working together, collaborating and sharing their ideas and experiences. This is where the magic starts to happen.
Therefore for those who want to be successful, it is probably a good idea to learn as much as possible about how people work. The ability for a Business Leader to work with a wide variety of personality types, and work with their reactions, radically improves the chances of future growth. As does hiring people who are willing to work together with others.
Foundation 2: In a predetermined fashion.
There is a reason why the Franchise industry continues to go from strength to strength, both in terms of popularity and results. There is a reason why prestige brands are able to charge a premium for their product or service. When customers know what to expect, and they get the same high-quality experience every single time, they keep coming back, and they tell their friends. And the Company then grows.
Internally, the companies that thrive have created a predetermined way of working. It is not necessarily about having policies and procedures for every single thing - it is about having clear guidelines in place about how people should work together and how they should make their day to day decisions. Like a sporting contest, it is much easier for everyone to play with confidence when everyone understands, agrees and commits to the rules of the game.
Foundation 3: For a common reason/towards common goals.
There is a lot of talk in the business world at the moment about having a purpose, knowing your why, and having a Vision. This eventually bleeds into the topic of goal-setting and actions. Whatever you want to call it, the fact is that when everyone is clear about why they are banding together, it is better for everyone..
There are some famous leaders who believe the secret to their success is simply walking around and 'repeating myself every day', constantly reminding people of why everyone should care about turning up. Unless everyone is clear about where the Company is going, or why it exists, or which customers it is serving, or what it wants to achieve, the Company runs the risk of losing good people to competitors who can clearly articulate these things.
Aim for clarity about these three foundations
If Company Growth was easy, everyone would be doing it easily. As an intelligent Business Leader, you instinctively already know that ambiguity, vagueness and uncertainty are growth-killers. Achieving clarity is where it's at. There are many forces at work within every Company, and plenty of things to keep you awake at night. But if you can attract and retain the right people who commit to working together in a predetermined fashion for a commonly understood reason, you will be ahead of most of your competitors already!
About the author:
Jason Buchanan is the general manager for insights and innovation of Optimum Consulting Group, a trusted and leading HR consultancy firm in Australia. He is the brain behind Optimum Direct, a web portal of the best HR tools and software for small business. He is interested in finding solutions on how companies can continue to grow without destroying the things that are important to them (employees, customers, suppliers, reputation etc).