When I was in college I had particular lecturer who had a reputation as a bit of tyrant. One term we were unfortunate enough to have a weekly tutorial with her which started at 8.00am. That’s pretty early for a student. Imagine our horror the first week when we rocked up at 8.05am to find the door locked! Yes that was her rule – turn up on time or you don’t get in.
We spend a large portion of our working week at meetings. But how many are effective, productive and contribute to transforming business growth? Many companies start off with great intentions but find that meetings, particularly weekly management meetings, gradually slip into Groundhog Day and are an ineffective use of people’s time.
Having listened to increasing complaints about this we decided to put together some useful tips for you to consider:
There is something about the autumn term; fresh new schoolbooks, new pencils and leaves falling from the trees. For most of us, as far back as early childhood, autumn represents a fresh start.
We find it’s a time of year when many companies start planning for growth. Maybe it’s facing into the last quarter of the year or perhaps it’s the pressure of making the Q4 numbers. Or maybe it’s simply a throwback to those new schoolbooks and fresh pencils.
Growing companies take on new momentum when there is a growth spurt. The founders hire more expertise. New titles emerge. Loyal senior staff are unsure of the impact on their role. The founders don't fully explain the rationale for the changes. Responsibilities get muddied. The pecking order changes. Too many people are at meetings. Chaos ensues.
Some teams are winners. Others never quite make it. Pundits debate the reasons endlessly. For me, the main factor is leadership style.
Like many parents, I watch my children playing sport. When kids are young they need lots of advice. Most coaches start off with a directive style.
We’ve written lots about how building the right metrics into your business can help transform growth. It makes sense – focus on the right metrics or KPIs and good stuff happens. But when the good stuff happens how do we choose what to celebrate?
High performing teams celebrate success well. They intrinsically understand that to drive the right behavior you need to celebrate success. Yet we had an interesting conversation with a client’s team earlier this week.
Recently we have been doing a lot of work with companies on trying to get the right metrics for their business. Done well, implementing the right set of metrics or KPIs can be a real game changer in transforming business growth. But it’s not easy to get this right.
So here are a few tips based on our experience:
In one of our publications, Three Steps to More Referrals, we discuss the fact that most clients who receive great service are happy to recommend you – yet industry figures suggest that only 20% actually do.
Why is this? Well, the simple answer is that in most cases companies just don’t ask. We always ask for referrals. They make good business sense.
Time is the great enemy in growth companies; too much to do, lots of meetings, hard to make the right impact. What you were doing last year may not be what you should do this year.
You know the time-crunch symptoms. Everything is a rush. Last minute impatience creates stress. Procrastination and indecisiveness make 'to do' lists longer. You feel handcuffed to email technology.
Many CEO's have to operate in a split personality mode, like Dr Jekyll and My Hyde when it comes to business growth. Most of the time they are in an operational or ‘in the business’ mindset and only occasionally do they actually take time out to focus ‘on the business’.