Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Reached a plateau? How to breakthrough to growth!


Most organisations will experience plateaus in growth at some point in their business lifecycle.  Unless you have the resources, time, energy, thinking and people to anticipate these and put strategies in place to proactively move through them - which let's face it, would make you more than super human!





The fact is that often
what has worked in the past to build business success is not always what will be needed for the future.The good news is that within every plateau there is opportunity and having the desire to grow and change is key to recognising these opportunities and doing something about them.

Get an outside perspective
The challenge can often be letting go of what has worked in the past or knowing what needs to be done differently to move forward. Extensive research shows that when people know something, it is impossible for them to imagine not knowing it. Getting an outside perspective can be key to changing things up.

Business coaching is a cost effective means of achieving great growth results for business owners. Coaching provides for an individual “thought partner” to help you confidentially think through important decisions. A business coach can help you confront the issues, develop options for managing them, challenge existing approaches and ask the difficult questions.


Change the way you Lead
When an organization is small and entrepreneurial the leader of the organization has a greater role in shaping, directing and controlling it. As new employees come on board a different leadership style may ultimately be needed – empowering and inspiring employees to “own” the business becomes key.  Often the style of leadership which enabled the organization to reach its current position will not be suitable for the next phase of growth.

Do less
Most organizations that I have worked with suffer from an ever growing to do list and when it comes to growth can get into the mindset that they need to work harder and do more to grow. Often the key to growth is to stop thinking of all the things you might do and focus on the top few activities in your business that will deliver 80% of the results. It’s essential to discover:
1.      What’s working really well for the business to grow, so you can do that more!
2.      What are your core business strengths, that you can further build on
3.      What isn’t working for you, so needs changing
4.      What three things will be important for you to focus on now

Involve your Team to change Culture
Research suggests that there is an inter-connectivity between internal and external service and profitability (Heskett et Al the service profit chain). Research is not new but many organisations still do not recognise that employees need to live the brand promise in order to both attract and retain profitable customers and create a customer culture.

Involving the team in the process of changing culture and growth planning is key to building a long term sustainable business. In order to do this an organisation needs to:
1.      Focus on values that are relevant to their customers
2.      Involve employees in the development of values
3.      Link these values to their brand
4.      Work with employees to change their behaviour in line with values 
5.      Reward people for ‘living the brand’
  

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