Growing your Business
“Strategy without process is little more than a wish list.” Robert Filek
When you visit different businesses, you may feel admiration that they have been around so long. Perhaps even more admiration for the way they do business, possibly at a great personal effort by the owners working long hours.
So how do they survive in a rapidly changing world? What would visitors make of your business? Would they admire your true grit and doggedness to keep the business going at all costs, or would they admire the sensible and pragmatic application of modern ideas and technology that had moved you into the twenty-first century? Of course, you know what you are doing as you are still there!
Our business is about management frameworks and not about business growth per se, however, in our day-to-day relationships with our clients we often find that they turn to us for other advice. Sometimes we have the expertise amongst our team of Directors and, if not, we usually know someone who does. Very often these people have worked for one of our clients, so we have some first-hand authentic experience of how good they are.
Hence, over the years we have met a range of business owners, leaders, managers, and others who are immersed in running businesses. For many years I thought they would all be able to think strategically. More recently I have come to question this assumption. You might think that if you have managed continual improvements in your business over a number of years, then the business will have grown. This is not necessarily true. Your business might be a better and more up-to-date business and, as a result, may even have gained a better reputation, but improvement actions on their own are really not sufficient to plan and manage the growth of your business.
Becoming a good strategical thinker may not be something you can easily learn online or at the local college. So how can you break out of your ‘tactical’ mindset and obtain the strategic skill set that will provide sustainable growth for your business? Could we help?
Can the application of the Quality Management Standard to your business help with growth? Yes, it can. Many of the tools and techniques that are used within the application of the Standard are valuable in developing plans for growth, especially in assisting with your thinking process. Also, your annual plans and objectives may also help in building expertise. Growing your business can be approached as a process, with specified outputs and metrics for measuring progress. Assessing the process for opportunities and uncertainties and determining risks are all aspects that will be valuable in growing your business and determining your longer-term exit plans.
Without a plan and a process, it will be more difficult to manage setbacks effectively and get back on track, change the timing or reset the outcomes. Resources will then be wasted, opportunities missed and effort put in for little return. Applying the discipline of a plan and a process should provide a more consistent approach with corresponding outcomes.
Creativity in Business
“Creativity is the process of having original ideas that have value” – Ken Robinson.
Involvement of others in becoming more creative becomes contagious within the team and produces a more positive culture. A team approach might also be appropriate, especially when looking for innovations. The more ideas you can generate in your team, the greater the chances of finding original ideas that have value.
Teams do not have to be permanent; they can be put together and dispersed quite quickly. In fact, this can have other advantages of spreading the approach within the culture. Teams can even be volunteers, and this will form the basis of establishing the business as a learning organisation.
“An organisation’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage” – Jack Welch.
Work with Us
If you are seeking to energise your growth plans, then contact us on:
Tel: 01284 330400
We work with small to medium size businesses across the East Anglia Region.