Managing change in a big organisation is fraught with disaster. It’s not necessarily any easier in a young growing business. If you are the founder it starts with you. How do you feel about hiring other people and letting go? Do you trust other people to do the job as well as you? How do you feel about hiring people who are smarter than you? How do you feel about the possibility of managing “on” the business as opposed to “in” it? All tricky questions, but ones that you need to address if you are going to achieve the sustainable profitable growth for which you are striving. All tricky questions that David Mellor Mentoring is prepared to help you solve.
One key issue that arises quite quickly is keeping track of everything in your own head – as the founder and “boss” you knew everything, but all of a sudden it’s hard to know personally every prospect, client, or supplier. How do you keep tabs on everything?
There are probably four areas you need to look at:
People in a growing business
Firstly – people. It starts with you. In terms of Emotional Intelligence and Self-Awareness, how are you placed to lead by example in terms of embracing change? Can you adapt your behaviour to help others cope with change when they prefer stability? Are they as excited as you are about changes in pace, responsibility, and overall structure?
If your staff are not “on the bus” with you then it is going to be very difficult if not impossible, so how will you make it happen? Your communication with them will be vital. The failure of many change initiatives is attributed in whole, or in part, to failures in communications.
Structure in a growing business
In terms of structure, how do you need to be organised to make the business scalable and capable of sustainable profitable growth? You need to be constantly thinking about the structure you need to get through today, and at the same time the structure you need to get you to the next level. How can you become, and remain, both efficient and effective? It is important to work back from the client perspective – how do you ensure client no. 100 enjoys the same level of client service as client no. 1?
Process in a growing business
Process is very important. You know you have “cracked it” when your key staff tell new joiners “This is the way we do stuff around here”. Processes and procedures for winning clients (sales) and making them happy (delivery) need to be documented and regularly updated.
Technology in a growing business
And then there is technology. This is particularly important if your business model is “low cost” as opposed to “differentiation” or “niche” where using technology to automate may be less critical. Technology can help you streamline tasks so that your operating margins are at worst sustained and hopefully improved.
Something we will revisit is attitude to change – how do you feel about it and how do your staff feel about it? We will come back to this in a future article. In the meantime you might want to check out PRISM – a very useful tool for assessing this for a leader, and a team. Either contact them directly, or contact me and I will explain what they do.