Do you want the successful organization you’ve built to survive when you and your leadership team are gone? If so, you must make sustainable, profitable growth, a.k.a. the Holy Grail of business, a never-ending institutional objective.
Regardless of your long-term desires for legacy or longevity, profitable growth is an operational imperative. That’s what this newsletter, the Business Growth Digest has always been about.
The first and most fundamental requirement for profitable growth is to have a clear purpose.
Having a clear purpose begins with development of three written statements.
- Your long-term goals (vision)
- The value you deliver and who it benefits (mission)
- The behaviors and beliefs you’re not willing to sacrifice (values)
When a business is clear on these statements of purpose, benefits abound.
- The seeds of engagement are sown when staff and clients feel part of something bigger than themselves.
- Difficult decisions become easier; options move you closer to your long-term goals, or they don’t.
- Planning is validated with end-goals and valued as they’re achieved.
When a business hasn’t defined and documented these existential details, problems are unavoidable.
- The desire to say yes to anything/everything forces you to serve a diverse bucket of misaligned customer needs and wants, undermining your ability to serve your best, most valuable clients.
- Common goals and objectives are hard to find. Teamwork and cooperation aren’t valued, individual wants and needs dominate.
- Culture evolves uncontrollably and what you end up with will be something you don’t want.
Do you want your staff and leadership team to treat the business like its theirs?
Do you want them to work together solving problems?
Do you want them to grow their skills & competence?
Do you want them to embrace diversity and change?
All these things are well within reach if you can create clarity of purpose throughout your organization.
Do you want to achieve them?
1. Begin by tasking your leadership team and key staff with discussing, then drafting the statements listed above.
2. Wordsmith and document them.
3. Share them with staff, preferably all at the same time and with everyone together. If that’s not feasible, do it quickly with large groups in an open forum where questions can be raised, and explanations given.
NOTE: Don’t expect 100% buy-in. Some will say “This isn’t for me.” and leave. That’s OK. If they don’t want to be part of your long terms’ plans, better they pursue theirs elsewhere and avoid disrupting yours.
4. Launch a communication effort to notify customers and vendors of your newly documented purpose and ask for their feedback.
Maintenance (giving purpose life)
5. Every time leadership or management makes a decision that demonstrates alignment with your purpose, use your newly implemented communications systems to be transparent and share how decisions connect to purpose, proving leadership strives to honor and live up to it.
6. Reap the rewards!
The ability to find your Holy Grail takes time and planning. Implementing it, living it, and maintaining it takes effort and practice. Act now to change your culture for the better, and remember, change is disruptive and naturally creates friction and resistance. You must be diligent and persevere.