Kath Baker, a leadership and management specialist from GrowthAccelerator, says that sustainable growth means striking a balance between preservation and evolution.
It’s often necessary to let go of processes or cultures which no longer support the company’s vision and priorities. So how does a company create a growth culture?
- Develop an understanding of the organisation’s key strategy and vision across the whole workforce. This means real clarity of communication, roles and responsibilities, and measure of success. Staff need to know how they can contribute and what that contribution means to the organisation.
- Keep things simple. Although as the business grows more processes and structure may be needed, it’s important to maintain flexibility so that innovation is not stifled by bureaucracy.
- Be prepared. Management skills include being able to cope with new challenges and issues to maintain and influence longer term performance. A robust management development training program will ensure current managers are equipped with the skills to meet these challenges, as well as ensuring potential new managers, through succession planning, will support growth potential.
- Keep focused on your vision and values. It is inevitable that the distance will grow between owners/founders of the business and the managers and employees as the business grows, so it is even more important that the core values and vision of the owners remain intact, while newer and different innovation is fostered through its workforce. To do this, business owners need to be able to communicate their values and vision effectively, to provide the platform for managers to not only understand them but drive them forward too.
- Team working is the vital strength of a high growth business. Having shared goals and understanding means that less effort is needed than if staff were working in pockets of isolation. This applies to the individuals within a team, as well as several different teams working together, so nurturing cross-team working practices rather than the silo approach gives real flexibility and adaptability for the future.
- Encourage ideas and innovation from all staff, regardless of position, by making it an easy and positive experience. Many business breakthroughs have come from the shop floor, so companies need to keep sight the fact that not all good ideas come from top academic backgrounds, committees, boards or senior management!