The strive for profit can become a constant pressure in business. If you’re in a position of management or leadership, you’re probably familiar with the ever present need to push for growth.
What strategies actually work to not just boost sales and increase profits, but to raise the value of a business, to raise the capital?
Of course, you need to be attuned to the market place and ensure that what you’re selling, people want to buy. But this kind of thinking can also turn into a treadmill of external focus. Lose sight of what’s happening inside your organization, and you lose a golden opportunity to raise capital “from the inside out.”
Managers and business owners have an innate sense of this. But there can sometimes be a problem with the language. There are conversations happening in board rooms and leadership meetings that circle around this sentence: How do we get our people to step up?
It implies that people are unmotivated or lacking in some way. And perhaps, in some cases, this is true. But more often than not, you’ll find organizations full of talented, hard working people who want to stretch themselves but aren’t given the right opportunities or tools.
But we provide a whole of PD for our staff—they’re always off doing some course or another!
That’s great. Training courses, coaching programs, external workshops, internal team building exercises—these all provide an experience of learning for staff. They might learn how to spot an opportunity or take the next step on their career ladder.
But this kind of one-off learning usually produces one-off or limited results.
For far reaching results, that start to actually shift the culture of your organization, you may need to implement fundamental changes to learning. The key is you have to teach people how to think differently and think creatively.
This can be a huge challenge for some workers who have always played a passive role and been taught (implicitly or explicitly) to obey orders, wait for instructions and toe the line.
Instilling a creative leadership mindset in your staff will give your organization a powerful edge. There are two very successful ways you can approach this kind of shift:
1. Implement an Emerging Leaders Program.
I’ve found this brings extraordinary results. Tap the people in your organization who show high potential talent and provide them with the chance to learn in a new way. The Emerging Leaders Program I’ve developed uses a combination of master class training sessions, 1:1 coaching and peer to peer guided facilitation supported by more experience leaders in the business.
This environment of collective energy and shared knowledge gives participants unique insights and can accelerate creativity and innovation. I recently ran an 8 month program with a company called Ridley Agriproducts. The aim was for each Emerging Leader to create a new offer or enhance an existing offering to their customers and stakeholders. The return of these individual commercial projects was reviewed and showed substantial results. As impressive as the commercial success was, just as important was the very clear increase in autonomy each participant gained.
2. Do some intensive focus work with your Leadership Team
Great leaders lead by example. It’s crucial that you boost the skills and confidence of your leadership team on a regular basis. I worked recently with a large manufacturing company in Australia. We focussed specifically on developing their senior leaders to connect and engage with members and stakeholders in a more authentic way.
The commercial goal was to convert customers to clients. The great success of this initiative was a group led shift in language that named the outcome as: “casual customer to contented clients.”
Lifting the capability of your team—at management level and throughout the organization—is one of the most important and successful ways to raise capital. Once they truly understand and are enabled and empowered to stretch their own minds, the way they think, they will strive for ever increasing potential. This ultimately leads to raising financial capital. And the flow on is ongoing as people see and reap the rewards of learning to be more innovative.
Featured photo credit: structuredbusinessfinance via structuredbusinessfinance.com