Getting into the Scaling-Up Mindset | The Melting Pot Newsletter | #62
10 WAYS TO BUILD A SCALING-UP MINDSET
There’s no doubt about it. Scaling-up is hard work. It requires a sea change in management thinking and a whole new set of skills. It’s as much about mindset as it is about actions and the learning curve can be pretty steep.
But there are ways to make it easier. Having scaled two UK companies from zero to £30 million in just five years, I know the tips and techniques that work. Small things that will help you implement the change you need and keep you on track. One thing’s for sure. Will-power won’t cut it. It will run out way before you get anywhere near your destination. You need to be deliberate about forming new habits and working at them consistently until they become second nature.
So, what are the things that I’ve seen work, time and time again? How do you develop good habits and make them stick?
It All Began With Coining the Phrase ‘Conversion Rate Optimisation’
What’s your biggest claim to fame? Is it that you coined one of the most prolific phrases in modern web lexicon? Because it is for this week’s guests, Dr Karl Blanks and Ben Jesson. Co-founders of Conversion Rate Experts, they are credited with coining the phrase ‘Conversion Rate Optimisation’ (CRO) back in 2007, to encapsulate the methodology their agency used with websites.
Today, they’re still in the business of making websites convert and have written a book ‘Making Websites Win’. They run one of the leading agencies for CRO, counting among their clients behemoths such as Apple, Google and Facebook.
“I think markets mature to a point where there’s an understanding that, to be a successful web business, you have to put your customers and your visitors at the heart of what you’re doing. That’s where conversion rate optimization comes in.”
Karl and Ben’s typical clients are businesses generating more than £1m in revenue online annually, but that doesn’t mean that their methodology or their advice can’t help small businesses. Far from it. Because all websites can benefit from improvements in CRO.
In this episode, Dom talks to them about tips and tricks they’ve learned along the way, the importance of UX, understanding customers’ needs and why they not only wrote their book but then turned it into a free 10 episode podcast.
P.s. the guys have kindly offered a free digital copy of their book, Making Websites Win, available to all The Melting Pot listeners. To claim your copy, simply click on the URL in the links section.
Dan Harris is a fidgety, sceptical ABC newsman who had a panic attack live on Good Morning America, which led him to something he always thought was ridiculous: meditation. He wrote the bestselling book, “10% Happier,” started an app – “10% Happier: Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics” – and now, in this podcast, Dan talks with smart people about whether there’s anything beyond 10%. Basically, here’s what this podcast is obsessed with: Can you be an ambitious person and still strive for enlightenment (whatever that means)?
Do you feel like your boss listens to you? When I give talks to executive education students, I often pose that simple question to the group. Usually, only about one-third of them raise a hand — a grim reminder of how listening is becoming a lost art. We are communicating more over phones and computers, and in the age of social media, the default impulse is becoming “Look at me!” rather than “Tell me about you.” Many conversations seem like serial monologues, with one person talking while the others simply wait for their turn to say what they want to say.
Recognition and appreciation. We often use these words interchangeably, and think of them as the same thing. But while they’re both important, there’s a big difference between them. For leaders who want their teams to thrive and organizations that want to create cultures of engagement, loyalty, and high performance, it’s important to understand the distinction.
In the 16 years since the launch of Net Promoter Score (NPS), the metric’s founder Fred Reichheld has seen the system implemented with “extraordinary creativity”, while also being terribly misused. In essence Reichheld, a partner at consultancy Bain & Company, describes the NPS system as “very intuitive” in its ability to get to the heart of whether your brand has enriched or diminished a customer’s life. One question – would you recommend this brand to your friends or family, is sufficient to get a pretty good read on customer sentiment, argues Reichheld.
Great managers do not help people overcome their weaknesses. They do not believe that each person has unlimited potential. They do play favourites and they break the ‘Golden Rule’ book everyday. This amazing book explains why great managers break all the rules of conventional wisdom. The front-line manager is the key to attracting and retaining talented employees. No matter how generous its pay or how renowned its training, the company that lacks great, front-line managers will suffer. Great managers are the heroes of this book. Vivid examples show how, as they select, focus, motivate and develop people, great managers turn talent into performance. Finally, the authors have distilled the essence of good management practice into twelve simple questions that work to distinguish the strongest departments of a company from all the rest.
As president and then CEO of cloud provider Rackspace, Lanham Napier grew the company from $5 million to over $1 billion in revenues and $5 billion in market value while creating thousands of jobs. A lifelong Texan, he grew the company in his home state, overseeing the development of new headquarters in San Antonio and leading the company’s IPO. When Microsoft, Amazon, and Google entered the industry in force, everything changed… including Lanham’s relationship with Rackspace executives and the company’s board of directors.
MEANINGFUL ACTION FOR MONDAY
Ask these two questions about everyone in your team. ‘If they resigned tomorrow, would I be sad?’ ‘Knowing what I know about them, would I hire them again tomorrow?’ If you answer ‘No’ to either of these questions, then you have someone on your team who needs to move on. Make a decision and take action today. Unlike fine wine, bad people don’t get better with age. People just don’t change.