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Position your business for growth

Why your growth strategy needs focus and depth on attributes

Let me read your mind for a moment. I’m trying to guess why your business is different from your competitors. Possible answers are popping up. You’re structured differently. Your people are more innovative. You’ve got better offices. You’ve been around for longer. Am I close?

These may be true, but will your customers give a shit about them? All of these attributes are through your lens, not your customers’. They’re internal things. You need to look externally.

It all boils down to focus and depth around your attributes. To have a truly differentiated strategy, you need to zone in on the one thing you can do better than any other business. If you want your company to scale quickly, this is vital. Here’s why.


Smart Growth Leadership and Personal Disruption with Whitney Johnson

The fundamental unit of growth in any organisation is the individual. 

The more you understand about how to respond to your own deep longing to grow, the greater your capacity to grow your people, to grow your organisation, says Whitney Johnson, co-founder of tech-enabled talent development company, Disruption Advisors.

Disruption Advisors supports people and organisations through coaching, training, and technology, empowering innovation through disruption. Whitney’s latest book, Smart Growth, explains if you grow your people, you grow your company. 

In this episode of The Melting Pot, Whitney talks about the S curve model and what it means to you as an individual, how to start one, how to envisage it, how to get up when you might get stuck. 

And by way of an example, we use Whitney’s personal journey along her own S curve of public speaking. So, if you’re looking to grow your organisation, your team, or individually, download and listen to Whitney today.


Steve Blank Podcast

Steve Blank, eight-time entrepreneur and now a business school professor at Stanford, Columbia and Berkeley, shares his hard-won wisdom as he pioneers entrepreneurship as a management science, combining Customer Development, Business Model Design and Agile Development. The conclusion? Startups are simply not small versions of large companies! Startups are actually temporary organizations designed to search for a scalable and repeatable business model.


How to Move from Strategy to Execution

Three out of every five companies rate their organization as weak on strategy execution. When you dig into the potential barriers to implementation, there is a general lack of understanding of the various factors at play, resulting in the inevitable managerial justifications — “poor leadership,” “inadequate talent,” “lack of process excellence,” etc. This article suggests three key steps to build the right execution system: 1) a good strategy, 2) the right organization, and 3) effective management.

It’s Time to Streamline the Hiring Process

Companies are scared of making bad hires, but as a result they have designed bloated, bureaucratic hiring processes. The treatment has become worse than the disease. Companies can strip waste from their assessment process by reducing the number of interviews, replace consensus hiring by giving one hiring manager decision rights, asking interviewers to give numerical ratings rather than impressionistic assessments, and change your culture to reward those who spot great hires as opposed to penalizing the occasional mistake.

How to Build Confidence About Showing Vulnerability

When leaders reveal their trip-ups and failures, they are seen as more approachable and less arrogant. But being vulnerable isn’t easy. In this article, the author explains how to show “confident vulnerability” and offers three ways to open up: normalise learning, share crucible moments, and show moral humility.


Million-Dollar, One-Person Business by Elaine Pofeldt

The rise of one-million-dollar, one-person businesses in the past five years is the biggest trend in employment today, offering the widest range of people the most ways to earn a living while having the lifestyles they want. In The Million-Dollar, One-Person Business, Elaine Pofeldt outlines the pathways to joining this entrepreneurial movement, synthesizing advice from hundreds of business owners who’ve done it. She explains how to identify, launch, grow, and reinvent the business, showing how a single individual can generate $1 million in revenue–something only larger small companies have done in the past. Both inspirational and practical, this book will appeal to all who seek a great worklife and a great lifestyle.


Making conversation by Fred Dust

Conversations are one of the most fundamental means of communicating we have as humans. At their best, conversations are unconstrained, authentic and open—two or more people sharing thoughts and ideas in a way that bridges our individual experiences, achieves a common goal. At their worst, they foster misunderstanding, frustration and obscure our real intentions. How often do you walk away from a conversation feeling really heard? That it moved the people in it forward in some important way? You’re not alone. In his practice as a designer, Fred Dust began to approach conversations differently. After years of trying to broker communication between colleagues and clients, he came to believe there had to a way to design the art of conversation itself with intention and purpose, but still artful and playful. Making Conversation codifies what he learned and outlines the four elements essential to successful exchanges: Commitment, Creative Listening, Clarity, and Context. Taken together, these four elements form a set of resources anyone can use to be more deliberate and purposeful in making conversations work.


MEANINGFUL ACTION FOR MONDAY

Get rid of the Account Manager title

Many companies have account managers. They shouldn’t.
So often, they spend 10 to 25% of their time selling, and they’re not very good at it and don’t like it. They’re not salespeople. So, focus the sales effort in the sales team and get rid of the title Account Manager. Have customer success teams and sales teams separately.
And give them very, very clear goals so that the customer success team won’t do any selling. Instead, they should be responsible for Net Promoter Score and renewals. That will undoubtedly drive some account growth. Then, your sales team will be the one that finds new business opportunities in existing clients or new accounts.


Upcoming events

Business Strategy Online Course – Harvard Business School

Business Strategy is an online course that enables anyone to think and act strategically. You’ll learn an effective, easy-to-grasp framework that some of the world’s best companies use to create value and achieve outstanding financial performance.

Taught by Professor Feliz Oberholzer-Gee, the Business Strategy features six weeks of content and weekly exercises, enabling the opportunity to put learning into practice. Participants will learn how to evaluate trade-offs and align, prioritize, and formulate strategic initiatives for the greatest business impact. 


Quote of the week

“Focus and simplicity…once you get there, you can move mountains.”

Steve Jobs

Dominic Monkhouse

Dominic offers business coaching and management development, strategy planning and organisational change, using tried and tested methods to launch your organisation onto an unparalleled growth trajectory. His programme is a function of his broad experience, his deep expertise and a proven process used by over 2,700 firms worldwide.

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