This is Part II in a blog series called “How to Prepare Your Company for a Major Growth Spurt.” Read Part I here.
Are you a traditional business that has served the market with products and services for decades? Do you have ingrained routines and habits that aren’t as effective as they used to be? Maybe your company has done well in the past, but has been struggling recently because of a market shift. Maybe there is a threat or problem in your company that requires you to rethink the business you are in and even how you do business.
A growth mindset can get you out of that rut!
Here are some questions that can help you find out if your company has a growth mindset already:
- How do you measure success? Before you make big announcements about 3X or 5X stretch goals, carefully consider what both you and your team think successful growth looks like. Will money, profits, and cash flow be the only things that matter? What major transformative purpose does your company have?
- What large goals or priorities are your team members rallying around right now? (Hint: pretend someone walks into your company and asks people what the company’s key priorities are. Are their answers the same?) How well do people understand the priorities and goals of the company? And no, growing the top line or bottom line is not sufficient. It doesn’t connect with the hearts and minds of your people.
- Who owns your company’s big goals? How would you position big goals to your company in a way that your people make it their own goals? You as leader should be able to leave on a 3-month vacation trusting that your team knows what goals to work towards, and will make plans that prioritise achieving those goals.
Now that you’ve answered these questions, you should have a pretty good idea of whether your company has a growth mindset. But let’s take it a step further.
Growth Readiness Scale
Before making plans for 3X, 5X or even 10X growth, ask yourself the following question:
Can you 3X or 5X your company’s success, when some parts of your company are only functioning at 1X, or 0.5X, or 2X?
Use the scale and questions below to identify how ready your key departments are for a growth spurt.
Take your org chart and score each department honestly. Use this as a road map for pinpointing areas you want to focus on. This will help you prepare your company as a whole for growth.
- 1X – doing their job, getting the work done, but not much more. They think that good enough is, well, good enough. These people are likely mostly operational thinkers, focusing on the day to day work only.
- 2X – working with others to grow the company and are willing to adopt new tools if it makes sense. They are not satisfied with the status quo, but need encouragement to grow. These people are likely operational and strategic thinkers.
- 3X – these people are consistently challenging the status quo. Not only of their own abilities, but also every project or task they work on. They are challenging the company and its leaders with questions like “Why are we doing this?” or “Why are we not doing that?”. This thinking is mostly non-linear and is wide open to change. These guys are consistently observing the world and how it is evolving. They want to make sure they are ready for what is coming. These people are Visionary thinkers. This is the mindset that will get you to 3X growth.
Now take your senior level personnel chart rate each person according to the same scale.
- Optional: Score the key processes and systems in your company. Remember, when things go wrong people will default down to their lowest level of training and experience. Not because they are bad or because they willingly choose to do so. But because crisis mode can easily pull everyone down.
Next, get each person in your company to go through this assessment.
Ask them to rate their own mindset and then those of their peers. The same goes for teams: get them to rate themselves and each other. This will require bravery and may lead to some uncomfortable conversations. Be careful in how you allow these assessments to be shared. Now open up the results of these assessments for discussion to help people and teams better understand how their peers see them. It is also important to allow team members to rate the company and to give them an opportunity to explain their thinking. Show them the Growth Readiness Scale and ask them what what would happen if the company’s corporate identity reflected only one individual’s personality.
A lot has been said about teams only being as strong as the weakest link. So use these assessments you created to determine where you want to focus your efforts in order to prepare your company for a major growth spurt. And not be held back by any key departments, people or processes. It will equip you with confidence that you have the right people driving growth, and make the collective efforts of the company far more successful.