We seem to be overloaded with buzz words trying to encompass the uncertainty we are all undoubtably feeling in British businesses at the minute.
Without adding further to this ever-growing list of concerns how about we just say, ‘it’s a really tough time’, to plan, to engage employees and indeed to grow an organisation.
Beyond the obvious Brexit issues, we are living through financial and geopolitical times we have never encountered before, and it all seems very complicated. Certainly, securing additional lending, expansion or taking on extra costs feel like an even greater risk at the minute, so how can we mitigate some of this risk and maybe even get a good night’s sleep?
Something we can all learn from our company’s founder, Dale Carnegie, is that during times of change – keep it simple. After all a complicated question usually gets a complicated answer!
So here is a simple question and some simple answers:
How can we continue to grow our businesses in times like these?
1 Be brave – keep faith in your vision
Let’s be clear about something, change is a part of business and having to change to accomplish our goals is essential, but this does not mean we have to compromise our end results and indeed our vision. How we get there may have to change but remaining determined and letting others see that determination is great leadership. “Leaders create a vision, articulate it, passionately own it and relentlessly drive it to completion” Jack Welch
Its an oldie but goodie, knowing what makes us and our businesses truly unique allows us to focus on what actually stands us apart in a hugely competitive time. Most importantly every employee needs to be able to communicate our uniqueness, simply but passionately, and critically in a way that means something to our customers.
3 Critical Activities
Focus on the most critical activities ‘duh’, yeah, I know, but we waste so much time on non-critical things every day. Even if it means stripping back responsibilities to the things that really drive results this should be a priority. For example, at Dale Carnegie, we understand very clearly that the amount of time we spend face to face with new and existing customers is the activity that drives the most sales and profit, so we make this the priority. Again, keep it simple.
Step it up, our people want to know what’s happing day to day especially during times of change, it creates a one team ethos, provides comfort and makes people feel valued. Also let’s be the ones who provide the narrative because the alternative is that people make it up themselves and the terrible reality is during uncertain times it is often the negative voice that is loudest!
5 Celebrate Success
..and I mean every success, not just results but effort, attitude, determination and commitment. Let’s get everyone talking about the feel-good things that inspire and the efforts that bring success rather than just waiting to praise results.
In short when waging a war with change, pick the battles you can win, grasp every advantage and never underestimate the power of a motivated team who feel valued, believe in their leadership and truly know what activities will bring the success…. Good luck!