How to make game-changing business impact
The team I work with has a habit of making game-changing positive business impact. They get involved with a wide range of SMEs and, usually within a few days, out pops an idea, a proposed change, a new or different way of doing something that radically transforms that business’s prospect of future success. How do they do it?
It would be easy to think that it’s all a result of applying extensive experience – as, after all, they’ve all built successful businesses themselves and have (to put it diplomatically) quite a few years under their belts.
Undoubtedly that’s significant but, in my opinion, it would be a mistake to conclude that that’s the be all and end all. You see, they were making a big impact quickly many years ago, with a lot less experience, in their own businesses. So what is it they’ve got?
Breadth of thought process?
It’s popular to talk about helicopter vision and working ‘on’ the business, but there’s much more to it than that. It’s about seeing the desired results and complete focus on achievement. Obstacles along the path are there to be overcome, worked around or, better still, captured and converted to work for you rather than against you.
Back to basics?
Many fall into the trap, particularly when faced with apparently insurmountable challenges and complex problems, of finding complicated solutions. Complicated solutions are notoriously hard to implement and, as we all know, 80% of success is down to effective execution of business strategy. Difficult to implement = less chance of success.
Stripping issues down to words of no more than two syllables, back to fundamental business basics, frequently unearths the best and most straightforward solutions to implement.
Being too close to a business, stuck in the day to day challenges, does often have the impact of not being able to see the wood for the trees. There’s a skill in sitting back, thinking clearly, mulling over issues somewhere near but not in the absolute front of mind, that delivers great solutions. I call it ‘bath-time thinking’ but it’s not limited to the bath! Walking the dogs, jogging, going to the gym are great alternatives – but don’t set out to solve the problem – let it come to you from your sub-conscious.
A balanced EQ and IQ?
I remember clearly the brilliant and now retired Prof of a local university’s school of management talking as a guest speaker at one of my previous business’s company meetings. He said “IQ? You don’t need a top IQ to build a successful business! I’ll prove it if you like – I’ll second to Paul my top five academics to run this business for six months, and I reckon you’ll be out of business within three.”
He had a good point. It’s not all about IQ. But being reasonably bright both intellectually and emotionally doesn’t half make a difference.
Listening and reflecting?
Confucius says “he who talks a lot hasn’t got a lot to say”. Well I don’t know whether he did or not but, if he didn’t, maybe he should have done. Top people listen a lot, take on board different views and opinions, challenge assumptions, and reflect. It’s undoubtedly a key behavioural characteristic of those who cut to the chase and find brilliant ways forward.
So the answer to the question I posed above is, “I’m not quite sure”. I’d be the first to admit that I don’t have the answer to everything. Perhaps there’s a clue there. But undoubtedly, the factors above help considerably. What do you think?