(A Guest post by Tim Glover of JumpPoint, a business consultancy that help clients learn how to uniquely adapt their strengths and opportunities to achieve Sustained Innovative Advantage.)
Most of us have become fair–‐‑weather business navigators and we don’t even know it. If you are waiting for fair–‐‑weather to return – you are in for a very long wait. The reality of the new economy is that it is not fair, calm or predictable. The new economy has more in common with stormy foul weather than calm predictable fair weather. When you change the playing field from fair to foul, the whole game that is business must change in step with that new foundational playing field.
In light of this foundational change, here are 5 reasons that your business may not be growing:
1. Old and Predictable
You believe that the old predictable economy is going to return, so all you have to do is wait until this storm passes. If you are over the age of 50 and have accumulated enough personal wealth to retire, regardless of whether or not the economy turns, then waiting is a viable strategy. Otherwise, you need to jump into the storm now and learn to navigate disruption because it is only going to get choppier. The new norm suggests that there will never be a more appropriate time to jump in than now.
You are asking clients what they need from you and your business– rather than co–‐‑diagnosing their needs and co–‐‑creating options with them, in light of all of the disruption going on around them. The problem with the client–‐‑centric focus group or voice of customer survey approach is that clients are freaking out just as much, if not more than you.
They do not have the real answer’s, they have reactionary answers that do not help you or them. If you have had a lot of personal experience navigating disruption, feeling that intense fear/energy, you need to put that wealth of experience to work now. When you have experienced it, you will recognize that feeling in others, in this case your clients – and from that rich first–‐‑ hand experience you can help others find their sea–‐‑legs in stormy seas.
When you are leading others based on your own firsthand experience, others “feel” you as safe and trustworthy and they seek you out and pay you a premium as a trusted advisor.
3. The Approach
You believe that with enough discipline and the right approach you can accurately predict the future, and thereby control it. The rather significant difference between an entrepreneurial approach and a professional manager’s approach to disruption is their approach to unpredictable dilemmas. Professional managers try to forecast the future and work backwards from their forecast to piece a game plan together, and then follow it to the letter.
Entrepreneurs set out to achieve a set of goals that they adapt based on feedback they get. They rely on a combination of their own resources and the resources of those that they meet along the way. Through trying, stretching and gaining feedback results, they adapt goals and seek out new resources so they can create their future – rather than try and control it. Adapting is just another word for failing–‐‑forward–‐‑fast.
You have forgotten why you are in business. The most obvious answer to the question of why are you in business, used to be “to make money”. A more empowering reason as to why you are in business is found in the clarification of your personal and business core values, purpose, vision/mission. If you are going to fully engage yourself to something and withstand the constant disruption – you had beRer love it.
People who are willing to fully engage themselves in constant disruption and uncertainty will do so to be/feel part of something bigger than themselves, to be/feel a sense of control along with being/feeling like they are making a difference. Making money is rarely as emotionally sustainable as making a difference.
You are not willing to take personal responsibility for the results that you are achieving. You need to learn how to hold yourself personally responsible and accountable to specific time sensitive performance goals – in alignment with behavioural norms identified as core values, purpose etc. Innovative breakthroughs result from the combination of three things, 1) a perceived scarcity of time, 2) a perceived scarcity of resources and 3) a clear results focus.
Holding yourself accountable to this specific mix will pop your emotional buRons, which will allow you to access hidden energy and insight and help you push beyond your historic performance thresholds. It is also worth noting that this approach to performance management will also get you in touch with your own personal barriers – usually in the form of past (scary) memories and beliefs that are disempowering… which most people mistake for intuition.
When you can take personal responsibility for every circumstance that you face, every result that you achieve, every emotional buRon that gets triggered, then you can reframe disempowering beliefs as just barriers and learn how to be in charge of every single aspect of your performance results. In this way you can learn how to claim your personal power – in any and all circumstances.
“To do more for the world than the world does for you, that is success” -Henry Ford-
Tags: business, entrepreneurs, potential, strategy