Is 2022 the year you will create a better rather than a bigger business?

December 29, 2021
How to focus on creating a better business before you start growing your business? This is what Nick Cramp taught in our December 2021 event of the international Powerful Mastermind Club. Nick is a business transformation coach and the author of "Bigger Before Better". He has seen that too often business owners have the default thinking pattern that with every passing year, they need to grow their business, without ever considering that there might be a better alternative. Here's the recap of his presentation.

What got you here might not get you there

It’s important to be mindful of the idea that some things might not be future-fit. For most businesses, there's two outcomes: we either evolve how we operate our offerings andour services, or quite frankly, we become extinct.

To prevent the latter from happening, here's a three-phase approach that Nick recommends:

  1. Reframe the current situation.
  2. Rethink given the framing: what you could do more of, what you could do less of, what you could start doing, and what you could stop doing?
  3. Refocus on what you're going to do differently: how can you prioritize better and actually make the implementation work?

How to reframe?

Reframing is simply looking at a situation from a different viewpoint. We have one view of the world, which is the one that we see in front of us, but other people can be looking at the same situation and see something different. And the danger is as business owners, we get very hooked up on our own view of the world. And we don't take the time to consider what other people are seeing, what other people are experiencing.

So, it’s time to reframe and look at the world from the perspective of other stakeholders.

Commonly for most businesses, the other stakeholders would be customers and clients, employees, contractors, suppliers, and your shareholders. So, the reframing phase is about viewing things from different sides and making sure you're really understanding what the expectation is.

For instance, for a lot of companies where the workforce is tired due to unexpected work load from COVID-19 challenges, a growth strategy where you want to grow another 20% next year just might not be appropriate right now because from their perspective, they're still recovering from the last two years.  But from a shareholder's perspective, that might be a good strategy. But unless the employees are on board with it, it is an unachievable strategy.

To talk about growth, we need to talk about resistance.

Steven Pressfield has said: “Resistance is not a peripheral opponent. Resistance arises from within. It is self-generated and self-perpetuated. Resistance is the enemy within.”

So, in companies, a lot of resistances are internally generated. And as leaders, we can sometimes get very fixated on what's happening externally and the challenges that come from there. Where in reality, most of the challenges are internally generated. It is important to focus on what you can control rather than what you can't control.

The three resistance factors:

  • Leadership myopia: short-sightedness that we just got to carry on doing more of what we’re already doing. We are growing for growing sake, we're not getting better. We're just getting bigger and suddenly a better alternative for our customers comes along, and our market's gone. It’s important to evolve your business in line with the market demands and expectations, to go where the market's headed.
  • Offering an inertia: we try and spend a lot of time on marketing, selling something, which isn't actually that much better or different to what our competitors have. And that is where we just end up in a blood bath where everybody's after the same customers offering similar stuff. Think how you can create something way better. The challenge here is how we focus our time. 20% of your time should be spent in discovery mode where you're looking for new ways of offering things, new versions, new tools, new strategies, so giving that time to creativity rather than delivering.
  • Structural stagnation: As business owners, there's always stuff to do, but the problem is that, as Henry David Thoreau says, we can just get busy being busy. This is about the fear of letting go when we're starting our businesses. We understandably work on a hub-and-spoke model where we're at the center, because we're trying to control everything. As we grow our business, we may move to a hierarchical model, which is slightly more structured, but it's still just got a single lead: single point of failure, a single answer to every question. But to really evolve your business, you must embrace the holocratic model. There’s a lot more fluidity in the business structure, where there's multiple leaders and you as the ultimate leader, aren't the leader in every meeting and aren't the leader in every room. You let go of some of that responsibility. You bring people into the business, who have got better skillsets than you. This leaves you free to recreate and be the creative force, which is needed to create a better business.

As Henry Ford famously said: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” But he built a car because that's what people actually needed, they just didn't realize.

So, in 2022, focus on creating a better instead of a bigger business!

Curious to find out more?

Access the full recording and slides from Nick's presentation by logging into our members area HERE. 

PS! Don't forget to sign up to our upcoming Powerful Mastermind Club events as each time we have a guest expert presentation on a new topic!

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