15/10/2010

By Andrew Lester

So, if you want to regularly “do yourself out of your own job” and move onto new assignments, how can you make sure your keep the company up to speed producing a stable, sustainable business?

One of the key capabilities of successful serial entrepreneurs is the ability of the companies to do two conflicting things at the same time: drive the cash (the Urgent) and deliver growth (the Important) side by side. In effect they manage to avoid the natural conflict between the short term and long term by proactively managing both. They have the ability to match left brain operational management styles with right brain creative styles. They may recognise the natural conflict but they use strategies, tools and techniques either naturally or through experience, that allow the organisation to manage respect and enjoy.

Another key element is to understand the natural capability and pulse of the core business. The ability of owners or directors to move on regularly in their role, is directly linked to their understanding of the core competencies of the business and those available to them from their suppliers and channels to market. As market and segment morph at ever increasing speeds, the core strengths of the business must be developed in line with or preferably in advance of, these changing customer needs. However stretching the business too far too fast risks not delivering properly on existing propositions to existing customers, putting a question mark over company profitability and sustainability.

In addition to knowing the natural capability and pulse of the businesses successful serial entrepreneurs also know how, when and where to adjust the core business operations to drive efficiency, releasing resources for growth. This requires the organisation to be able to change regularly, adjusting roles, responsibilities and core skills to the meet the new opportunities. By definition this also includes the getting rid of redundant skills from the business: killing off low value added activities and business. Revenue and financial growth goes hand in hand with individual growth, team growth and organisation growth. Having employees and a culture that is used to continuous change is helpful. Having employees and a culture that enjoy learning and new work is differentiating. Having employees and a culture that manages respects and enjoys working on the day job and growth, side by side, is essential for sustainable profitable growth.

Keeping the company up to speed as the owner / director regularly does himself out of a role should be a two way street... “pull” from the owner / director and “push” from the organisation. If the street is only one way (pull), the owner / director will spend too much time bringing the business on board with each initiative. By contrast, organisations that recognise the role of their owner / director as a “Growth Manager” will be ready willing and able to pick up the initiative without dropping the ball on the core business.

Please feel free to comment by contacting me: andrewlester@carr-michael.com

Andrew Lester is Managing Partner of Carr-Michael Consulting, specialists in growth management and business performance improvement.


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