23/12/2013

By Guy Rigby, Head of Entrepreneurial Services at Smith & Williamson

Envisioning a worthwhile future has long been a key motivator for successful business leaders who go on to develop strategies and tactics to bring their visions to fruition. Visionary leaders are capable of seeing success in their mind’s eye, imagining the achievement of a vision as if it’s already happened. Without vision, there’s no map or route to success and inspiration is quickly lost. So above all, you need vision.

Working together to achieve your vision

Culture is the heart of a business. If your purpose and values inspire your people, the likelihood of growing a great business, and a great brand, increases exponentially. People are proud to be associated with businesses that value ‘meaning’ as well as ‘money’. In a hyper-competitive world where products and services can be instantly replicated, the only unique element is often the culture of an organisation. Values define both your brand and your culture, affecting how you are perceived, how much custom you bring in, how your workforce performs and, ultimately, how successful your business will become.

Plenty of benefits accrue from a workforce that is aligned around a shared purpose and vision. A united team is generally:

• Harmonious. Keen to work together to achieve a shared objective. This limits the likelihood of conflict or confusion, making it easier to reach a consensus and making coming to work a pleasure rather than a chore.

• Productive. People put more effort into work they enjoy and into achieving a goal they believe in. A common purpose promotes positive thinking and worthwhile activity.

• Flexible. Staff who share a vision and are embedded in the business are often better able to understand and facilitate change.

• Loyal. Staff are less likely to leave a team if they have a strong sense of camaraderie and purpose.

Ensuring that your brand stays true to your values as you grow can be challenging. Yet, if a cohesive culture is aligned across departments and locations within a business, it’s easier to implement new ideas, integrate new members of staff and run an efficient and scalable organisation.

At the end of the day, the culture of a business is determined by its leaders and managers. If they care about the business and its future, they will value both meaning and money. If they care about promoting a shared vision, they will be visible and accessible.

Responsible leadership

How a business and its people behave is fundamental to its brand — success won’t be achieved by preaching one message and practising another.

As businesses grow, it’s important to consider the impact on the wider community. Implementing responsible policies and pursuing economic, environmental and social objectives simultaneously are rewarding ways to build and sustain trust. Being a socially responsible business is about embedding the right practices in your day-to-day operations — part of your culture — rather than a box-ticking exercise.

By acting in the best interests of the wider community or by supporting local projects, businesses can have a big and positive impact. This will be rewarded through positive PR, happier and more loyal staff, better relationships with suppliers and partners and, ultimately, more customers and profits. You reap what you sow.

For more information, contact:
Guy Rigby
Head of Entrepreneurial Services
t: 020 7131 8213
e: guy.rigby@smith.williamson.co.uk

This article was originally published in the autumn 2013 edition of Enterprise, a Smith & Williamson publication.

Disclaimer
By necessity this briefing can only provide a short overview and it is essential to seek professional advice before applying the contents of this article. No responsibility can be taken for any loss arising from action taken or refrained from on the basis of this publication. Article correct at time of writing.

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