Take ten minutes of your time to read and apply this four step test. You’ll need a piece of paper and a pen. Nice and simple. Then revamp your business offering post-covid and move forwards leading your team with absolute passion, drive and clarity.
Peter Ryding is the man that the global brands call in when they need a new change of direction. Maybe their strategies don’t match their goals, their staff are deflated or their bottom lines don’t match their dreams. Either way, using his wealth of experience both in business and psychological insights, he works to turn these companies around, inspiring entire teams as he does so. He speaks to Business Matters and shares a quick four step test that you can do in your lunch-break that can propel your company and mindset forwards in a positive way. Without further ado, over to Peter …
Common traits of successful entrepreneurs
When I was a VC with 3I, we did a lot of research into what differentiates entrepreneurs who’ve got their business to a small to medium size, and they wanted to take it to the next step – some failed, some succeeded and some did it two or three times over. When we looked at it, four things emerged as a common trait of entrepreneurs who made that transition vs. those that didn’t.
The first was what we called an outcome – this is having total clarity of the vision that you want. JFK famously said of NASA in 1960, we’re going to get a man to the moon and safely back again by the end of the decade. And then when Nixon went to Cape Canaveral in 1969 just before Apollo 13 took off, he came across a janitor and he asked him what he did. The janitor responded with: ‘I am part of the team that’s going to get a man safely to the moon and back by the end of the decade’.
Now that is an exciting mission to be part of. My personal view of a company vision and a purpose isn’t what it is, it’s how you express it. How do you take your organisation’s mission and value-add and transcribe it to empower employees who are going to be in charge of doing the job of raising profits for you?
Many years ago I did some work with KwikFit and at the time the guys who changed the exhausts and the tyres were called ‘grease monkeys’ by their managers. Hardly inspirational is it? So we changed the dialogue and said this: ‘do you realise that you have your clients lives in your hands? Literally. Because if you don’t do what you do properly wheels can come off and people could die. And all of a sudden it changed their mindset. So the first thing is to have a clearly defined outcome which is expressed in an inspiring way.
Grab your piece of paper …
Four step test part one:
Write: O – for outcome – do you think in your organisation right now you have an exciting vision or outcome?
Choose: very high, high, medium or low
Second thing we discovered was how much have you fired up your workforce and all of your stakeholders, your customers, your investors? So that they are passionate about going the extra mile for you to achieve your outcome? You must articulate what’s in it for them.
Four step test part two:
Write: D – for desire – to what extent in your organisation right now have you got this strong desire? Choose: very high, high, medium, low
Thirdly, how well have you defined a handful of critical things that will make all the difference. And this uses the greater rule of ’20% of what we do delivers 80% of the thing’. Now unfortunately in life and in business we tend to allocate 80% of our time on the stuff that doesn’t have much impact. So one thing that you can do and it’s something that I do as a turnaround coach, and it’s to help work out what are the 20% of all the things that will make all of the difference moving forwards.
This is so critical now because we’re in a post-crisis state and everyone needs to be totally clear what 20% will make all the difference post-covid and then find a way of focusing 80% of all their people/resources/capital/brain space onto those 20% of things. And it turns out it’s roundabout seven.
I’ve found, when talking to different board’s of companies, I always ask ‘what’s at the heart of your strategy?’ They either tend to say ‘Peter we focus on one thing alone, it’s customers’. And I say ‘OK, what about your shareholders, your employees, etc, etc’. It doesn’t work to just think about your customers, life isn’t that simple.
Other companies will say ‘Peter we’re really into strategy, we’ve got 23 key strategies let me tell you all about them.’ Hold up! 23 strategies!! That doesn’t work either. Scrap 23, scrap only 1, it turns out around around seven critical strategies work …
Four step test part three:
Write: I – for important – how well have you defined a handful of critical things in your business that will make all the difference when delivering 80% of the value. Keep re-evaluating this over time
Choose: very high, high, medium or low.
Four step test part four:
T – for take action – to what extent have you actually got a planned path of action to follow? Is it clearly defined to enable everyone to understand where they fit on it. Your staff need to go home at the end of the week, not only having feedback from their manager on how well they’ve done, but also knowing how their everyday activities have connected to at least two of these (up to) seven critical things. Because if they do they go home and passionately tell their friends and family how proud they are. If they don’t, their job is just work.
Let’s crunch those numbers
So now hopefully you’ve got four letters and each of those should now be rated.
And now to turn this into a formula of success which is absolutely applicable for coming out of covid, convert each rating into a number as follows:
Very high = 3
Medium = 1
Low = 0
Don’t add them together, instead multiply them. so you could have scored 81
The fact that if you rated any of these answers at zero then your total score will of course be zero actually says a powerful amount about your weakest link, it doesn’t matter if your other answers were all good, your business will falter. If a chain is totally shiny and strong apart from one link, the whole thing fails.
How is a lower score positive?
Just reflect on that number, often people discover that they’ve got a very low total, sometimes between zero and twelve, that’s positive in a way because however successful your business is now, you’ve achieved that with a relatively low number. Well done! Imagine how well you could do moving forwards! If you can get your act together and move towards 81 that’s perfect timing.
Take stock, rate yourselves in those four categories, be really honest and formulate a new plan. Anywhere you have a zero, focus on that. Go for the lowest hanging fruit, gradually you’ll raise all the numbers and gradually you’ll get to 81.
Hop on to twitter and let us know how you scored and how you feel moving forwards @bizmattersmag