A free monthly newsletter on growth, market expansion and profit

Vol 1 No. 5

April 2014

In This Issue

Transferring Success

Thought From James

The Profitable Growth Race

 

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Catalyst for Action

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Welcome to the latest The Race For High Growth Newsletter. Our mission is to help you make wise decisions about identifying and quickly instigating profitable investments in high growth markets and to build a prosperous business. The format is set up to enable you to rapidly apply and adjust the ideas to your own business. As I encourage all my clients, we learn best by doing, not over-thinking a concept or excessive procrastination. Feel free to ask questions and I will happily answer them if your reference TRFHG.

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http://twitter.com/JamesBerkeley

Each week you will find 5-6 pieces of advice for profitable growth personally and professionally. Join the thousands who read these "quick hits" every morning.

Transferring Success

In the search for profitable growth, why do so many mid to large-sized organisations struggle with the most obvious source of new ideas and success practices: those found within the current business? In professional services, luxury businesses, hospitality, wealth management and insurance to name check but five industries, I can rapidly identify and transfer those ideas to other high-growth areas better than most people within their own organisation. The matter wouldn't be so concerning if it wasn't for the huge expenditure of time, money and resource spent trying to identify and apply new ideas and practices from outside the business that so often fail. Rickety wiring and doors bolted shut won't usually inspire cross-fertilisation of ideas.

  1. How do you spend your time: Are you aware of the changing importance of the your past, current and future relationships with your peers and others within the business (your work, your job and your career)? Are you aware of the increasing impact those relationships have on the key constituents you serve, short- and long-term (your customers, your shareholders, your direct reports, your employees and other communities)? Do you consciously get out from your "bubble" within the business? (time scheduled in your monthly, weekly, daily activities with others) Do you formally or informally measure the effectiveness of that time spent? (performance review or personal reflection)
  2. Who do you hang out with: Do you consciously meet in-person two new internal "peers" a week with the express purpose of increasing your network, learning, repute etc? (not client/project specific discussions) Are they internal "buyers" for your expertise and experience? (immediate value to provide the other party) Are they potential collaborators with a short-term need for your help? (an immediate opportunity for mutual benefit, can you name the beneficiaries and the probable results) Are there plans to meet others within the next month, whose expertise, opinions, knowledge, approaches and contacts will be invaluable? (potential durational, voluntary or strategic alliance)
  3. Where do you hang out: Do you consciously make an effort to formally (cross-function meetings) or informally (social functions) attend an increasing variety of internal events? Do you consciously reduce or terminate your attendance and participation at events that cease to be an effective use of your time? Do you put your hand up to speak, write or informally share your ideas and approaches with a more diverse group of people within the business at new events, forums or gatherings? (not just with other senior execs)
  4. How easy is it to have a meaningful conversation: Are senior executives and managers exemplars for building broader relationships and value creation cross-function or cross-brands? (visible behaviours, wider relationships, demonstrable success) Is there encouragement or discouragement from direct reports to their subordinates to meet and share with others within the organisation? ("don't share with them" or "go and speak to X, they could reasonably do with that same kind of help") Does the business have an employee rewards, recognition and accounting system that acts as an "encourager" or "discourager"? (bonus, promotions, revenue sharing) Does the internal technology, communication and security within the organisation encourage greater or less communication? (online forums, shared databases, real-time access to relevant information) If not, can you quickly come up with common sense approaches to circumvent these obstacles?
  5. Are the conversations productive: Are you clear what you want to discuss, where you want the conversation to go, and what you are likely to be asked? (focal point, key questions to ask, what response will impress the other individual) Do you end each conversation with a definitive next step (agreed time, date and action)?
  6. Relationship Accountability: Are you held and others within the organisation accountable for the quality of your internal relationships, the behaviours required to grow those relationships and the results that arise (increased innovation, increased cross-sales, increased client satisfaction)? If not, why not?

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Thought From James

Throughout our careers in increasing senior roles, we build a "multi-currency bank account". The currencies we acquire in different amounts are industry insight, expertise, knowledge, behaviours, special skills and contacts. We apply some or all of those currencies to directly impact our clients' future (internal or external). In other words, to generate results. Time is our most precious commodity. Our value to others during our work, job, and career is directly related to the size and breadth of our bank, the ease of applying it to our clients' needs and the time taken to do so. When we self-limit the range of people within the organisation, who we choose to spend time with, and our own learning, we self-limit our own valuable contribution and personal growth.

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The Profitable Growth Race

"You can take my factories, burn up my buildings, but give me my people and I'll build the business right back again." — Henry Ford

Unless you are operating in a monopoly and even most monopolies come under intense pressure, every organisation's profitable growth is defined by the power of its' internal relationships. Many firms have people within their businesses who are objects of interest and centres of expertise to an impressive global audience. The "mediocre", allow those people to sail on their own steam, don't hold them and their peers and subordinates accountable for internal knowledge and skills sharing (the "star" asset manager). The "good", create frequent knowledge-sharing events and leverage technology on a formal or informal basis and hold everyone accountable for the behaviours and results they seek. The "best", hire stars who have the skills and volition to establish relationships with peers and subordinates, and surround them with peers and subordinates, who take pride in broadening their learning, repute, expertise such that they can be increasingly more valuable to their clients.

By definition, Apple, Google, Four Seasons, and Goldman Sachs are in a leading position because they have established the most powerful internal relationships and the ability to transfer that successfully to improve their clients' health and wellbeing.

Which group does your organisation fit in today? Where does it need to be in future to stand apart from the competition (increased innovation, stronger brand, more powerful customer relationships)?

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