Another conversation with a growing business.
Another branch manager crying our for more resources to be able to do their job more effectively.
It’s a natural progression… not their fault.
When a business starts out and has some initial growth, adding resources multiplies that growth.
But going through the next level of growth isn’t the same thing.
What got you here won’t necessarily get you there.
If we discover a business has leaks in productivity, leaks in inefficiencies and leaks in profitability (which I have found in 100% of businesses), and we grow that business before plugging those holes… the ship will almost always sink.
Picture those holes as holes in an inflatable swimming pool…
If we don’t address the small leaks, and we keep adding more water (resources), the leaks get bigger and eventually the whole structure fails.
So what do we do to the pool?
- Find a leak
- Plug the hole
- Test and measure progress
Then, and only then, do we add more resources to grow the business.
Find the leak FIRST.
It’s the very first thing we do in our complimentary strategy sessions.
When we find your leaks, we make you money. Every time.
9 times out of ten, we can improve profitability 30%-50% just by plugging 1 or 2 leaks. It is THAT powerful.
So how do you do it?
Shift your focus and thoughts from resources to resourcefulness.
From machinery and labour to squeezing 10% more effectiveness from what you already have.
Even an ‘overworked’ employee can find 10% more if the reason is big enough.
You don’t find 10% more by hitting them with a stick.
You certainly don’t find 10% more through financial incentives (this one KILLS productivity – you can see why motivation sucks here).
It’s found when we teach our people how to THINK differently.
When they THINK differently, they ACT differently.
When they ACT differently, they get different RESULTS.
And it is a very simple shift in who you are to them that has them thinking differently.
Try this for the next 2 weeks in your business:
Every time a subordinate comes and asks you to make a decision, ask them “What are we going to do about that?”.
Use those EXACT words…
Teach them to think first, ask second.
Teach them to trust their own thoughts… but most of all…
Teach them to start THINKING FOR THEMSELVES.
This seems simple. You may even be doing it (in some version, from time to time).
The difference here is you are using these EXACT words, EVERY TIME.
This new consistency will have your people thinking before they come to you, as opposed to them coming to you to do the thinking for them.
10% right there.
Turn this into a habit, every time, and I promise you, 10%, right there.
They will either give you an answer (which you encourage and foster, even if the answer sucks), or they will say “I don’t know”.
If they say “I don’t know”, follow it up with these (exact) words:
Team member (Sam): “Hey Bob, there’s an issue with x”
You(Bob): “OK Sam, so what are we going to do about it?”
Sam: “I don’t know”
Bob: “Well, what if you DID know?”
Sam: “I don’t know”
Bob: “What if this was a job you were doing for your mother? What would you do?”
Under no circumstance do you give them an answer UNTIL THEY HAVE GIVEN AN ANSWER OF THEIR OWN.
Teach them to think intelligently.
Teach them that you are not going to think FOR them.
Teach them HOW to tap into their own resourcefulness through this example.
The choice is always yours.
Until next time…
Lead from the front!
P.S. If you suspect your business may have a leak or 2, book a free Strat session and we’ll take a look for you.