It’s 2017, and while your company is doing well, it’s yet to have its overdue growth spurt.
Competitors and partners alike just keep shooting up and up, but you’ve hit your growth ceiling and it’s taking you back to your prepubescent days.
You’ve gone through 3 pairs of shoes but never moved up in size; you want to know when you can get these damned braces off; and you’re still wondering when you’ll be out of your ‘awkward, lanky stage’ and finally be at eye level with your siblings, school friends, and competitors.
That sweater grandma knitted for you a few years ago still dangles down to your knees, and tripping over it is becoming frustrating.
But you are not alone in your feeling of frustration.
There are plenty of other companies who have bumped their head on the growth ceiling, and are pushing against it, trying to break through.
But what’s the difference between those companies that do, and those who don’t?
A study conducted by Stanford in 2007 found that children’s theories about their own intelligence – whether they thought they had a predetermined, fixed intelligence or the ability to grow and improve their IQ – affected their motivation and development.
Those with a fixed mindset – regardless of their IQ – tended to repeat the same tasks they had mastered instead of challenging themselves, whereas those with a growth mindset adapted and strived to learn new things.
Children began to show initiative to learn when it was explained to them that the mind is like a muscle that strengthens and grows when used.
The same analogy works for businesses, and manager mindsets.
Growth comes from changing your mindset at attitude to accept and adapt to change; to think laterally and outside of the box; and most importantly, to shift the locus of control from external to internal.
Changing the mindset of yourself and your team means an increased sense of control and responsibility, which not only leads to action, but also…
Do you recall – before the ravages of time, pubescence, and life – being able to pick up a stick or a pen and see something entirely different? Perhaps you have children of your own, and watch in amazement as they transform blocks into a castle, play-doh into a monster, and the back garden into a lush jungle filled with exotic wildlife.
When did we stop utilizing this imaginative, creative, and innovative side of our brain? When did we start seeing a stick as a stick, a pen as a pen, and the backyard as a list of chores?
Creativity can be underutilized and supressed – but never lost.
Innovation requires tapping into this creative side of the brain, and looking at the situation differently.
Examine the market in a new light. What’s saturated? Where is there growth? What’s in demand, what is unmet demand, and how do you and your company fit in to all of it?
In the words of Thomas Edison, “There’s a way to do it better – find it”.
In your childhood home, do you remember every now and again standing up against the wall to have a parent or sibling hold a ruler to the top of your head, and mark your height? Maybe in your own home now, there’s that doorframe with your own children’s heights marked with the date.
Do you remember how excited you used to get when you turned around to see how much you’d grown? How excited you were to see the difference – sometimes mere millimetres, other times several centimetres – between your previous height and your current?
You became so excited, because you could see your growth progress.
The same excitement can – and must – be translated into your business practises.
In order to grow, companies must constantly and consistently measure themselves. Effective measurement comes from knowing what the key metrics are – be they customer satisfaction, cost of sales, or acquisition costs, – setting goals, and monitoring what elements of strategies worked, and what didn’t.
Progress must be continually monitored through analytics and data to be able to gain the actionable insights necessary for growth.
The notches on the wall of your parent’s home might have read the same height for the last five years, but this is the year your name will be etched above the previous ones, above your siblings, and above your parents.
This is the year to change your mindset, embrace innovation, start measuring effectively, and break through that ceiling.
And grandma’s sweater is finally going to fit.
We’re hosting a series of business breakfasts to collaborate and exchange ideas on growth during October – register here! (send us a message for a free ticket)
You can also listen to our 6-step formula for business growth here.
Contact us for help growing your business!