It’s the time of year where many of us have a ‘wish list’ but when has that ever applied to Business Owners ?
When I work with Business Owners almost all of them say things such as:
“I wish the workforce would come up with more improvement ideas”
“I dream of the whole company being more proud of the business”
“ I wish that people would take more pride in their work”
“Wouldn’t it be great if the staff got excited about the future of the business?”
In essence, what I think the Business Owners are talking about is some form of “collective ambition”. A lot more of we’re all in this together type of attitude.
Organisations are literally teeming with the potential to do great things and to go beyond what’s expected. Yet so few do. I know that businesses that have a collective ambition can achieve that potential!
How As Business Owners Do We Get A Collective Ambition?
This article in the HBR by Douglas Ready sets out how to get that collective ambition, here I’ve summarised my take on it for you:
- Have a clear purpose and vision for the business that everybody has had input to creating and can connect it to their individual meaning;
- Be performance orientated so that people can see how their contribution achieves the purpose and vision;
- Make sure all leaders and supervisors have really embraced the purpose and vision.
But you need to keep it real. Doing these things doesn’t mean:
- The directors having an away-day to work up the purpose and vision, and then share it across the business;
- Putting the purpose and vision statements up on the wall in reception;
- Bosses telling staff to follow the “new way of doing things”.
What it does mean is putting time and effort into the following things:
- Group discussions;
- Loads of individual interviews;
- On-line discussion threads on internal chatrooms;
- Leaders being available to take questions and offer thoughts and interpretation.
By doing this your employees will really feel much more worthy and that you really care about their input. They will know that it is of value to drive the business forward. Let’s be honest, who really likes being told what to do by their boss and reacts in a positive way? Exactly. It’s all about getting people involved, getting their valuable input and making them realise they play a big part in the future of the business. As the saying goes…together we are stronger!
The author of the article above proposes that the Royal Bank of Canada with 80,000 employees were able to get employee excited about the future. Imagine what you could do if your business has 50 people or less?
Merry Christmas, I hope as a Business Owner all of your wishes come true!