If there is a single core to the Great Performances approach to designing or expanding a business, it might be here.
We can’t create a successful business alone. People talk about social business as if that were some new concept, but every business that has ever succeeded has been a social business.
Who We Need
We need others as partners on 3 levels:
- Customers. Customers are partners in our success. Customers in a great business don’t just buy stuff. In a great business there is an exchange of value that is the foundation of a partnership.
- Advisors. We cannot know everything. We cannot see everything. A successful business requires an above-average performance in 5 business functions (management, human resources, finances, operations, marketing) and a 360-degree view of the risks and opportunities around us. No one does that alone.
- Team members. As we move from working in the business at the Current Cycle level, to working on the business at the Enterprise Cycle we delegate the functions of the business to others. This process, shedding direct responsibility for one function after another while growing the team of people to take up those functions, may be the core of the Great Performance approach.
Why We Need Them
1. You can’t do everything but a team can. You cannot know everything or do everything. Yet in order to be successful you must know and do more things than any one person is capable of. Designing and growing a successful business is the most complex thing we do as humans. Hunt in a pack or die alone.
The ‘Band Camp’ thought: as business grow they acquire more people.
The Great Performance thought: businesses acquire more people to grow.
2. Specialists are faster. Sure you can do the books for your business. But it will take you all day to do what a good bookkeeper can do in 2 hours. Time is money.
The calculus of business is inflexible; all equations balance. Growth and success are not the magical byproduct of waiting around long enough being nice. You pay for growth with capital and time. So much of life is counterintuitive when lived right and here is another example: when we act as chief, cook, and bottle-washer we are not saving money. When you spend four hours doing your finances badly you cost your business money. A lot of money.
The Band Camp thought: I am saving money by doing everything in my business.
The Great Performance thought: what is the value of how I am spending this hour?
3. Teams make money. A great team increases the value of the business on many levels. If they aren’t you have the wrong team. The right team should make money because you are efficient and effective (as a team you get maximum dollars out of every minute on the job); you work together to create the best of customer experiences; you minimize risk and the impact of failure because you are a multi-node learning machine. You present a larger surface area to the market in the intelligence and presence you provide to your customers.
Band Camp thought: I can’t afford to hire people.
Great Performance thought: the right people are an investment which should return to me multiple value.
4. Synergy is profitable. Two smart people together will over time make money than the sum of two people working alone. Great teams always come up with more ideas, avoid more traps, and operate more effectively than each would independently. In business teams are always more profitable than the sum of their parts over the long haul. Working alone? In any part of your business? You are leaving money on the table. I can guarantee it.
Band Camp thought: I’m the smartest guy in the room. Teams are just another word for committees.
Great Performance thought: the team is the smartest thing in the room. Committees are failed teams, assembled by clueless leaders.
At the Great Performances Group we improve the success of small and medium business anywhere in the English-speaking world. Check us out to find out how. Read Clemens’ book “Great Performances – the Small Business Script for the 21st Century.” Leave a comment or question! A Facebook “Like” is sweet too.
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