+91-80-42023484 contact@sincera.in
Five Secret Killers of Company Growth – Business Operations Performance Management

Five Secret Killers of Company Growth – Business Operations Performance Management

I have been a part of and have observed many start ups and big organizations on their growth trajectories. It is interesting to see how some businesses outperform themselves year on year while others suddenly start declining and eventually die. How and why does this happen ? What are the major Killers of Company Growth ?

Here are some of my thoughts and supporting images from Tom Fishburne, THE Marketoonist :

Growth Killer # 1 : Goals (or Lack of) – A company needs a clearly defined goal to bind the team together for consistent efforts towards success. This may be an obvious fact, but very few companies drum the goal into the hearts and minds of their people every opportunity they get – Vision is important but not as important as the Mission. State your mission, define it clearly and revisit it every chance you get.

Growth Killer # 2 : Hierarchy (or too much of) – While organization charts are important to set a structure to the company, it becomes very limiting when bureaucracy sets in and meritocracy is overlooked especially in today’s dynamic business environment. If every new idea or initiative has to go through ten layers of approval and justification, people just stop having bright ideas and acting on them.

Growth Killer # 3 : Square pegs in Round holes (or vice versa) – You land into this performance killer when you start a dangerous trend of creating positions for people and not finding people for positions (right fits). You then have great people in completely wrong roles – is it a wonder that they are not great contributors to your growth trajectories anymore ?

Growth Killer # 4 : Fear (or Risk Averseness) : Where there is a culture of fear, no matter how much you motivate or engage your people, they definitely will not step up or out of their comfort zones. It is as important to encourage “mistakes” as it is to reward successes. Companies need to create an environment where people are not afraid to give and be their best and to challenge the status quo else you can just say bye-bye to growth.

Growth Killer # 5 : Metrics (or the wrong ones) : As often said, what cannot be measured cannot be improved. But it is critical to keep figuring out the right metrics for your company (derived from your Goal). Are you measuring your sales opening ratios or just your closing ratios, your investment in R&D/new offering or only your profitability ? Measuring the “Right” Metrics is critical so that the long-term growth goals are not sacrificed at the altar of short-term profitability.

What do you think matters most for a company to keep growing ? What are your views on the Killers of Company Growth ? What goals are you planning for your company in the year ahead  ? Would love to hear your take.

Five Leadership Lessons from my Teams

Five Leadership Lessons from my Teams

Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.
– John F. Kennedy

When I look back on my career so far, leading and mentoring teams for the best results has been the most fulfilling among all my experiences. While a lot has been written on what examples leaders can set for their teams, not much focus is there on what leaders can learn from their teams. Leaders and their teams are part of one ecosystem – to succeed and grow, BOTH leaders and their teams need to keep the channels of learning open.  This week, I took the opportunity to list down a few of the valuable lessons that I have learnt over the years from my team:

Lesson #1: It is OK to pass on your leadership hat to the team sometimes – There are times when you have to lead from the front, but there are also times when you need to sit back and let your team lead. Not only do you get a break from the “always on” mode, you also get to see a fresh perspective in action. Empowerment benefits the leader the most.

Lesson #2: Sharing Bad news is as important as sharing Good news – As a leader, my first instinct was always to “protect” the team, to not let anything demotivate them.  I have learnt now that transparency is extremely critical, you have to trust your teams enough to process all information – good or bad – for them to feel valued and empowered to deal with all situations.

Lesson #3: Learning happens best when experienced and not “taught” – We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves. A leader has to be patient and wait for the right time to transfer wisdom – and the right time is when the team is ready to learn. You have to allow people to make their own mistakes, it’s tough but it is only then that the lesson is most valuable.

Lesson #4: No matter how big the challenge is, a tightly knit team can overcome it – Everyone has unique skills and strengths that can be leveraged to face difficult situations – much like a herd of buffalos facing lions and hyenas, the strongest circle around the herd protecting the one ones who have not grown strong horns yet – all moving together in the same direction.

Lesson #5: Influence is longer lasting than Authority – Today’s organizations are complex and most often have matrix structures. We can gain credibility and make a larger impact in business, without the positional authority of a job title by persuasion, motivation and engagement. The satisfaction and results that I get through these relationships go on longer than titles and reporting structures generally last.

I have learnt so much from my teams – possibly more than they have learnt from me – I end with a big THANK YOU to all my teams, present and past for being my companions on this journey of growth and discovery.

“No matter what accomplishments you make, somebody helped you.”– Althea Gibson

Five Paths to Personal Growth through Twitter

Five Paths to Personal Growth through Twitter

I don’t run a business. I am not a social media consultant. My day job has nothing to do with Twitter. Nor am I a very social person.

So, why then am I on Twitter?

Reason #1 : EXPLORATION : It all started with the thought that triggers any journey – to do something new, to  add to my experiences and charter a bit of the unknown. There is a veritable trove of treasures in Twitter – so many things to discover and so many people from different parts of the world to meet. Every day, I am amazed with the possibilities uncovered for me.

“Let your mind start a journey through a strange new world. Leave all thoughts of the world you knew before. Let your soul take you where you long to be…Close your eyes let your spirit start to soar, and you’ll live as you’ve never lived before.” ~ Erich Fromm

Reason #2 : PASSIONS : Our Passions are the winds that drive our ships forward in the journey – what is your passion ? Whatever it may be – Twitter can enrich you. Reading and leadership development are two of mine and Twitter fans the flames every day. I have found so many fellow readers that I can share and discuss books with, get the best book recommendations through #Fridayreads and connect with some of my favorite authors. You can get to meet the best thought leaders in the industry through Twitter too – participate in leadership discussions, links to the best blogs(I love Achieved Strategies Blog  by Shawn Murphy and the Catalyst blog by Ted Coine – they have now joined hands at Switch and Shift). Access to wisdom that fuels your passion – all in 140 chars.

Chase down your passion like it’s the last bus of the night.  ~Terri Guillemets

Reason #3 : INSPIRATION :  Twitter is a living source of wisdom, inspiration and motivation. There are many amazing people, quotes that touch you and thoughts that make you reflect. Just tap on to this huge energy and truly see your life and perspectives change. Through the #JustForToday initiative (started by Gary Loper), I have realized that a few words can give a zap to the day much better than caffeine – so much potential for eureka moments.

I love quotations because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognizably wiser than oneself. ~ Marlene Dietrich

Reason #4 : LEARNING :  There is a world of possibilities out there to enrich yourself-perspectives, blogs and commentaries. So much intelligence and so many mentors to choose from – all the people who you would have loved to meet in your real life, you can through Twitter. Create lists and just latch on to the learning channels.

“That is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you’ve understood all your life, but in a new way.” ~Doris Lessing

 Reason #5 : ENGAGEMENT : The conversations that you can have in Twitter through CHATS and replies are incredibly stimulating – exercise your brain cells everyday – and the people you meet can take you to places in your mind that you never dreamed of going.  #kaizenblog (now #KaizenBiz), #cxo, #spiritchat  are a few that I attend regularly to learn, engage and grow.

“We become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.” –Jimmy Carter

See what I mean ?

P.S : This is my first Blog post and being the emotional person that I am, I can’t end it without thanking Judy Gombita, Gary Loper, Andrew (Red Type) and Vicki Flaugher. They are my Twitter Fairies – If ever you need a warm helping hand to pull you towards your dreams, just tweet these wonderful people.

If you have just got started on Twitter or are looking to power up your Twitter experience, visit Redge’s  post (@Versalytics) for some awesome Twitter resources.