See that picture of a tape measure? It will be important.
I’ve been thinking and writing a great deal about getting things done lately. The reason being is that I’ve been laying the groundwork for growing the business. I thought it might be useful to share some of my thoughts with this.
Growth means growing in size. Seems obvious? On the surface maybe, but me being a Lord I get my kicks out of the detail.
So what exactly is ‘growing’? Well turnover and profit would be a really nice answer.
But that’s not the answer I’m afraid. That is the measure. You can only tell that you are growing if turnover is increasing.
“Ah ha DT, I hear you cry. You left out profit”
Well yes because profit is a result of how well you are doing what you do. If you are an example of efficiency your profit will be higher but you are not necessarily growing.
True growth means that you are doing more of what you promise to do, what you are good at. Where you deliver value.
So you have the same amount of time. But you are doing more (hence why I’ve been thinking about getting things done). I’m not a fan of working 24/7. I need recharge time. My iPhone gets better treatment than me sometimes!
So I think true growth means ‘making time’. Feel free to argue.
“Hang on DT, I’ve been with you so far but making time? Its a universal constant! You can’t make it”
Well, no. Grant me a little hyperbole. When I say ‘making time’ what I’m looking at are the two sides of the Talent Dynamics square.
Systems allow you to save time and improve efficiency. In essence you make time by doing what you do more effectively.
People allow you to add time and improve how much can be done. In essence you make time by employing people to do ‘stuff’ (dazzling use of technical terms).
Trouble is… you can’t grow effectively by focusing on only one side.
The downside of systems (unfortunately there are some) is that they simply exist. Something needs to go in one side… data, projects, money, ideas etc, to be turned into something else… graphs, completed projects, more money, results etc.
If you don’t have enough to go in to the system, the system is not going to be as effective as it can be. Many systems sit in our businesses not being used effectively.
The downside of people (and as an introvert I can talk at length) is that they increase costs. Unlike a system which only has a set up time, people take recurring time and money to get the best out of them. Yet they think for themselves! They don’t just exist. If something is going wrong, they’ll spot it. If something needs to be done, they’ll do it (as long as they are fully engaged with what they are doing).
The Importance of Scale
Remember the tape measure? That is one way to demonstrate size. But it doesn’t really show what need to be done to get there. Hence the old style weighing scales.
For true growth, the importance of scale is balance in ‘making time’. Systems to ensure that the minimum effort is expended for the maximum result (and quality) and people to ensure that more can be done whilst keeping variety, initiative and values in the business.
If you are on one side of the Talent Dynamics square you’ll be better at one side than the other, systems or people. That doesn’t mean that you can ignore the balance! Far from it! You actually need to put some thought into the opposite of what you are good at.
A systems heavy company won’t need many people but the people they do have need to be tip top to manage the systems and add a bit of diversity into the production line.
A people heavy company will need lots of simple systems to ensure that everyone is pointing and moving in the right direction.
What do you think? Is the secret of growth in getting the balance right?