Leadership, Culture and Accountability
By Douglas Zeisel, TCV Growth Partner -
If you want to grow your business past the stage when you are wearing all of the hats, you will need to develop a management team and instill a culture of teamwork and accountability. How do you do this?
Obviously sound leadership is critical. You must learn to clearly communicate your company’s mission across all levels of management, stakeholders and customers. And all parties must buy into the mission. You achieve "buy in" by giving everyone a voice, listening and responding in a positive manner. This does not mean that everyone will totally agree with you, but you will demonstrate that you care about them. This gives you the opportunity to not only fine tune as needed, but also to weed out the bad apples that will never be on board with your vision. Listening and understanding what your team believes also helps to instill a culture of teamwork to achieve your goals and ultimately the company’s mission. And finally, if you communicate your company’s mission to your customers, the paybacks will be enormous.
Quarterly meetings should also be held to review your budget and variances from plan. Each department head should provide a progress report on their department’s performance. These help you better understand what has affected the bottom line and why. They also give you the opportunity to provide rewards for the achievement of goals. Then, of course, there are year-end reports and bonuses. You should also consider distilling the quarterly data into reports to stakeholders.
Bottom line - Getting everyone on board with your mission and clearly communicating how it will be achieved instills a culture of teamwork and purpose that will virtually guarantee success.
And what about customers?
Essential to growing your business is knowing and understanding what your customers are thinking about your products and services. You will need your entire team, not just your sales department, to develop ways of getting constructive feedback from customers including their likes and dislikes, news of competitive activity, and their understanding of overall market conditions. Customer engagement is a critical element of culture and you can demonstrate leadership by encouraging effective customer interaction by your entire team. If your team knows you care, they will also care. And, if your customers know you care, they will be loyal to your company. Need help in growing your business? We offer C-Level expertise on an interim and part time basis. A free consultation is available by contacting any TCV Growth Partner.