Periodically I have opportunities to get a glimpse of the thinking strategies in an entrepreneurial high-tech business. Recently, I received a call from the vice-president of business development at a satellite company in Ottawa. His story was certainly interesting.
The VP noted that the company’s two owners were highly creative, entrepreneurial businessmen who have already had successful careers in a large Canadian company.
The owners are passionate about innovation, the current market opportunities and pursuing new ventures. They have used their own savings to develop the business and now they have a sizable amount of venture capital to grow it.
They have tested the product and know it’s viable.
They love the work and the possibilities associated with their product and their new company. The company is growing rapidly; sales are up and they’re hiring—fast. The current employees are full of energy and creative ideas, and everyone is working long hours. “They love it,” the VP told me. “Anything is possible, motivation is high and they’re having fun.”
However the VP understands that there is a growing risk in this company. In order to succeed, it must have all the players pointed in the same direction in order to harness the energy and turn creativity and innovation into company growth and development.
“Here is the risk,” the VP told me. “Energy is flying in all directions and we’re pleased about that. However the company needs to grow. How can we harness the energy to have people focus in one direction? If we don’t do this the company’s growth will take longer and it will then be more difficult to grow the business.” This leader knows that if they don’t manage this step, the competition can beat them to market.
We discussed the need for leaders to set the direction and to have all their people involved in focusing on the direction. Managing the people side of change is critical to the success of this small business and in fact to any business. When a whole company or department is focused on and committed to a shared direction, any project, large or small, has a much better chance of succeeding. I believe this VP’s situation applies to leaders in government, industry, business, health care and a number of other work environments who are bringing a new product or service to market, regardless of the size of the business.
Managing the people side of change is a powerful way for leaders to direct and grow the company. I am told repeatedly that senior managers define the mission and vision for the projects or companies that they are launching. When they do this in the absence of the voice and ideas of all those who must implement and carry out the plans, commitment is difficult to obtain. A leader’s task is to manage the passion to succeed by using the collective ideas and mindset of all the parties. Managing, not controlling, is what’s important. Growth, direction, and positioning the company, comes from the collective mindset of all concerned. The culture grows as the company develops. Beliefs, values and structure emerge to support the process. People at all levels are required to make this happen. This leader is about to have his people aligned and rowing in the same direction.
One good strategy to create a collective mindset of your choice for the company wellbeing and position everybody in the same direction is to have events and confraternizations with a professional motivational speaker. There, all company members will be able to socialize and get closer to each other, while they receive your message in a perfectly well-said way. They’ll have the unity power and will share the same mindset that was passed to them on the speech. If you are looking for a good professional for this, click here.
Why the fuss about leadership? Success, as with quality, is the responsibility of all levels in the organization. However, the environment for success needs to be set by senior management. People commit as they tell their story. This company is about to bring their people together with their leaders so they can jointly explore creative ideas about company growth. As they focus on a common direction, commitment grows. Success is all but guaranteed.