Senior leaders tend to be big picture thinkers, great at strategies and ideas. You read or see something and it inspires you so you get your team on the case. Then over time, the idea peters out. If you are in the pattern that you have to micromanage the execution, or your teams struggle to get anything going, then you are suffering from a lack of precision. Precision is not about giving lots of detail. Precision is about giving clarity, structure, process and focus on performance.
Adopting a growth position means reframing your perspective on your market. It's an immediate pattern-break which you can apply today and stop your market decline. Entire markets do not disappear overnight, while major brands and businesses do. Markets shrink, adapt, and reinvent themselves. The only constant in outperforming a declining market or a growing market is the customer. Start investing in delivering genuine value to your customer and you will immediate be part of the market re-invention rather than market loss.
Immediately, consider your market and instead of looking at cuts, examine the changing customer needs to find growth opportunities in the current market. Contrary to popular belief, this is not opening a digital store nor introducing an app. Technology is a facilitator to a need, not the need itself. Customers want products and services that deliver something new or attempt to meet their needs in new ways. This requires forward-thinking mindset and cannot be owned by the finance team.
Creative ideas require an appetite for risk and free thinking. The word free, in this context, means free from constraint, stress and control. Allowing your most ambitious people to dream is going to be the most rewarding way to gain the most disruptive market ideas. Invest in inspiring them and trust them. This may fill you with fear and dread, especially if you are one of those leaders who wants a guaranteed, tried and tested, result. However, tried and tested means someone has done it before. That's a follow-the-leader company position and not new. In the current market, where customers want newness, a follower position will not give you growth.
Go public with your purpose and vision. Don't hold back to customers or staff. If your vision is robust and will benefit the greater good, external downward market trends will have minimal impact. Again, your vision needs to be impactful and beneficial for everyone. If it's not, you'll come across as another gimmicky company trying half-hearted attempts to get customers to spend. Customers are wise to it and have been exposed to these strategies for so long, that now is the perfect time to reinvent your market with a genuine progressive concept. Be that fresh breath of air!
You will need to quit all negativity to implement your vision and get your teams delivering. From the Board and through the senior leadership teams, culture cascades from the top down. Once you have defined and determined your destination, then all minds within the business need to be functioning to get you there. This requires a positive focus at all times. That means removing all chance of distraction, politics, and poor performance. Yours and everyone else's.
The quality of your decision-making is going to make or break your business. As a leader, your limited beliefs and self-image will determine the commercial success of your company. Businesses who accept external facts for poor performance do not believe they are able to offer innovations that grow the market, if they did they would not accept defeat and start investing in creativity and excellence. Unfortunately, what is more typical, is reactivity to external trends resulting in cut-backs, ending in a spiral of events that put the business on the back foot, or even bust. Lower targets, less staff, lower budgets and, overall, a slow withdrawal from the market. As we see more and more big brands die this slow and painful death, here is the fastest way to flip your direction to growth.