Thanks to a recommendation from Martin Dobbs, a local business coach and mentor, I’ve been reading “Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It… and Why the Rest Don’t” by Verne Harnish (Amazon). In the section of the book which focuses on getting the right people in your business, there’s a great question which really got me thinking:
Would you enthusiastically rehire everyone, knowing what you know today?
The book elaborates by saying that this:
includes not only employees but existing customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders in the business. It’s a painful question that requires one to face the brutal facts and make changes. It’s especially tough when the company has simply outgrown some earlier relationships.
I started thinking about my own company and where I might need to make changes in order to reach the next level of business growth. Thankfully I have a great team now, but in the past when I’ve need to make changes I’ve often delayed the inevitable, giving people one more chance or making excuses for their performance. Each time it got to the point when enough was enough and I’d move the person out, but the reality of it is that I knew way before that it wouldn’t work out. Each time I wished I’d taken action sooner.
We’ve also had suppliers that whilst we had good relationships with them, weren’t really delivering. Again, we probably held on to those for too long because of the relationship factor.
I see it often with companies that I speak with who are putting up with terrible IT support but they stick with the status quo. They don’t make the change that will allow their business to develop because they like the IT guy even though he does a poor job and they can never get hold of him; or they’ve dealt with him for years and would feel bad letting him go. These companies eventually get to the point where they can’t take it anymore, or they suffer a major IT problem, before they finally make the necessary change; then they usually kick themselves and wonder why the hell they didn’t do it sooner.
So, ask yourself:
- Would you enthusiastically rehire everyone who works with you?
- Are there customers who drain your resources whilst generating little revenue?
- Do you have suppliers who are not delivering?
Like it says in Scaling Up, if you fail to address these relationship issues they will drain your emotional energy, leaving little left to expend on growing your business.
What might be the consequences if you fail to take action on making the necessary changes, both for your business and for you personally? Is it time to make a change in your business?