Saturday, September 29, 2007

A growing we will go...

Assuming you agree with the notion that the organization will succeed by engaging an intelligent team, your next priority is to define what growth is.

This profound question has a lot to do with the organizations' brand. You have discovered what your identity framework for the organization is and you firmly believe you've captured the essence of that identity both in words and visuals, you are now prepared to push the go button and thrust that identity out on different trajectories targeting market segments. But wait a minute; is this identity you established reflective of your individual aspirations and ideas of the organization brand, or does it properly represent the beliefs and aspirations of your intelligent team? Does the identity represent the organization holistically.
Getting to the essence of what your organization is all about is a primary objective toward establishing a powerful identity.
Bottom-line is the identity aligned with your customers aspirations and beliefs and will the identity cast your organization in a memorable way that reflects the core of the experience and values you deliver.

When we look at growth, we can think of many metaphors for the organization. One immediately enters into an enterprise the minute one adds one. The enterprise of two creates a growth relationship. If you can't get along the investment in growth ends and you're back to one. This is likely the best course of action in many scenarios. Trial periods are extremely useful to gauge the enterprise stability prior to setting up the legally binding terms and conditions. But even discovering a dysfunctional relationship after binding the relationship can be an advantage. It may look like failure in the moment but the learning, contacts and understanding that evolved during the brief enterprise foray may very well have you on a platform that accelerates your growth tremendously post the failed enterprise of two. Failure is part of risk taking. Risk is an essential, primary ingredient in growth. (Risk was not a core curriculum item in my design college years)

Growth is achieved with the following ingredients 1.Risk, 2.Identity* 3.People 4.Market...

*identity must be based on a framework that has powerful brand attributes and evokes meaning and emotional response from the buyer. Successful individuals, organizations, countries engage expert counsel to attain brand leadership models.

Getting back to growth, the force of two delivers a number of significant advantages. Two heads think better then one, two can spread out, two have double capacity, two may have unique strengths i.e.: process/marketing or production/finance or HR/engineering or Risk taking/hedging.

You get strength in numbers. Reflecting on the business, a tremendous outcome from having a team has been the collective results. Growth is about collective results. I think this is why the first year of any enterprise is often that most difficult and carries the most risk. You may find you don't have a large collective output. In fact alone, you have very little again unless you happen to be a genius. The growth curve for the startup has significant downward pressure, limited cash-flow, limited clients, limited talent pool, limited service lines, limited everything. My goal from very early on was to build an agency. I had this objective when I enlisted into design school. Many individuals find they have a outstanding quality of life in the freelance side of business. I have not known this model although we certainly engage contingent highly competent and skilled professionals. They augment our collective output, which of course drives our growth.

Of course a ship standing still or even a dinghy will eventually flounder. Life is growth. This is another reason I love the design vocation. You're always growing in this business. We have hit a tipping point in the last few years. The collective output or the organizational team has made many positive successes in the market. The market is saying now to the organization a big thank-you for a job well done. The market is not saying take a six month sabbatical and go off and explore tasmanian bat ecosystems. It is saying: the leadership you have within your collective is valuable to us and we want more of it. This is the next greatest thing in growth. The market drives the growth cycle. Once the alignment (including many happy clients) is in place within the organization, the market commands that you have the best talent, the visionaries and the leadership. Within the design organization we have this in all the functional units we operate. We can anticipate that the market will present us with opportunities in the weeks and months ahead that will have our team collective growing.

Team delivers to market, market grows team and so on and so on. This is growth.

1 comment:

Anne said...

"Getting to the essence of what your organization is all about is a primary objective toward establishing a powerful identity."

This is one of the things that is hardest for an organization to do, yet one of the most important as you so aptly point out.

Also---thanks for the reminder that failure is a part of learning, and therefore valuable, as opposed to simply being a waste of time and money.