I attended a session by Verne Harnish (The Growth Guy, www.gazelles.com). He specializes in advising young companies on growing. Thorougly enjoyed the session and there were several take aways which can be of use to all startups. I would highly recommend this session to all startups and growth companies.
Some of the things I found to be eye openers
- Something as complex as strategy is reduced to a 1 page framework. Fill it and you have got your strategy going. While the idea is not to say that filling a form gives you strategy, it is more to do with the fact that the tool assists in writing out the strategy clearly. There will be iterations but the tool drives thinking. It is available on www.gazelles.com for downloads but it says clearly that it is downloaded only for your own use. So I wont put up any links here. You can register and download it from www.mygazelles.com
- The other amazing 1 pager is the Rockefeller habits checklist which again with a simple checklist tells u what to do to make your company grow
- Speak to customers regularly when in trouble or when not clear. call and speak to them, meet them, ask questions, ask them what they expect from us ... this gives a hold on customer "need" that leads to innovation, growth and profitability. Several very realistic examples were given. It takes several conversations before we understand what customers want from us. Almost all armchair hypothesis of customers needs are wrong - for instance a server hosting company realized that customers value support and resolution more than high quality servers or the quality of data centers.
- On managing employees, ask employees 3 questions often ...
Question1: What should we stop doing?
Question2: What should we start doing?
Question3: What should we continue doing
- "Routine sets you free" - if you have prescheduled monthly meetings /weekly meetings/daily meetings to resolve issues of different time horizons it ensures that you are able to go grow without the need for superhuman effort all the time.
Highly recommended !!