Bite Size Business Tips / 51 posts found

All you need is a new strategy

by Iyas A
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Your strategy didn’t work out this year? Never mind. You can create a new strategy, and get a real buzz doing it. Then watch it slowly dissipate as the year goes by. Too pessimistic? Sadly, I’ve seen this cycle play out over and over. As much as our addiction to the new can make us miss opportunities with clients and team members, as I’ve discussed in previous posts, where it can get most systematically pernicious is when it extends to strategy. I’ve seen (and to be fair, been guilty of)…

Don’t Command and Control – Direct and Adapt

by Iyas A
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The cultural brainwash that leadership is all about command and control runs deep. It remains the default behaviour in many companies, including small ones and ones built on intellectual output. Command and Control IS a valid model. There are scenarios where it may be the best answer. And not the obvious ones – for example, some of the best performing military units don’t adopt it. I help companies execute on their strategies. I find that leaders (and systems) who direct and adapt are far…

Start with Why Sells

by Iyas A
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The coaching industry is awash with pseudo-Sineks* telling you to Start With Why. The challenge is that most of them don’t tell you anything of substance beyond the Why. It’s as if the job’s done once you’ve got your Why. And there’s good reason for that. It’s a lot easier to sell people on a vision than to sell them on the reality of what it takes to get it done. In my books, selling that way as they do is intellectual dishonesty at best, verging on fraud at…

All it takes to turn an idea into a business

by Iyas A
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At the BCS talk that I recently did on growing a business with profit and purpose, I asked the audience what it takes to turn an idea into a business. “Grit”. “Determination”. “Hard work”. “Action”. I suspect that came from the entrepreneurs in the room. “Passion”. “A why” (eugh). “Purpose”. “Courage”. I suspect that was the coaches. “Structure”. “Long-term vision”. I guess that was the consultants chiming in.…

Newer isn’t always better – 2 of 4

by Iyas A
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We crave the new. Last week I wrote about how this can hurt client revenue. But it also shows its addictive face when it comes to our teams. If your business needs a new hire, pause. Does this create an opportunity for someone in your existing team? Can someone fill the role and allow you to backfill with the new hire? Could this be a cross-skilling or promotion opportunity for someone already on your team, while someone new gets their current role? It’s a great way to reward your team while deepening…

Leading with values is a choice

by Iyas A
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So many people today have swallowed the values pill and say that companies *need* a clear set of positive values to succeed. Especially on the speaking or coaching circuit. Bullshit. Companies have succeeded without articulating any values. Some with a set of insidious (and not articulated) values. Heck, some have grown profitable off the back of killing kids in countries where tobacco laws are more lax. Or selling weapons to dictators. No, I look at it like the conversation our parents has had…

Newer isn’t always better – 1 of 4

by Iyas A
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We make running business a lot harder than it needs to be. One way is our addiction to the new when the answer is already under our noses. Here’s the first of 4 ways I REGULARLY see people, especially business owners, biting themselves in the arse. The thrill of the kill makes us obsess over winning new clients way more than new business with existing ones. If you’re in B2B, tell me honestly, does your team get as much of a fist bump / high five / British (non-tactile!) pat on the back from…

Values Go Both Ways

by Iyas A
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I’m pretty obsessed in the work world about companies having and living a set of heart-felt, positive values. And I devote most of my work to helping companies succeed in a way that is aligned with those values. So I’m delighted to see the increasing focus on what company values mean to its employees, and how it treats them. Too right! But less is said about the values that people need to demonstrate to the company that employs them. And that to me makes it a very asymmetrical relationship.…

Don’t fear failure. But do respect it.

by Iyas A
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Leaders are encouraged to not be afraid of failure. And I get this. To an extent. It’s rare that something great is created without the risk of failure. And bravery is knowing there is a risk of failure in doing something great, yet going ahead and doing it. But foolhardiness is to do it without giving serious consideration to managing the risk. And wastefulness is not to learn from it if it goes wrong. But consider how your team would feel about following you from one failure to the next?…

Philosophy interlude! JS Mill on why your team must be able to disagree with you

by Iyas A
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Just back from my extended holiday (hence the lack of posts this week!) to pick up my eldest son’s GCSE results. The new new GCSE system (I was O levels!). I’m really chuffed with how he’s done. But it prompted me to look at some of my old school and uni notes, and I was surprised at what turned up. Philosophy was part of my degree, and keeps bringing up surprises at work where I least expect them to be. I wrote recently about my strong belief in fostering ideas in teams (https://valuesledbusiness.com/blogs/blog/bsbt/your-team-must-be-able-to-disagree-with-you/),…