Bite Size Business Tips / 41 posts found

If you want your business to make a difference, make sure it makes money

by Iyas A
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If you want your business to make a difference, make sure it makes money. This is not about “me first”, which I abhor and have written about elsewhere (https://valuesledbusiness.com/blogs/blog/bsbt/the-me-economy/). It is about ensuring that your business is in a position to serve the causes it cares about. I’ve seen analogies comparing businesses with people. Those individuals who have (worthily in my view) abstained from personal wealth in order to dedicate their lives to the…

Leadership makes you neither superior nor infallible, but is simply a role you play

by Iyas A
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The best leaders I’ve known have always intimately got that being a leader is more of a role that they play than an hierarchical position in which they sit. Meaning that they don’t lord over you. They don’t assume that they have all the right answers. They don’t expect you to do everything they say simply because they said it. They don’t expect you to subsume your power of independent thought into theirs. They understand that they have a responsibility to agree or create…

How did we allow technology to undermine our commitments?

by Iyas A
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Once in a land we all lived in a long long time ago, I’d call a few people to arrange to meet. We’d fix a date, then we’d all magically find ourselves at the agreed location. Today, I email out a doodle poll. A quarter of the invitees reply. The most popular date and time isn’t quorate, so I send a link on WhatsApp to try to get more answers. A few more people reply, but we’ve now lost the original dates as people have reallocated the time as they didn’t get a…

Interview for Values fit, not Cultural alignment

by Iyas A
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Do you interview for cultural fit? I did. And I was wrong. I’ve interviewed well over 1000 people. As the person responsible for my team (whether in my own company, on the board of another, or as a senior manager post-acquisition), I was the “culture” part of the interview for a long time. What became apparent to me as the team grew was that culture was becoming broader, but what remained steady was our set of values. Using culture as a recruitment criterion is hard. It works well…

Leaders, your role is to catalyse, amplify and own

by Iyas A
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Leaders, your role is to catalyse, amplify and own. In fact, whether you realise it or not, you’ll be doing all of those all of the time simply by virtue of being a leader, a founder, a CEO. Which means that your challenge is whether you’ll be doing them intentionally and constructively. Whether you’ll be creating positivity or obstruction in your organisation. Will you be catalysing the creation of value, or destruction? Will you be amplifying for good, or amplifying broken values?…

The “me” economy

by Iyas A
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This graph says it all. We have become far more focussed on ourselves than on others, and the world is worse for it. I’ve used Google’s Ngram to pull together the relative usage of the phrase “Yourself first” and “Others first” over 40 years from 2008. You can see how in 1968, the two phrases were used around the same amount, but by 2008, “Yourself first” is being used twice as much as “others first”. It doesn’t carry on beyond 2008,…

The right order of attributes to look for in a potential team member

by Iyas A
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There is usually a strong focus during the recruitment process on a candidate’s skill and experience. This is absolutely right and important, but it really in my books isn’t the highest priority. In priority order, these are the things I look for in candidates: 1. Attitude & values 2. Aptitude for learning 3. Relevant Skills 4. Relevant Experience. Don’t get me wrong – candidates need to have at least the minimum level of skills and experience you need for the role. But…

UK Government Gets on the Responsible Capitalism Bandwagon

by Iyas A
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It is good to see the government making noises about the role of values in the companies which it buys goods and services from (http://bsb.tips/ukgovtvalues). Minister for the Cabinet Office, David Lidington said that the government will “extend the requirements of the Social Value Act to ensure all major procurements explicitly evaluate social value where appropriate, rather than just ‘consider’ it. By doing so, we will ensure that contracts are awarded on the basis of more than just…

Great processes don’t remove the need to have great people

by Iyas A
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“Turn it into a process”. Most businesses I work with are either doing this, or live in shame because they’re not! I enjoyed Sam Carpenter’s Work the System. Along with The E-myth, it creates a compelling case for proceduralising what your business does. Rightly so. But the key justification I hear leaders cite for process is that it replaces the need to have great people. “If we have great processes” the logic goes, “we can create quality work without having…

Leaders – pause before launching your team at your latest idea

by Iyas A
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More crucial than knowing which things to focus on is absolute clarity about what to not do altogether. Because those “not quite as important” things will block out your time, energy and focus, and prevent you giving those to the things that count. And that wastage gets amplified exponentially when you’re a leader. Those “wouldn’t it be great if …”, or “our competitor is doing …”, or “Simon Sinek says we should…” ideas…