The natural reaction in tough times is to cut spending. Unfortunately, the first line item to go is often education and training, the two critical components needed to propel your business forward! In tough times, it’s imperative to grow the talent you have and capitalize on their ability to think innovatively and execute new ideas. This is an opportunity to discover ground-breaking strategies that get the job done like never before. Whether you’re offering educational opportunities in meetings or hiring an expert to provide a new and insightful perspective, it’s imperative that you invest in your people.Here are a few ideas to utilize and ignite your team’s hidden potential:
- Provide purpose and clarity. Pull your team together for a biz strategy review. Paint a compelling vision for where the company will be in 1 year and in 3 years, and then outline the roles and responsibilities needed to get there. Everyone has a valuable contribution to make. Show your people where they fit in the plan. If you really do have the right people in the right roles, then assess any skills gaps they have and fill them – asap. Confident leaders with a clear plan and who recognize their team’s contributions create the most profitable companies.
- Question…just about everything. Try out the Socratic questioning process in your next brainstorming session. Socrates once asked, What’s the benefit of answering a question with more questions? Expanded perspective and greater insight for a start. Instead of asking “What is our company sales goal?” ask “What are we doing or can we be doing, innovatively, to ensure we meet and exceed our goal?” These are two very different questions. The first question requires only simple recall; the second requires reflection, evaluation and prediction – each of which stimulates higher level thinking processes. Asking better questions will produce new perspectives and better solutions.
- Change industries. You’re a widget maker, a waffle flipper or a systems integrator, but you’re not an expert on everything, despite what your mother told you! You may very well be the smartest software developer in your company or one of the truly elite when it comes to social media acuity, but it doesn’t mean you’re equipped to teach your folks how to sell more, despite economic conditions, or how to think through a rough team dynamic in order to move the company in a better direction. That’s okay. You do what you do well, and trainers and learning specialists do what they do. Step outside your industry and check out how another expert can help you. Bringing two experts together with a common goal ignites brilliance and wonderful profits!