Scaling Up Magazine Scaling Up Magazine April 2018 - Page 21
Why It’s Time For Your
Company to Refocus
on the 4 Decisions
BY: VERNE HARNISH
FOR MANY entrepreneurs, mastering
the 4 Decisions that every company must
get right is a way to unlock more growth
than they ever thought was possible.
These decisions—about People, Strategy,
Execution and Cash—(or the 4Ds) will
help you and your team stay focused on
the aspects of your business that drive
success and avoid getting lost in minutia.
With many industries changing at an
unprecedented pace, the 4Ds are more
important than ever. That is why they are
an important theme of this magazine and
why we focus so heavily on them in our
events, workshops and coaching program.
If your business is facing challenges for
which there seems to be no playbook
to handle, you'll be surprised by how
going back to the 4Ds and thinking
carefully about how you are addressing
them can make an impact. It can
mean the difference between sailing
ahead of the competition and finding
yourself wondering what hit you.
Here’s a quick refresher, adapted
from my book Scaling Up, to keep
them top of mind as you absorb the
ideas you hear the conference and
consider how to apply them:
Are all stakeholders in your
business—such as employees,
customer and shareholders—happy
and engaged in the business and
would you “rehire” all of them?
Business leaders need great people
both inside of the company and out
– investors, suppliers, customers,
partners, advisors – as well as a great
support network at home. All of these
people are critical to the business.
So how do you know you need to
make changes on the people side of
the business, and in your life, as you
scale up the venture. Two questions:
1. Are you happy? We’re not talking
about some kind of monklike peace, even
in misery. This is a more straightforward
question. Do you enjoy coming to work?
Or are you experiencing irreconcilable
issues with business partners? Is there
a specific executive not getting the job
done? Is there a team member who
disrupts everyone else? Is there a customer
with too big a piece of your revenue? Is
there a supplier not delivering? Is there
an investor or the bank making your
life difficult? Are you having issues
with a family member or friend?
2. Would you enthusiastically rehire
everyone, knowing what you know
today? This goes hand-in-hand
with the questions above (except
for family!) and includes not only
employees but existing customers,
suppliers and other stakeholders in
the business. It’s a painful question
that requires one to face the brutal
facts and make changes. It’s especially
tough when the company has simply
outgrown some earlier relationships.
If you fail to address these relationship
issues head on, they will continue to
drain your emotional energy, leaving
little left to expend on the Strategy,
Execution and Cash aspects of the
business. That’s why we address People
first in our 4 Decisions model.
Tip: In leading people, we recommend
taking a page from parenting: Establish
a handful of rules, repeat yourself a lot,
and act consistently with those rules.
This is the role and power of Core
Values. If discovered and used effectively,
these values guide all the relationship
decisions and systems in the company.