Scaling Up Magazine Scaling Up Magazine April 2018 - Page 21

VERNE HARNISH SPRING 2018 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: PEOPLE 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.