Sunday, December 24, 2006

Growth & Stability

“If you want things to stay the same then everything needs to change!”

I was sitting in a business meeting the other day when a business coach talked about the two critical stages in any small business. They called one stage Growth and the other Efficiencies. Their premise was that a small business (their expertise) needed to be certain of which stage they were in and manage their energy and resources into one or the other phase!

It reminded me of some of the relationship counselling work I sat in as a student years ago. One of the challenges couples faced was a mismatch of styles. One partner may be into growth and change and the other into organisation and stability. Business it seems like relationships needs to manage this same dichotomy. As you will begin to see in coming newsletters the idea of marrying lessons from business to life and vice versa is the focus of these newsletters.

Are you growth focused?

  • Are you OK with constant change?
  • Do you seek new opportunities?
  • Do you focus on money problems from a ‘lets get more’ mindset?

Are you stability focused?

  • Do you prefer routine?
  • Do you review past projects?
  • Do you focus on money problems from a ‘lets cut costs’ mindset?

Growth has a forward thinking vibe while stability obviously learns and evolves the best ideas from the past and carries them into the future. One has change as an imperative while the other has sustainability at it’s heart.

Neither is the best, be both! Well work on them both at the same time. Its not an either/or choice but rather an AND choice. Personally, I run growth over the stability most of the time. The thing about this is that it creates friction with others who are trying to put into order the chaos I create. Knowing this the following actions may help:

If you are growth focussed:

  1. Manage fear in others
  2. Communicate frequently
  3. Respect and run timetables
  4. Manage capacity
  5. Acknowledge and recognise efforts

If you are stability focussed:

  1. Ask for help
  2. Communicate workload
  3. Present the facts in a non-emotive fashion
  4. Sell sustainability
  5. Invest in capacity

Taking life to the next level is usually dependent on your ability to grow and manage change for yourself and others.

Ask more of your life