What if every young child learning to walk decided after 10 or even 20 times falling that they were just going to stick to crawling. They were tired of the failure and walking seemed too hard. Crazy, right? What a scene that would be if most adults were crawling around because they gave up. Not learning to walk wasn’t an option, and neither was learning to read or write, despite the mistakes along the way.
Those falls or mistakes weren’t failures, they were simply experiences from which to learn and make the necessary adjustments to achieve success.
Yet it happens all the time in organizations trying to get their teams to embrace new skills and or stick to a process. It becomes optional and people give up after a few attempts without success. And the leadership allows it!
Countless times we find that companies have all the technology, structure and tools in place to grow at or better than market pace. Yet, they are not seeing growth in either revenue or profit. When we’re able to dig a little deeper, we find that it is usually one or more of these three reasons. They are simple to fix, but require dedication to the process:
1. Leadership is stuck in the whirlwind
It is understandable. The whirlwind hijacks our day – the 100 emails, multiple
conference calls, fires to put out, reports to submit, the things that keep us busy from the minute we start our day. In fact, it’s so common that being “busy” has somehow become a badge of honor. Ask a leader this question “How are you?” or “How’s it going?” and you’ll likely get this response: “I’m good, really busy.” Or “Great – so busy.” Or simply “Busy!”
The next question should be, “What are you busy doing?” In companies that are growing, the leaders are not putting out fires or sitting on conference calls all day. They are coaching and leading their teams. They are running strategy sessions, they are meeting with customers and strengthening partnerships!
2. New shiny object syndrome
Often companies have a culture in which the associates believe that the leader(s) are always chasing the new shiny object. They feel that it’s “strategy of the day”. Because results are not coming as rapidly as possible, the leaders will put in a new set of requirements. So, what do the associates do? Nothing. They wait it out. Growing companies have leaders that stick to the strategy. They know that there are basics that must be done to keep customers happy, to fill the funnel with new prospects, and to keep the associates engaged. The basics are either being taught, coached, and recognized as the foundation for success. They are not allowed to be optional. No, it’s not a new shiny object, but the results of sticking with and perfecting the basics while adhering to a not-optional process are truly very shiny!
3. Training is an event
Learning new skills is paramount to a growing and thriving company. Training is one component of teaching new skills. But, training without reinforcement becomes an event. See image below, courtesy of scitent.com.
This is the typical retention of trainings that are not reinforced. Sure, all training provides some strong take-aways and can re-energize the teams but the true payoff comes when it becomes a part of how you do things. Leaders find a way to make sure they are weaving the training into the daily actions and activities of the business. They continually reinforce and build upon the training. They provide 24/7 access to learning opportunities (see Will Your Sales Training Help Me At My Next Job?)
Notice “leadership” is at the center of each solution. It’s the leaders’ responsibility to ensure there is a focused process, a sound strategy and that people get the necessary attention through coaching and feedback. It’s not rocket science, it’s actually simple. It’s simple, but requires dedication, focus and a sound and structured process.
If you feel you’re falling into the trap of one of these three execution blockers, we can help. Butler Street focuses on helping companies and their people grow. Give us a call, we can free you from the whirlwind and get you busy doing things that make a difference!