A high standards driven culture
Carpe diem! This expression is often translated to mean, Seize the day! It is part of a longer advice to, seize the day and not trust to wait until the next day to act for we cannot be certain as to what might occur tomorrow. The expression captures the spirit of enterprise that drives individuals to act decisively on an idea or plan based on the best information available.
The spirit of enterprise is one of seeking opportunities and embracing change.
For ideas to have business value we need customers. To be sustainable a business needs repeated sales over the long term. Developing a sustainable business therefore requires a capacity to delight sufficient numbers of customers over the long term. There has to be a constant seeking out of new opportunities and responses with fresh ideas.
One of the newer product lines to hit the shelves of Canadian supermarkets is natural tropical drinks like tetra-packed coconut water in competition with sugary pop drinks. Many years ago a classic pop drink company defined its market as one that included all drinks hot and cold. This lead to a strategy of making the drink available to consumers from vending machines to supermarkets, from local diners to franchise chains, and from gas stations to office recreational rooms. It will be interesting to see if the “healthy” natural drinks producers are sufficiently driven to expand beyond existing markets.
Transforming an idea into a sustainable business requires knowledge and skills that include leadership, management, production, finance and marketing. This means assembling a team of specialist. The spirit of enterprise should generate excitement within the team to the point where ideas generated lead to innovations that delights a growing market.
When the spirit of enterprise is transformed into the business culture, it empowers individuals and teams to take the initiative to come up with ideas that can be turned into productive action.
A high growth business has two tasks:
1. Ignite the spirit of enterprise; and,
2. Sustain the spirit of enterprise.
The essential elements for these tasks are:
Questioning The Status Quo
In a small business just starting-up, it is easier to bring everyone into one room to discuss the ‘big picture” of “what” the business is about and “why” it must succeed. Everyone gets to discuss across lines of demarcation of duties. But as a business grows and departmental walls grow between job functions a bureaucratic organizational structure may start to crowd out the big picture of the “what” and “why” of the business.
It is therefore vital to instil a culture of questioning the status quo to encourage creative ideas from everyone. There should be no “taboos” that inhibit discussion, adoption and implementation of ideas.
Moving from desk top to notebook and now multiple smart devices to access computing functions appears to be natural to many of us. But this was made possible with enterprising technology companies encouraging a culture of thinking differently.
The spirit of enterprise encourages adopting a business system open to change.
We have often heard the expression, “a product whose time has come”. The right quality, right price and right market are all essential for business success. To deliver quality of experience consistently is an important objective for all businesses. This comes from the humans involved in the business from production to delivery that leads to customer delight.
To succeed at delighting the customer requires investment in human resources who feel delighted knowing that they have made the customer happy. Give team members’ responsibility in a manner that empowers and allows them to share in the success of the business.
The spirit of enterprise can spark a sense of achievement that drives individuals to continue delighting customers.
Business organizations and teams are made up of people. Happy people tend to be driven to give their best. Simply making people happy is not enough to improve performance. Team members have to be committed to the vision and objectives of the business.
The spirit of enterprise can promote a culture of inclusiveness that encourages a strong belief in the merits of the business. This stimulates a sense of satisfaction in every team member so he or she constantly strives to serve the interest of the customer.
A business with a spirit of enterprise tends to sustain high growth.
International Business Consultant
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