Want Different Results? Try Something New.
Business owners: when you hire an accomplished professional in the hopes that he or she will bring change to your company, listen to their ideas, and break away from the “we’ve always done it that way” mentality.
A manager in a small business recently commented to us that she was frustrated because the principals of her firm were disappointed that the business was not seeing sales improvement results and profitability increases in the winter months. A seasonal business, colder winter months were not as busy as the spring, summer and fall selling periods, and sales were slow. They were depending on tried and true marketing and sales tactics to seek a profit bump. Why weren’t they working?
After leaving a corporate meeting with the firm principals, the manager was frustrated.
“They just don’t get it!” she said. “I have tried to tell them that if they expect different results, we have to do things differently. I suggested quite a few ideas. However, I got shot down every time.” Yikes.
This manager has over 25 years of experience in the industry. She knows all facets of the business, production, inventory control, sales, and customer service. Her principals are both college educated corporate executives who elected to leave the corporate world to try small business entrepreneurship. On the surface, the business appears to be successful. The lights are on every day, and their products are made and sold.
Nevertheless, as any small business owner learns (sometimes the long and hard way), what the book says and what happens in the real world are often different!
“To continue to do the same thing over and over and expect different results is pure insanity.” Albert Einstein was right. These business principals continue to do the same thing and expect different results. As the manager tried to explain to them, if they are expecting different results, they must try different actions.
In addition to being open to new approaches, business owners need to listen to their staff, which is a critical element for overall business success. The staff is intimately involved if the day-to-day, wants the business to succeed, and knows that’s the way they continue to have a job! Most times, the staff has great ideas because they do the work and specific tasks every single day.
So, listen to your staff. You may not agree or understand exactly what you’re hearing, but if you’ll take the time and effort to learn more about each specific idea, concept or opportunity presented to you, you will be amazed at the results. In some instances, you may not have all the information needed to sustain a solid idea. You can explain, in simple terms, why the idea is not viable now but could work with some changes, new approaches or different angles! It’s up to you to listen, get involved, contribute your expertise and try something new.