What’s The Value of Your Business
We often have conversations with leaders about the value or worth of a business in the market place. We have found that most of us think about financial value. Whilst this is a good place to start, for me, it is only half of the story.
When I think about value I always see two sides to the statement. The first is turnover and net profit, but the second is the goodwill and value of the team that makes the business perform well. Now a number of therapy business owners that we talk to are beginning to recognise that developing a values driven culture adds real value to the bottom line. Both are important.
Business owners are used to wrestling with the all too familiar pressures. Trying to regrow the business and its reputation whilst maintaining cash flow in a competitive market place. Gaining a greater alignment of your team to meet today’s pressures and the priorities of tomorrow is critical, particularly in the current business climate.
Faced with turbulence and uncertainty your Clinics culture and values become the major source of continuity, coherence, and sustainability, and matching business success with employee engagement is vital.
Looking Back in Time
Now, at the start of my career, many of us were content to live and work in hierarchical structures. I was thankful for a job, a career, a good salary, and in some cases a pension to help us to grow and support our families. However, this is not the case in today’s world.
The challenge for any business is to recognise that a command and control approach to management is much less likely to get us to where we need to be to meet future challenges. Yes, you need a clear sense of direction, but how you get to your destination requires more than a pointed finger. It requires leadership.
Leading with Values
Whilst the obvious pressure upon you as a business owner is likely to lead to a tightened grip to balance the books and maintain cash flow. The counter-intuitive response is to engage and harness the silent potential that lies within your team. However, too many employees across all sectors are effectively forced to leave their own values, creativity, and ideas at the door on the way in. In truth, this is not a great place to be.
As business owners, we need to retune our approach and be actively working to create a culture that minimises management control. We find that hierarchy, status, and fear are all too often lurking in the background culture. Instead promote freedom, equality, accountability, fairness, openness, transparency, and trust amongst the workforce. As a result, a more systemic approach to building resilience and goodwill is essential. Easy to say, but less easy to achieve when organisations take a short term view.
For continued success, everyone has to understand and live the values. This allows the function of your business to pivot around a set core values rather than an endless list of rules and procedures. Getting the balance right is important.
Like a fish out of water
I like the analogy of fish swimming in a dirty fish tank. All too often businesses change the fish (key people), in a few cases some or all of the water (priorities, policies – organisational rules and governance is amended). Rarely do we take time to safeguard the fish (employees and associates), deep clean the tank, and then slowly reintroduce the fish to a new and different environment and operating model (culture).
Now I am not an aquarist, but I have lost a few goldfish in my time! It always seemed to be down to one of two things. The first is over feeding. This is equivalent to the same old management speak repeated over and over until everyone gets sick of the message. In my view, It makes the water toxic and some of the fish die. Alternatively, it was failing to properly safeguard the fish during the process of cleaning the tank. If we do this it allows the water in the tank to settle and stabilise before then reintroducing the fish (systemic change).
It’s all about Values
By taking some time to better understand values we can improve the relationship between the team and what business leaders espouse for their organisation at any given point in time. So, our own values are driven by personal beliefs and are effected through our behaviour.
If we gain a better understanding of personal values and alignment this creates a more engaged and higher performing clinic. If we understand the gap between the current view (water in the fish tank) and the desired culture it gives you as a leader a better chance of bringing about systemic change.
Bringing Value and Success
For the future, successful businesses will be those that pay more attention to understanding and aligning personal values with espoused organisational values (the values that other people see lived out in the organisation each day). To achieve this we must live them, and translate meaning into daily interactions with everyone they meet.
So, we need to turn, the vision and mission for the business need to align with espoused values to ensure a believable story for both employees and customers alike. Read more here.
In return, this leads to increased employee engagement, improved productivity, improved patient outcomes, and leads to financial return
How would your employees and patients describe your current organisational culture?
Why not find out more about how we can help you by grabbing a virtual coffee with us.