Marisa Fong and Galia BarHava-Mon­teith look back over 24 months to share three key lessons for busi­ness own­ers.

This is our last col­umn, and we thought we’d take this chance to re­flect on lessons learned from both clients and col­lab­o­ra­tors over the course of our time shar­ing our thoughts and ex­pe­ri­ences with NZBusi­ness read­ers. The fu­ture is very look­ing in­cred­i­bly bright for us both. Marisa is con­tin­u­ing with her ex­cit­ing new ven­ture and Galia – now Dr Galia – is go­ing back to the fu­ture and act­ing as GM of Strate­gic Ca­pa­bil­i­ties un­til the end of the year for Fon­terra.

With both these path­ways in our im­me­di­ate fu­ture, it seems ap­pro­pri­ate to fo­cus on the key lessons that ap­ply to both owner-op­er­ated en­tre­pre­neur­ial busi­nesses and large cor­po­rates.

So we looked back on ev­ery­thing we wrote over the past two years for these col­umns to dis­til what we con­sider to be the three most im­por­tant ones.

What fol­lows is the re­sult: our three key lessons that we be­lieve ap­ply to ev­ery busi­ness, small and big, into the fu­ture. A GROWTH MIND­SET You sim­ply can­not sur­vive into the fu­ture with­out a growth mind­set. No­body in any in­dus­try can afford to have a fixed mind­set when it comes to get­ting ready for the fu­ture.

The world is chang­ing, and the pace of change is es­ca­lat­ing. The only way you can be ready for what the fu­ture will de­mand of you is by con­tin­u­ously adding to your ca­pa­bil­i­ties and ex­pand­ing your tool­kit. There are so many av­enues with scope for change – be it your ap­proach to lead­er­ship, how you go about de­sign­ing new prod­ucts, or how you ap­proach a con­sult­ing as­sign­ment.

We all need to keep learn­ing and grow­ing and look­ing for new things. Ag­ile ways of work­ing are about hav­ing a growth mind­set – proac­tively work­ing to ap­proach prob­lems in dif­fer­ent ways, draw­ing on dif­fer­ent dis­ci­plines and per­spec­tives and con­tin­u­ously ex­pand­ing your knowl­edge.

As we write this col­umn it is the begin­ning of Men­tal Health Week in New Zealand. The dark side of change is the con­stant anx­i­ety that liv­ing with un­cer­tainty can bring. As a psy­chol­o­gist, Galia is well aware of the toll a con­stantly chang­ing work­place has on in­di­vid­u­als. Adopt­ing a growth mind­set is one way to re­frame how we view change – one which is within ev­ery­one’s sphere of in­flu­ence.

It is by no means a panacea, but it is a way of suc­ceed­ing in this brave new, and con­stantly chang­ing, world. It is also a way for your em­ploy­ees to keep their ca­pa­bil­i­ties and skills cur­rent so they can weather the storm of change and con­tin­u­ally adapt and rein­vent them­selves.


“When val­ues are au­then­tic, and the dom­i­nant cul­ture is one of growth, ex­e­cu­tion, and con­nect­ed­ness, amaz­ing peo­ple will choose to come work with you.”

The fu­ture will not change this. Com­pa­nies who can ex­e­cute their vi­sion will con­tinue to be prof­itable and thrive into the fu­ture. Even if their strat­egy is not as great as it could be, if they get s**t done, they are likely to stay in busi­ness. In our ex­pe­ri­ence, busi­ness lead­ers who are able to fa­cil­i­tate the way peo­ple op­er­ate in their busi­ness to fo­cus on get­ting things done are suc­cess­ful. There are no two ways about it.

But to get things done, you have to be clear about what it is you want to get done – you, as a leader, need to have clar­ity on what out­puts need to look like and how they can be mea­sured. A key learn­ing from the four-day work­ing week ex­per­i­ment by Per­pet­ual Guardian was that by be­ing clear on out­puts and ex­pec­ta­tions, peo­ple be­came a lot more pro­duc­tive.

Let’s be very clear: it is much eas­ier to mea­sure in­puts (hours worked) than out­puts – be­cause defin­ing what good out­puts look like re­quires clar­ity and fo­cus from you, the leader.

To be fo­cused on ex­e­cu­tion you need to be very clear on what it is you want your peo­ple to do, to de­liver on, and what their out­comes should look like. Don’t un­der­es­ti­mate the power of a good-old up-to-date po­si­tion de­scrip­tion with clear ex­pec­ta­tions and de­liv­er­ables.

And don’t dis­re­gard the need to up­date it reg­u­larly to re­flect what peo­ple are do­ing.

Peo­ple of­ten ask us how we are able to get so much done across our di­verse port­fo­lios, and the an­swer is that we al­ways clar­ify up­front what our de­liv­er­ables, or suc­cess, should look like – be it a new busi­ness, a doc­toral the­sis, or a work­shop de­signed for our clients.

With con­stant change, get the ‘heart’ right: your val­ues based or­gan­i­sa­tion cul­ture

This is our last les­son, one that has al­ways been at the heart of ev­ery­thing that we do.

With re­lent­less change, the power of hav­ing au­then­tic, grounded, clearly ar­tic­u­lated and con­sis­tently demon­strated val­ues is more vi­tal than ever. No ad­vance­ments in AI, ro­bot­ics, or automation will change what is ul­ti­mately at the heart of the hu­man con­di­tion – au­then­tic con­nec­tions.

The best peo­ple – in our mind, those with a growth mind­set who can con­tin­u­ally rein­vent them­selves and adapt to change – will have more op­tions than ever be­fore as we move into the fu­ture. The thing that an employer (that’s you!) can of­fer these high fly­ers is al­low­ing them to be part of some­thing that is big­ger than them­selves, some­thing to which they feel a sense of be­long­ing.

When val­ues are au­then­tic, and the dom­i­nant cul­ture is one of growth, ex­e­cu­tion, and con­nect­ed­ness, amaz­ing peo­ple will choose to come work with you. And they are the ones who will make your com­pany truly great. We have re­ally en­joyed shar­ing our thoughts through

NZBusi­ness. We hope you en­joyed read­ing them and have taken some­thing from our col­umns.

You can con­tinue to en­gage with Galia and Marisa by con­nect­ing via our virtual PA, Jo Brady, at [email protected]­ners.

We wish you all growth and suc­cess in what­ever ven­tures (and ad­ven­tures!) lie ahead in this ex­cit­ing and rapidly chang­ing world!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.