The Growth Leadership Mind-Set
I have some news for you, its not new news and it isn’t surprising news either.
You don’t own the customer experience, it belongs with the customer.
All too often I hear the phrase “you have to educate the customer about what they can have” WOW!, I mean really? Are we still doing it this way, selling what we have and not what the customer actually wants?
I’m a Strategy Consultant, Trainer and Systems Thinker, I’m also obsessed with making organisations as successful and enjoyable places to work as they can be. I believe that organisation leaders must have three major capabilities to drive growth: Mind-Set, Curiosity and a Willingness to Adapt to What the Customer Wants.
As a child I was a talented artist able from an early age to draw recognisable copies of real life. No Picasso I admit but good non-the-less. This was because I was encouraged from an early age by a teacher to believe I could do the things I was doing. In moments of self-doubt he would say to me, “if you believe you can do it, you’ll be right. If on the other hand if you believe you’re not able, then again you’ll be right“.
Or to say things another way, how you think about a situation will determine how you feel and behave, and how you behave will determine the eventual outcome. So when played through the lens of Growth Leadership Mind-Set we are blessed with the ability to try, fail (maybe) and learn from the experience. This approach gets you quickly to a place where you’re thinking about how to make things happen, rather than how things are impossible to change and overcome.
From the growth perspective then, the Growth Leadership Mind-Set is crucial. If you don’t have a Growth Leadership Mind-Set, then you’re not playing a leadership role when it comes to growth. The evidence is played out with how you approach customers and their needs.
The Core Capabilities for Driving Growth
The First is to have curiosity. Its about how you get to understand your customer and their needs. Its sometimes referred to as ‘consultative selling‘. In order to be a Growth Leader you really do have to understand your customers needs, time-frames, price limitations and to some extent their wider market so you can have a feel of their motivations.
Secondly, its important to have learning agility. Its not so important to know something from the get-go, but it is important that you’re able to learn what your customers are going through. Its especially important when markets are being disrupted meaning your customer probably isn’t an expert in knowing what they want so you have to learn to collaborate together to find the solution.
Lastly is to actually have a Growth Mind-Set. To show-up and want and believe that your organisation can and will experience growth.
As a Strategy Consultant my role is frequently to support organisations to be relevant to their customers needs of tomorrow. What that means is looking at the wider customer needs, their markets and their capabilities and then designing solutions that meet those needs.
I play the role of facilitating transformation, because being aligned to customers often means that the entire value-chain must work together to meet those needs. So the way the Accountant works, the Operations Managers work, all relate to one another, as do suppliers and service delivery channels. The way in which all parts of the wider system come together and are able to grow together supporting the customers needs leads to growth.
And ultimately the Growth Leader must be able see beyond the horizon, looking at how markets and customers are or could be disrupted. In this way the Growth Leader can make their own disruptions. Any Growth Leader therefore must be able to hold themselves to account for the growth of the organisation and when, whether measured in the quarter, the next 6 months or year on year.
Philip Dawson MBA | Strategy Consultant | Trainer | Systems Thinker | Growth & Innovation Enthusiast
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Ref: Ismail Amla – CGO Capita