As leaders and entrepreneurs operating in today’s economy otherwise known as the knowledge economy. Many critical factors contribute to the building of a successful and enduring enterprise. One of such factors is investment in the growth and development of your people – i.e. your employees, your team, your workforce or your constituency.
People are the only repository of knowledge and as a result they are your main resource.
I once read the story of a serial entrepreneur called Richard Branson of the Virgin brand. He runs circa 150 businesses across the length and breadth of the Virgin Empire. And some intriguing questions that got my head thinking were these;
- How on earth was he able to create such scale of businesses?
- How is he able to efficiently and profitably manage them and still keep sane?
The answer is simple. People!
Here’s to everyone in business who desire growth in today’s challenging business landscape; Whether you’re a chief executive, manager or a supervisor in private or government establishment. There’s a need to rediscover the art of investing in your people.
Here are 2 practical steps we all can take as leaders;
#1. Create A Working Culture
Creating a culture where innovation thrives and environment of work where people are encouraged to be Intrapreneurs is sometimes frowned upon. It is perceived as going too far in the drive for people development. Besides, an insecure leadership will never agree with me on this point and I sincerely appreciate their concerns.
However, it takes a leadership with guts that understands the value and worth of people to create this type of culture. A leadership that sees diamond where others see dirt.
Just so we’re on the same page. By intrapreneur, I mean any employee within an organisation who is given freedom and financial support to utilise entrepreneurial skills and thinking to seek out new initiatives that could benefit the organisation financially.
Some smart leaders are already doing this and thus enjoying the benefits. An example is in Richard Branson who supports viable and scalable initiatives from his employees. By enabling them to pursue new ideas, drive new projects, research new products, systems, etc. in ways that necessarily don’t follow the company’s usual routines and protocols.
This type of culture breeds people who don’t feel like employees but feel like people who owns the company they work for.
#2. Empower Your People
Empowerment goes beyond training employees. It encompasses mentoring, open communication, access to the right technology tools to mention but a few.
Every forward-thinking organisation makes learning and development a key part of their business strategy. This ensures that your people are constantly upgraded in knowledge which leads to measurable impacts on the business processes and by extension meeting your customer needs.
Photo credits: Google