Assemble An Exceptional And Capable Management Team.
Successful Brand Building begins with assembling a Highly Capable Management Team. The Competencies and the Strengths of your management team will, over the long term, determine the strength of your brand and the success of your company. Strong and capable leaders will assure that your brand will consistently deliver a competitive and exceptional brand experience.
- Each key manager establishes the Goals, Strategies and Action plans for their area of responsibility. They hold their team accountable the successful delivery on these goals. It is essential to have strong managers leading each of these crucial functions;
- Design and Merchandising
- Financial Management
Building a Strong Brand is similar to building a successful sports franchise. Winning Sports Teams usually win because that have Superstars In Every Game Breaker Position.
Hire For Culture Fit First, Passionistas Second, Skills Third.
A brand’s culture is the foundation for a positive motivational climate. We all agree that passion is important, and the right skills are critical. But the person’s ability to be aligned to the brand’s culture and fit in with the team will assist them in achieve true success. Most of us have worked with a team member that didn’t fit within the culture. It wasn’t long before that individual became disruptive and ultimately either modified their style or was they were replaced. Culture is the glue that holds the team together. Nothing can be more harmful than an individual that is clearly not aligned with the brand’s culture.
Hire Swiss Army Knives – Stretch Your Team To New Roles.
I have always believed in building my brands with the concept of employee versatility. Essential to this idea is finding employees who are what I call “Swiss Army Knives.” The idea of versatile employees is the new watchword in organizational science.
- Specialists generally have deep skills and narrow scope, giving them expertise that is recognized by peers but seldom valued outside their immediate job function.
- Generalists have broad scope and shallow skills, enabling them to respond or act reasonably quickly but often without gaining or demonstrating the confidence of their partners and customers.
- Swiss Army Knives, in contrast, apply depth of skill to a progressively widening scope of situations and experiences, gaining new competencies, building relationships, and assuming new roles."
“Swiss Army Knives” are capable of not only constantly adapting but also of constantly learning and growing.
Build A Highly Competitive And Resilient Culture.
A growing organization must compete successfully in the marketplace. Winning means exceeding the efforts of your competitors. With wins also will come some defeats. Brands must be able to accept some defeats and learn from them. They also must be able to take some hit but quickly move on. Competitiveness contributes to a winning culture but resilience will help your brand stand the test of time. Competitiveness and Resilience are two of the most important components to a brand’s culture.
Keep The Organization Flat, Lean And Agile.
As organizations develop over time they often can become increasingly bureaucratic. As levels are added in the organizational chart the slower the decision-making process will become. Added organization levels and added departments always create areas where incompetency can hide. Let’s face it . . . . today’s ultra-competitive environment requires rapid decision making and immediate and efficient execution.
Make Decisions Quickly - No Politics - No Bureaucracy.
Create an environment where decisions are made quickly. This doesn’t mean being reckless. It means establishing a Recurring Corporate Decision Making Process that is efficient and one that can make decisions swiftly.
Click I want more to download a quick bullet point outline of the Recurring Corporate Decision Making Process I have used in the past:
Demand Accountability To SMART Goals Versus Vague Goals.
Accountability always begins with SMART goals. The action letter in that acronym is the “M”. Which is for measurable. If a goal can’t be measured then how can someone be held accountable for delivering on that goal? Never use non measurable SQUISHY goals like “Improve visitor conversion”. State goals that are specific and that are measurable: Examples:
- ”Improve visitor conversion rate from 2.3% to 3.4% by January 2018.
- Drive sales increases in the Action Sports Channels from 2.3 million in 2017 to 3.4 million in 2018.
A Running Crew Doesn’t Have The Time To Become Bureaucratic.
Central to this this rule to always be slightly understaffed. Parkenson’s Law: “Work expands to the time available”. Which means that adding more people to solve your problems usually won’t make things better; in fact, more people often slow things down, and often result in a less quality work product.
Empower Agile Cross Functional Teams = Increase Focus .
Organizational charts express the formal organization structure and accountabilities of an organization. It also defines the formal lines of authority and communication. But many times, work needs to get done with people who have specific abilities that are from disparate parts of the organization. This is where Cross Functional Teams should be employed. Each of these teams should be organized for a very specific purpose. Click I Want More for further cross functional team parameters.
Continuous Improvement-Pursue Growth And Learning.
Continuous Improvement is an essential precept to a Learning Organization. The assumption is that every process can be improved and that every individual can learn and grow. Process improvement comes from a process whereby KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are defined and tracked and reported on a regular basis.
Each department should have its relative set of KPI’s that measure the essential output(s) of that department.
Remember-Your Worst Performer Establishes The Lowest Level Of Your Company’s Acceptable Performance.
Employees often compare themselves to their peers. They always know who the high performers are and who are the slackers. Slackers weigh down the organization and actually can pull down the average performance level of their peers. Many companies terminate the lowest 5% performers every year-eventually you might just run out of poor performers.
Have Time For Fun. Help Your Team to Enjoy The Ride.
Work should be enjoyable. It is where most of us spend the highest percentage time of every week. Work on ways to inject fun into your workplace. It should be part of your values, and it should be an essential component to your Culture.
No “Shitheads” Enough SAID . . . . . . .