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A Perspective On Organizational Behavior with Shane Spiers
We’re going to talk about an organizational behavior perspective around how you can take back your time with Shane Spiers. Let me tell you a little bit about Shane Spiers. He is a business-scaling strategist. That’s important when you want to take back time because you really create leverage for your strategy. He is also an accomplished leader with small to medium enterprises, midsize and also the FTSE 250 success. His business track record is dominated by leading seven, eight and nine-figure rapid-growth companies. His roles have included being a CEO of a $25 million company providing services to Central UK Government and as MD of a $240 million business unit responsible for leading a team of over a thousand people operating in 135 sites and in 23 cities. This guy knows how to be productive with all of that targeting. Shane’s thing is the Summit SCALE, the seven to eight-figure business growth model that equips successful business owners to transition from an entrepreneurial business to a managed growth business. Shane, welcome to the show.
Thank you for having me.
When you have to be in charge of a thousand people and over a hundred sites, what’s the key thing that enables you to keep that team working efficiently and effectively?
People don't want to be told what to do all the time. Click To Tweet I would say clarity around what the goals are and how do we behave around here and what’s important right now? I start with being clear about the vision and purpose and all those things. Lots of people think they’re ethereal fluffy stuff. Our system is something corporate, but that’s where I’ll start. You’ve got to be clear about your long-term vision. What are you trying to do as a business? Who do you serve? What do you do and why do you do it? Those things are deep and important. The third aspect of those and these are often talked about all the time but I don’t think applied right. What are the core values of your organization? Those things are important as guiding principles because as managers, as leaders in large organizations, you can’t be there all the time to tell people what to do, to show them what to do and to give them advice.
People don’t want to be told what to do all the time. They want to get on with it and figure stuff out for themselves. I start with those, trying to get clear about what’s the long-term goal, breaking that down to what are the short-term priorities, what’s important right now and how do we behave around here? Those core values are important culturally because that’s what you recruit to. That’s the people you bring in. They fit in your culture. They think like you. They’re like-minded. They want the same things and the same things are important to them.
I just want to highlight that in my experience of working with small businesses, they cut that timeout, “We don’t have the time for that. We just get on and do it.” I don’t care how big the organization is. How do you get yourselves aligned to what you stand for, who you’re really serving and what the benefit is of the service? Unless you are clearly creating and communicating your mission, vision and goals from that perspective. I agree with you. It’s 100% important. If you don’t set your culture, it will get set in a way that you don’t like. You’ll end up with a culture that is much harder to change than it is to purposefully create, especially if you’re starting a new business or you’re still small.
If you leave it to chance, you could end up with anything. It could be working against you all the time.
Those were important. What do you say to companies that might come to you that are like, “We want to get on with this?” How do you get them to understand its value? What’s the key thing where they go, “I got it and I’m willing to spend the time on it.”
I say have a little bit of trust in the process. Just go with me. Normally, my first day or two working with any business is stepping back and taking that helicopter view. There’s plenty of time to get into the nitty-gritty of all the issues that have got to be fixed. Until we get clear and step back and we’ll get on the same page, particularly if it’s a leadership team that’s newly formed or that sort of thing. Let’s step back and get clear about the long-term vision of the organization. I’ve read some research that less than 10% of us are visionary leaders. A lot of business owners have an obscure vision or don’t have a vision at all. We’re not practicing that kind of visionary leadership. The problem is there are so many people out there who want to be part of something. They want to go somewhere. Unless you don’t create that bigger purpose, that bigger vision, that bigger goal, how are you going to attract the best people and get people to come with you?
Make sure that you're growing, but that you're growing sustainably. Click To Tweet Their best performance is going to come from being connected. They talk about Gallup in the research about 70% of the workforce being disengaged. It’s because they don’t have anything to hang their hat on. What can I be talking about this company and have a clear set of expectations of how they want me to show up? If we’re not giving that kind of structure, we can’t expect that type of performance. What kind of results are you getting with your clients that we could hang our hat on and say, “If I were to engage in this process, I could look at this type of group?”
The business you were talking about that I was leading a thousand people, that business grew 2,000% in eight years from SME to FTSE 250. It began from a small business to one of the top 200 businesses in the UK. That’s where a lot of these things were honed, practiced and my beliefs were formed. I’m helping other organizations. I’m not eight years into it, but we’re getting 50% growth in some of these.
50% growth in a year for many companies is a huge growth. You also don’t want to grow too fast because you’ve got to put the systems and structures in place. You also want to make sure that you’re growing but you’re growing sustainably.
A lot of people come to me to say, “I’ve got a business growth problem. We’re not growing fast enough.” What I say is, “That may be true but what you’re saying is you just need more sales and more revenue to grow. I do think you’ve got a business growth problem. I think you’ve got a business growth model problem. I don’t think you’ve got a model to scale your organization.” I see so many people invest, “We want to grow. We’re going to invest more in salespeople.” If you don’t invest in the other parts of your business, your delivery, your backend service, all of the other parts, then you start to fail in all those things, then you’re just going to get run into execution problems. You’re going to stop ticking customers off and you get customer dissatisfaction. You never hit sales numbers that you expect to hit. For me, it’s a holistic solution. You’re going move all of these parts of the organization on at the same time.
There’s a saying that I heard many years ago that goes, “The presenting problem is often not the problem.” We have to dig deeper. What we think is the problem isn’t often the problem. I was working with one company and she thought that her problem was sales. She needed to bring on more sales. The more we dug in to understand her numbers, she was doing advertising for a magazine and we found that she was losing 85% or more than 85% of the clients who are not reestablishing their advertising for the coming year. It wasn’t a sales problem, it was a retention problem. If she was continuing to create an average number of sales and keep the retention, she would have grown dramatically. It’s really key to understand where that problem really is and that’s what you do. You help to hone in on which aspect of that as you bring them all together on the same path.
I always talk about these three barriers as you scale and as you grow an organization past where you can run it yourself and you can manage the people yourself. For most of us, we can only manage seven to ten people. Once you get past that stage, you’ve got to start figuring out how to run your business in a different way. When you get to that stage, there are three barriers you’ve got to overcome. One is around leadership. It’s the ability not only develop your own leadership skills but the ability to develop leaders across your organization. That doesn’t mean we’re all top leaders and CEOs. It means people in your organization who can delegate, who can create the conditions for performance and solve problems. You’ve got to fix that.
The second one is systems, which we’ve touched on. You’ve got to build systems where you can scale so you can get consistency in the communication, the decisions, and the delivery and all of those sorts of things. The third one, which links to the sales, is scaling your marketing that you’ve got an effective marketing, but you’re not on this rollercoaster sales thing that we market when sales are down and then we forget about it when sales are up.
The presenting problem is often not the problem. Click To Tweet Those are things for people to think about in terms of where their current barrier is, but also to remember that it might not be where you think it is. We are a little bit limited on the time that we had. I wanted to make sure that we could get some of those great nuggets out and I know that people are taking away. If they want to hear more, where can they find out more information about you, Shane?
If they go to www.SummitLeader.com, there are loads of free resources there and have a look and poke around to your heart’s content and see what you like.
Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom.
Thank you all for being here because you are the most important part of this podcast. Without you, we wouldn’t continue to find great experts and leaders in their space to come and bring some of their wisdom to you. The nut of what we heard is being strategic. It’s about setting those common goals and taking the time to be clear and communicate that clearly as well as the behaviors that you expect in the organization to set the right culture. That’s going to be the cornerstone of your leadership. You can take it from there and look at the systems that support and then the marketing structures that are then filtering business through the funnel. Thank you all for being here and we’ll see you in the next time.
About Shane Spiers
His roles have included CEO of a 25 million company providing services to central UK government and MD of a 240 million business unit responsible for leading a team of over 1000 people operating in 135 sites in 23 cities.
These days Shane’s thing is “Summit SCALE®: The Seven to Eight-Figure Business Growth Model” that equips successful business owners to transition from an entrepreneurial business to a managed growth business.