Check out our free on-demand webinar on this topic here.
If you’re reading this, you made it through 2022 and thrived (or survived) during the holidays. Now, 2023 is here, and that could mean several things for you, your team, and your organization.
If you’re like us at CultureShoc, you’re probably thinking about hiring and retaining talent, setting & achieving 2023 goals, earning and retaining new clients/customers, developing & improving products, and possibly doing all of this with unstable economic conditions.
A common denominator of all these things is uncertainty. Just as a new year brings promise and opportunity, it carries uncertainty and challenge with it. While we don’t know the future, we can and should prepare our best for the unknown. And when uncertainty exists, we believe the antidote is charging into it, as a Buffalo would through a storm.
Here are 5 tips to help you take on the unknown with courage, charging into and through the storm in 2023:
- Smart Goal Setting & Prioritizing Leadership Skills
- Delegate Tasks Both Internally and Externally to Lower Business Costs
- Embrace New Technology and Tools
- Unlock Greater Contribution with Leadership Development
- Adopt a Perpetual Learner Mindset & Seek Out Wisdom (from Clients, Customers, Partners, Vendors, and Centers of Influence)
SMART goals were developed by George Doran, Arthur Miller and James Cunningham in their 1981 article “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management goals and objectives” .
Tip #1: Smart Goal Setting & Prioritizing Leadership Skills
This starts by assessing what worked in the past and looking for signs of trouble or success. Take stock of your team’s performance, morale, and critical skills. Identify what will help you move the needle this year; Prioritize areas of focus that can accelerate your scaling efforts with limited resources.
Once you’ve identified these areas to prioritize, create SMART Goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant & Time-Bound) to ensure success is achievable.
While many business leaders may feel inclined to pull back professional development and coaching in times of uncertainty, keep in mind that stronger leadership skills in your team are a competitive advantage, and good leaders will help you reduce costs in other areas.
As a bonus tip: don’t forget to make sure goals are meaningful and that ‘the why’ is communicated to all – as this helps align everyone on the same page and keeps them motivated towards achieving it!
Delegation doesn’t need to be exclusive to your employees.
Tip #2: Delegate Tasks Both Internally and Externally to Lower Business Costs
Delegation is an important part of scaling with limited resources and can help streamline processes when done correctly. It’s important to delegate tasks both internally, within the organization, and externally, through outside vendors or contractors.
We often work with c suite executives that struggle with “letting go of the vine.” They don’t trust that their team truly has the leadership competencies and capabilities needed to do the work they do. As a result, their capacity to work ON the business suffers, and the growth and readiness of their next-generation leaders do as well.
Data tells us that management teams at businesses with strong organizational culture recognize that giving autonomy is uncomfortable but necessary for high potentials to develop the new skills needed to lead their business into the future. When a leader refuses to adopt this leadership style, the true cost to the business is far more than just money.
Companies don’t need to exclusively delegate to their employees. In fact, with a growing gig economy and number of reliable freelancers available, innovative business leaders are looking at delegation a bit differently and gaining traction by incorporating outside help into their business operations. There’s huge cost-saving potential when you form a strategic alliance and delegate externally instead of hiring additional employees for things such as graphic design, video editing, business development, or even training.
While the initial concern for most is that you’ll lose quality, your brand won’t be properly represented, or it’ll take more time giving direction than it’s worth; if your organization has a scrappy start-up mentality and there’s a culture of cost-effective scaling, you’ll quickly see the positive impact this strategy can have on lowering variable costs.
Here are a few providers with services worth exploring:
Fiverr & Upwork
Global networks of freelancers with specific skills and services for everything you can imagine. There’s occasionally a language barrier or difference in the time zone which can be tricky to manage, but the savings in cost and capacity are undeniable.
An example of unlimited video editing for a fixed monthly cost. Content creation is no doubt important to a growing business, but it can be incredibly time-consuming. The folks at BeCreatives get the job done, they do it well, and they do it on the cheap when compared to hiring and developing internal employees.
Business development through a 3rd party company can be scary, but these guys are the real deal and changing the industry. Their network of business development professionals is extensive, the training they develop for their employees ensures brand consistency, and their software gives you insights and data to maintain complete control as if these representatives were your employees.
Many companies fail because of the enormous cost associated with hiring a salesforce; this is an example of a creative cost-saving alternative.
Stay curious and find new ways to do things better through advancing technology.
Tip #3: Embrace New Technology and Tools
We’ve also found that delegation to technology can be an amazing solution for leaders who don’t have the luxury of simply adding more people to the team. To make the most of limited resources and establish a business continuity plan with agility, create workflows that include the latest technology. This can help streamline manual processes and save time in completing tasks or implementing strategies.
Automation software such as Zapier, Hootsuite or MailChimp can be used to automate repetitive tasks like social media management, email campaigns, customer service inquiries, etc. Additionally, project management platforms like Asana or Trello are great for tracking progress on larger projects. Investing in these will not only save time but also ensure better results with quality control measures built-in.
While a company’s employees and their human capital is undoubtedly their most important asset, their learning agility and willingness to embrace new tech can certainly be a competitive advantage.
Here’s a list of a few other tools that we’ve either used ourselves or heard success stories from our clients about.
Create a quick video message and paste it into the body of your email instead of writing an essay. This saves you time, increases the likelihood of comprehension, and makes a positive impression on internal and external recipients.
This artificial intelligence for copywriting and artwork is straight-up magic. In fact, it gave us insights when writing this very blog.
This may very well be the future of video editing, amongst many other individual components that make this tool worth having in your arsenal.
One of the absolute best programs we’ve seen for recording screen shares or explainer videos. Whether used for your training program to develop internal employees or as a part of your content strategy for marketing, you should check this one out.
While creative purists may scold those who use Canva’s templates for graphic design, it’s intuitive and gets the job done. Plus, it costs a lot less time and money than incorporating the adobe suite into your workflows.
*We are not associated with or receiving commissions from any of the companies mentioned above, these recommendations are purely based on our experiences with them.
The next generation of business leaders is already here. As a leader it’s up to you to identify and develop them.
Tip #4: Unlock Greater Contribution with Leadership Development
Studies have shown that the average U.S. employee is utilizing less than 50% of their intelligence and capabilities. At CultureShoc, we believe that unlocking greater contributions from your team starts with Leadership Development. Leadership development and a focus on organizational culture is one of the most cost-effective ways to sustainable business growth.
The key is to instill a culture of ownership and accountability; by creating shared understanding amongst team members and enabling them to identify areas where they can contribute at their highest levels.
Leadership development and coaching programs also help teams better understand their individual strengths and weaknesses while equipping them with the skills needed to take on more responsibility, build stronger relationships, and foster collaboration in order to achieve goals.
No matter what type of organization you are – whether it’s a multinational corporation or a startup in its early stages – when done strategically, Leadership Development and coaching will pay dividends that are far greater than the cost of implementing it.
Strategic alliances are a great solution for Leadership Development as well. By hiring professionals who specialize in developing leadership skills and company growth, you can ensure that your team is set up for success with meaningful learning catered specifically to their needs. This also allows leaders to increase self-awareness and learn new skills from those immersed in the field.
Keep your focus on strengthening leadership competencies. There are opportunities for growth everywhere if you stay curious.
Tip #5: Adopt a Perpetual Learner Mindset & Seek Out Wisdom
(from Clients, Customers, Partners, Vendors, and Centers of Influence)
As leaders, it’s important to stay open-minded and adaptable to whatever challenges arise in order to be successful. To do this, you must also be willing to seek out advice and wisdom from others who have experienced similar situations or faced the same challenges as your team.
By building relationships with clients, customers, partners, vendors, and centers of influence in your industry – aka mentors – you not only gain greater knowledge but can also get access to new resources and ideas that may present themselves as opportunities for growth.
Adopting a perpetual learner mindset will also give you the confidence and courage to take risks and make decisions that may not be conventional or popular, but ultimately can help you move your team forward. Leadership Development is not a one-time event. It should be an ongoing process where leaders are continuously learning, growing, and evolving with their teams. Therefore, it’s important to stay curious and never stop seeking out new knowledge that can help you develop yourself as well as those around you.
By investing in Leadership Development programs and building relationships with mentors, organizations have the opportunity to unlock greater contributions from their teams while developing stronger cultures of ownership and accountability that are essential for lasting success.
Now Go Do Something With This and Charge Into The Storm!
As the world continues to evolve and new technologies emerge, organizations are being pushed to think creatively about how they can maximize their resources and achieve more with less.
A leader’s willingness to make investments in their future leaders and create a strategy that embraces new tech will play a big part in determining the success of their company.
In 2023, there will be no shortage of opportunities for cost-cutting and efficiency improvement, such a plan is important to take a strategic approach to ensure long-term success.
At CultureShoc, we want to help you bring out the best version of your team and company through Leadership Development and strategic delegation.
Pete Honsberger, CultureShoc’s Lead Coach, authored this blog with contributions from Joe Jurec, CultureShoc’s Growth Leader.
Contact us today to discuss a strategy for leveling up your organization’s next generation of leaders.