As a business coach, I’ve seen a lot of companies grow—and fail. Some thrive. Some struggle. Some never achieve their goals. I’ve written before about how companies really can’t take things to the next level unless they change (transform) their thinking and actions. But what does that look like? What exactly is business transformation—from a business coach’s view?
Business Words That Mean Something
If you look at the illustration above, you may initially see a cluster of words: Performance, strengths, options, profit, culture, scale up, excellence best, and more. But as someone who helps companies create business strategies, and develop dynamic corporate visions, I can tell you that these aren’t just words. These are business words that mean something.
Real, Measurable Results
Each of the words you see in this illustration represents real achievements that my clients have realized. We’re not just focused on mastering “Business Theory 101”. We work on things that bring about real change—and measurable results.
A Concrete Example
During a recent interview with Scaling Up Business, I was asked to talk about the idea of business transformation. In the interview (which you can hear by clicking here) I used the example of a current client’s company. It was an established company that—while successful—was flat in terms of growth. As a matter of fact, they hadn’t really seen measurable growth for a number of years. Increasing revenue wasn’t their only goal. It was a family business and the parents wanted to pass it on to the next generation. You see that small word, “succession” in the illustration above? That was a major goal for this family-owned franchise.
And while they had ideas of where they wanted to go, they knew they needed help to get there. The company had 18 employees and annual revenues of $8 million, but they wanted revenues of $33 million. They were a “middle-of-the-pack” franchise—and wanted to climb into the top tier. And they wanted to successfully transition the business to the next generation—but it wasn’t obvious that this would be successful.
Essentially, they asked me to fix their business in order to reach those goals. I focused on the successor and asked him if he was willing to change in order to achieve that kind of success. I knew the business wouldn’t change unless he was willing to change the way he operated.
When he responded with an emphatic “yes,” the whole team worked together with me to transform the way the company operated in order to achieve the growth they wanted.
It took some time (and a lot of work!) but after 11 years they are close to achieving $55 million in revenue. They employ 1,500 people, and they rank third in their national franchise—up from number 60—before we started working to transform their company. They now have six locations in multiple states. Oh, and that “succession” thing that I mentioned above? Now the founders’ grandson is looking to step into this still-growing business.
Those numbers didn’t just happen because the team set them as goals. They happened because the successor agreed to change the way he operated—and he got buy-in from his team. Business transformation (which leads to scaling up and success) begins with personal transformation and removing personal constraints.
Basically, none of this incredible growth would have happened without first transforming the company. That began with changing the way the leadership thought and acted. It also meant changing and developing the culture. It meant growing the leadership team. All of the things you see in that “word salad” at the top of the page came about as a result of being willing to go through real transformation.