As a business coach, I frequently help clients take a hard look at some of the fundamentals they will enable them to grow their businesses. One of the keystones of The Rockefeller Principles is that you have to get the right people “on the bus.” You’re not going to scale up your business and grow it dramatically if you don’t have the right people in the right positions. But it’s not enough to hire good (even great) people. Business today is in a constant stage of change. You need people who are able to change and adapt to the changing needs of the world around them. You have to develop your people. Let’s look at one aspect of growing your people to grow your business.
Do Your Job Titles Clarify or Constrain?
In business, we tend to get a little bit hung up on titles and descriptions. I understand. It’s important to know who is responsible for what. But sometimes the job title we assign to someone boxes an employee in. If you’ve ever heard, “That’s not my job,” you know what I mean.
The business world today is fluid. And the challenges that face a growing company keep changing. While it’s important that employees clearly understand their responsibilities (and are held accountable), getting too strict with job titles probably doesn’t encourage the kind of transformational growth you’re after.
Move Beyond the Boundaries
In today’s business world you almost have to treat your company as if it’s a start-up. If you’re looking to transform your business you’re probably going to have to transform (change) peoples’ responsibilities and job descriptions. I’m not talking about creating vague and non-descript job titles that were all the rage a while ago (“VP of New Thinking”; “Chief Innovation Officer”; “Director of Corporate Confusion”).
I am, however, suggesting that you move beyond the traditional boundaries that traditional job titles and descriptions established. If your business is serious about transformation—so that you can grow—that means recognizing that job descriptions and responsibilities will continue to evolve. As you meet regularly to review short-term and long-term progress, you may have to bring up areas of responsibility that previously didn’t fall into anyone’s purview (Think back just 15 years: Who would have been responsible for something called “Social Media”?).
It’s OK to have job titles and job descriptions—even ones that are pretty traditional. But don’t let your people get boxed in by those things. Help them understand that business is constantly changing and that in order to make their mark in the world, they are going to have to change as well. It’s not about the title. It’s about the results.
Transformation isn’t easy—but it pays off. Is your business ready to transform itself in order to jump ahead of the competition? I urge you to take this quick, free assessment to find out! Finding out where you stand is essential to taking the next steps to business growth. Don’t let yourself—or your business—get boxed in.