We help Independent Businesses grow profitably by focussing on Vision, Values and Execution.

If you'd like to find out more about our programme when we launch in November, please leave us your details here.

Vision

Your vision gives your company strategy. It gives it a goal. It tells everyone where you're going. It gives it direction.

Attract

A good vision should attract both the right team to come work with you, and the right clients to use your products or services.

If it focuses on what you're in business to create, rather than what you're in business to do, it will attract people who think bigger.

Imagine this. You run a hair salon. Who would you want working for you - someone whose sole focus is on cutting your customers' hair, or someone who wants to make your customers feel good about themselves with their hair cut? Which will make your customers come back more?

Align

A good vision should provide a direction of travel for your company. It should show clearly where you're headed, and align your team behind it. Alignment is an incredibly effective tool. Why?

It helps decision making. If your team is clear about where you're headed and what's important, then they will be better able to make decisions. Faced with options, they'll ask "does this take us towards our vision or not?" If the answer is no, then they'll know not to do it. If yes, then they can look into it further, or just do it.

Better decision-making creates autonomy. If they're better armed to make decisions for themselves, your team will have greater autonomy. They'll need less management, because they'll have a better idea of what criteria they should use in their decision-making.

Greater autonomy creates empowerment. A team member who has autonomy to operate, and uses that autonomy to work in alignment with where the company is headed is an empowered player.

If you employ the right people, empowering them will put your company on steroids. It won't be just your brains that are working towards your goal - it'll be the team that's there with you.

That's the value of a good vision.

Inspire

If you focus on what you're about, rather than what you do, you create a more business that's more inspiring. You create a business that the best people want to work for. You create a business that customers want to come to. You create a business that has bigger aspirations.

You create a business that's built to last. You create a business that will mean something. You create a business that will make a difference.

Values

Values and Culture
Your values define what your company stands for and how it's going to make a difference to all of its stakeholders. It gives your company a heart.

Culture

Your values define the culture you're going to build. And that culture pervades everything that your company does - from how it treats its own people, to your staff's satisfaction at work, to how you treat your customers, suppliers, and any other stakeholders.

We're not big fans of a 3 month culture survey which either tells you the bleeding obvious, or kills the culture it's trying to document. However, we know there is value in articulating your culture, knowing what's important within it and what you want to keep. It's only by doing this that you can attract the right staff and help shield your business against turbulence.

We've personally seen how getting this right reduced recruitment costs by over 7 figures, and helped companies get the best recruits in their field.

We help you articulate yours and put in place a plan to keep your culture and values front and centre of your growth plans so that they reinforce each other, rather than feeling like it's impossible to have a great place to work AND make money at the same time.

Contribution

We believe that all companies have a responsibility to add positively to the communities that they operate in. Giving people reasonable employment and treating them well is definitely a big part of that. Building a sustainable business, a business that looks beyond quarterly earnings and is designed for the long term, is in our view the responsibility of every business owner.

But beyond this, there are also ways to contribute positively (and many time, profitably) to a company's stakeholders and community.

If altruism alone isn't enough of a motivator for you (and we get that - not everyone feels the same about this), survey after survey shows that companies which explicitly contribute to their communities are more appealing to staff, and some studies even show a correlation between financial success and a solid contribution strategy.

Now you can decide to give some of your profits to charity, and no charity will refuse that. However, there are ways to build contribution into your business model so that it enhances it while contributing more effectively. That's far better than just having the giving initiative of the year on the side.

We'd love to help you find out how.

Connection

The best companies have built strong connections between their owners, employees, staff and communities. Admittedly, best is by our own highly subjective measures. But we're not alone in this view!

Strong connections foster loyalty, create a feel-good vibe, and buy you goodwill even when things go wrong (which they inevitably will, even if for a short while). And they're also built on a strong set of values.

A Values-Led Business looks at the connections it creates, and takes intentional steps to deepen them.

Execution

You have direction. You have values. You need an incredibly well oiled machine to execute and grow.

Intentional

Most independent companies (and, to be honest, a lot of listed companies) work from hand to mouth. Sell, invoice, pay - hopefully profit.

Sell, invoice, pay - hopefully profit.

That's because even if there is a vision and a strategy, there's no intentional action to get there. Everyone's too busy spinning the sell-invoice-pay hamster wheel. When there's time to think bigger, it's usually haphazard, infrequent, and short-term.

To grow strategically, a business needs to be intentional. Meaning it needs to have a machine to intentionally put in place the things that will make it grow, alongside the things that keep the business running day to day.

A mechanism to prioritise. To learn what's happening, and adjust accordingly. But still towards its goal. A mechanism where people know what they need to do, know that it is aligned to the company's vision and goals, and know that they will be accountable for it.

Get that right, build intentionality into your growth plans, and they become more than a hope.

Because hope isn't a strategy.

Continually Improving

Flawless execution.

Bullshit. You will never have flawless execution. No one does other than the occasional prodigy concert pianist. We certainly don't in business. There are too many variables. Too many moving parts. Too many humans!

But we can have continually improving execution. We can build into our business cycles an explicit learning process so that we and our teams are continually improving how we run our business.

So that our mistakes are always at a higher level. So that our intentional and accidental experiments have positive consequences. So that our processes become continually more efficient.

We look at what are the best ways for you to embed continual learning into your organisation so that it is always improving its performance. While your competition is standing still.

Iterative

The world is changing at an unprecedented rate. Businesses are changing at an unprecedented rate. People's aspirations are changing. Your customers' expectations are changing.

The beauty of a good vision is that you can provide a constant direction to your team that gives them stability when everything around them is changing. It can allow them to flex and adapt, provided they're heading to the same goal.

But that needs a structure. Your company needs to adopt short iterative, business cycles. Those are cycles to review how you're running the business, and how you're growing the business. If you're going to build intentionality and continual improvement into the pulse of your business, you need to create that pulse, and it needs to be regular.

Borrowing heavily from the methodologies that have proved themselves in the fastest-paced industry - technology - we've adapted an approach to managing change iteratively to businesses. We're not alone - this has now been used in fields as diverse as the military, journalism, health and business.

We show you how your leadership team can adopt this iterative approach, where you take action, you observe, you learn from your outcomes, and your improve your action. And you iterate towards your goal.