Learn from parents. Scale your business efficient and fast

I am mid thirty. Almost all my friends have one or more kids. Every week there is a new birth card in our mailbox. No day goes by without hearing the sentence “what is he/she growing fast!”. Quite annoying I must say.

But it also started me thinking. What is it that all these children develop so quickly? And can we also apply these principles to scale our organisation that efficient and fast?

My conclusion: the similarities are undeniable, and we can definitely learn from this to flourish our businesses! How?

To start, every parent has a goal in mind for his/her child. Often it is about wealth, happiness, independence, a good career, social active, etcetera. And to maximise the probability this will happen, children go to school, you motivate them to play outside with other kids and they play music and/or sports.
For your business it is not different. This also starts with your “right to exist”. What do you want to contribute to society? What goals do you need to strive for to achieve this? And which strategic initiatives will get you there?
It is proven that children can only develop themselves in a safe and stimulating environment. I guess that we can all picture this: loving parents that allow their children to explore the world, make mistakes and learn. But likewise important are clear rules of conduct. In line with the core values of the family and the society. And in line with the roles and responsibilities of all family members.
And this is also not different in organisations. Business is also something you do with a group of people. For them, a safe learning environment is as essential as it is for children. Just like clarity about roles and responsibilities, clear core values and an associated set of behavioural agreements about how you work together to achieve the desired goals.
When there is only one kid, most couples can manage it on the fly. But when a second child is on the way, the need arises to make agreements about how to structure the joined family life. Fixed times for dinner and sleeping. Fixed moments for sports and shopping. And you focus on the things that are important to you. You cannot see all your friends anymore and visits will be limited to a few best friends. After all, you need time to raise your children.
For organisations there also comes a time to streamline the internal collaboration. As a start-up you can keep oversight. However, when the number of employees increases, the need for clear agreements about how you execute the work arises. Make your processes “lean” and focus on core activities to work on strategic initiatives that develop your business.

Are you still seeing the similarities? Great! My personal favourite is next.
When your child turns 18 it is not a sudden surprise whether the goals you had in mind are reached. You are measuring progress all the time. Is my baby growing in line with the growth curve? What are the grades at school? You try to adjust based on these intermediate results. Does your child need extra attention or more challenges? You manage the development of your children pro-actively.
Why is it that we often see organisations that are managed reactively? At the end of a period, the financial report is made. Too late to adjust. If a customer complaint comes in, they put effort in to solve it. Too late to prevent for a negative customer experience. With the right “leading metrics” you will have control over both the daily execution and the strategic development of your organisation. You have insights in your improvement potential before it is too late.
The last key element in raising a child: structure. And not only for children. It is proven that a fixed rhythm contributes to your health and well-being. So why not applying such a fixed rhythm to your organisation as well?
We call this rhythm an “operating system”. The backbone that drives your business. A structured set of daily, weekly and monthly meetings. Answering questions like: what can we do better? How to get back on track? Which new initiatives are needed to reach our goals? Short, effective and valuable meetings that help you to improve your performance and accelerate your growth.

In raising our children, we see these five elements as “normal”. My advice: make these elements also normal in your organisation. Before you know it people will say: “that business is growing fast”.

Interested to start implementing those elements in your organisation?
Download our FREE Scalability DIY Guide to make the first steps!

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