This is about sustained creativity and innovation.
But first let me contextualise. A big thank you to the almost 40 business owners who braved the mid winter chill to come along to Thursday’s Business Owners Forum. As always, there was plenty of quality content – and some healthy dissention amongst the panel.
The topic was close to the hearts of many business owners – motivating and rewarding your team and keeping the crew fired up. On the panel was:
David Grindle, a partner with Webb Ross Lawyers, who were awarded the New Zealand Legal Personnel Employer of Choice at the 2007 Law Awards. Webb Ross takes motivating and rewarding their team very seriously – and David’s story of their journey in this area was inspiring.
Rebecca Brennan, a director of Elevate CA Limited. Rebecca is an experienced leader and motivator of high performing teams and she shared some of the tips and traps gleaned from practicing her lead-from-the-front ethos.
Michael Masterson, a director of LookAt Limited shared his keep-it-simple philosophy for building great teams and great cultures as a way to achieve an advantage over your competitors.
A remark by David Grindle got me thinking. He was talking about Webb Ross’ success three years ago as the Legal Personnel Employer of Choice – and he remarked that the challenge has been not so much achievement of that award, but sustaining the same level of excellence over time.
This is a common scenario – and I’m thinking generally now, not about David or his firm and not even about this Business Owners Forum topic. I’m talking about the world of difference between reaching upwards and achieving excellence – and the continued act of sustaining that achievement. It’s all very well achieving excellence, but really the objective must be to sustain it month in and month out – and year in, year out. And to continue pushing forward. Because yesterday’s excellence soon becomes today’s mediocrity.
That requires a completely different mindset to the one-off supreme effort of breaking through to a new level. And the sustained result elicits a completely different sense of achievement to the endorphin-rich buzz of a one-off achievement.
This is something we talk about often at our weekly directors’ meetings here at Elevate CA. We opened our doors just over a year ago – and we have ridden a wave of near euphoria with huge support from just about every quarter of the local business community. We are new, we are energetic – and we are different to the establishment accounting profession. The positive energy and massive goodwill is still flowing 15 months after we opened the doors, but how long will the honeymoon last? Will we begin to fade into mediocrity? Has that already started to happen? How do we keep ourselves and our business fresh and exciting indefinitely?
This is not just about Elevate CA. The questions I’m pondering are more general: You can’t bottle creative energy – but can you systemize it? Or does any attempt to do so serve only to stifle creativity even more quickly? How do you keep those around you fired up, buzzing and excited as time goes on? How do you keep things fresh in the eyes of your clients or customers – and the community at large? Where is the right balance between putting energy into answering these questions for your business – and putting your head down and generating revenue?
And would anyone be interested in attending a Business Owners Forum event that further explored these very questions? Let me know.
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