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Sherpa Growth Insights

This blog is for owners and executives of growth-oriented businesses who share our growth mindset and passion for building value. Here, we share insights and experiences in our growth journey, things we learned with or from our clients, that can help you reach your next mountaintop. Enjoy!

YOU CAN’T HAVE GROWTH WITHOUT SAFETY GEAR.

Posted on: June 27th, 2019

Three lessons I learned working as a Growth Sherpa.

Mountain climbers use safety gear like carabiners for fastening ropes in dangerous climbs. If you’re going to take your team up the next business mountaintop, consider safety gear to keep from burning holes into your P&L scorecard.

Whether you are building a new category or channel or strengthening your core business through better go-to-market processes, you’ll need to transform the idea into an executable plan, then engage people in its execution. Working as a growth Sherpa to create new profitable revenue streams, safety gear saved my hide more than once. Here are three we used successfully. You’re welcome.

 

  1. VISIBLY PRIORITIZE – WITH BINOCULARS AND CAMERAS

Binoculars help you to lock a destination in your sight; articulating the most important ingredients of a project helps you reach your goal. The more public your goal, the better your stakeholders can contribute. Take ownership in the execution, show progress, and be just as blunt about lack thereof. Report it, like a camera. People respect brutal honesty. When you articulate input and outcomes, tracking input (activities, milestone goals), and reporting outcomes (results, metrics), you’re helping your team be informed, then to become involved, and finally to be inspired. Above all: prioritize. Do so visibly.

  1. ADAPT – PLAN TIGHT, BUT REMAIN SITUATIONAL

The road to growth is filled with best-laid plans, and not all plans survive impact with the customer. Yes, we have to define the project and plan: in Ike Eisenhower’s words “it’s not the plan, it’s the planning”, planning helps the team understand the task. But when necessary, we have to pivot and bend. Doing “the right thing” in the face of contradicting goals is paramount; don’t lock your knees as you surf, sometimes losing a battle helps us to win the war. Adapting is indispensable safety gear.

  1. COLLABORATE – THE IDEA IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE AUTHOR!

Collaboration takes the best of your and my idea. The resulting best idea deserves and requires all our energy. Nurture mutual respect and find a way to cull it from everyone’s input. Expect to engage in conflict resolution in that process, confront issues, without attacking people. It’s about defining the best solution; no better safety gear than to land on the best idea.

With or without safety gear, unexpected storms will threaten your progress. These three safety gears – V-PAC for short (Visibly Prioritize, Adapt, Collaborate) have kept our Sherpas climbing and reaching more profitable revenue streams.

Good luck!