As CEO for 3EN, established in Holywood County Down Northern Ireland, and now with offices in Dublin, Ireland, Bonn, Germany, and representation in the USA and England, we have had some serious growth over the past 5 years. With that growth we at 3EN have created and learnt habits that have helped us to grow. Good habits that provide a culture and environment for a business to grow and develop. No doubt in 2017 there will be even more to share as we continue to learn and grow, but for now, here are 12 healthy habits that we believe have given us the opportunity to develop and grow over the past 5 years, and that we believe will help you to do the same.
1. Setting Team Expectations
We have used a RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed) from day one, knowing who is accountable as function or as a team, who has responsibility as an individual, who do we need to consult with and who needs to be informed.
From this we set tasks and events for teams and individuals, agree priorities, and ensure commitment to deliver.
Not only does every body know their responsibility in the team, but also each other’s responsibilities. We eradicate FUD, (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt!).
2. Managing Without Ego
Many CEO's, COO's and executive level staff believe they are there to lead, we understand that, but if we employ experts we are also there to follow. Subservient management is important to us, we see ourselves more as shepherds, giving direction, rather than leading a charge while looking over your shoulder wondering who is following and who needs help or support.
3. Having a Clear Process
Our strap line is Engage, Enable and Enhance, and we want to act and operate as we suggest our clients to. We invest in documenting our internal processes, making them available and sharing them in our knowledge base and in our document library on NetSuite available for all to see. All new staff get an induction, and are made aware of what is available to them, and we encourage feedback and live daily with a structured approach to continual improvement.
4. Creating a Fool Proof Foundation
Our foundation is our team. Our people are the most important to us, not our clients, try keeping clients happy if you do not have a happy team.
The foundation starts with the people we employ. It is amazing that people are employed based on qualifications, but find themselves moving on because of a lack of cultural fit. At 3EN we make sure that the right qualifications are in place, the right experience is available, but most importantly the cultural fit is correct for us and our clients.
5. Soliciting Feedback from Your Team
We encourage open communication; we treat people like adults, and encourage continual improvement, but also ownership of those suggestions, making sure we are all responsible for and collectively take ownership of acting on feedback, and not just listening to it!
6. Keeping Everything Transparent
Nothing is hidden, everything is openly discussed, maybe not in detail, but enough so everybody feels and understands the part they play, why decisions are made, and how we can improve the overall performance of the business. Minutes are taken for all meetings, and uploaded into NetSuite for future reference.
7. Building for the Future
Build for today, with growth for tomorrow. Always be aware of where you want to be and how your journey is being planned. Today is important, but there is no point in having a plan for today when tomorrow is right around the corner.
8. Keeping the core in Mind
Making sure you have the correct systems to support the people and processes make you effective, efficient, and allow you to evolve.
9. Using Data-Driven Decision Making
Evidence based decision making in real time allows you to make better decisions, faster. Having a solution such as NetSuite at our core, means we have a single truth, in real time. No other systems are used or needed.
10. Team Work
No one person is going to be the best at everything. It all comes down to choosing the right person and personality type for each role so that no one is doing tasks that they resent. Equally support people who want to develop skills and work outside their comfort zone. In fact, encourage internal development from people working together! Forget coaching weaknesses and focus on leveraging strengths and passions, then watch everything fall into place.
11. Providing Excellent Customer Service
We are all sales people, we are all marketing people, and we are all responsible for our customers. Allow your organisation to take responsibility, allow ownership, encourage problem solving and promote and reward behavior that supports customer service
12. Owning the Operation from Start to Finish
At 3EN we understand that we own the company, and therefore we are responsible for delivery. Nobody at 3EN feels they need to do somebodies job, equally nobody feels precious about the job they have to do. Helping each other. “rolling your sleeves up” getting on with things, are all capable because we have good process, procedure, team work, and communication.
Start implementing this healthy habits into your systems, your people and your processes, and we hope you too can see growth this year like we have!
We would love feedback, views, opinions and advice too, so join in on the conversation, and let us know how you see this helping your business in 2016!
Happy New Year!