Bill and I were discussing business over coffee and a magnificent ‘sticky bun’ the other morning. More reflection than current news. The state of ‘people politics’ was popular, as was all things general when Bill suddenly said…
‘I’m really not looking forward to the New Year Charlie. I’m not sure we can carry our existing product line for another year.”
‘Have a prune back Bill.’
‘A what? I’m not into gardening and I’m not keen on letting any of the staff go if that’s what you mean. Some of them have been with me for years.’
It’s true, Bill had some great long term staff. People who knew the business and undertook the day to day tasks better than he did himself, without thinking – or having to!
‘You’re not reaching the new business because you’re carrying out procedures that are faltering.’ I said. ‘The existing plans may have been good for last season, or the past two or three, but for now? Maybe it’s time to reconsider your offer, give your staff some new direction, invite them to offer their opinion and lose some of last seasons dead wood. After all, it’s Autumn now. ‘
‘What has Autumn got to do with it?’ Replied Bill.
‘Seasons Bill, we’re all seasonal folk. Don’t be afraid to change your direction. Take a long look at the entrenched strategy, a tweak here, adjustment there, just in time for Spring and the new market.’
‘OK, I think I’m with you. I’m still not firing any staff though …’
‘No real need is there Bill? We can learn a lot from mother nature, observe the seasons and learn from what went before. Lose the dead wood that stifles your offer. Find where you were once successful and peel away the layers. Observe your competitors and cultivate for the new season.’
‘Simply lead by example Bill, observe where you’d like to be and put the plans in place that might best help you arrive. Those dedicated people you have around you will thank you for it and a fresh new offer for Spring may just be the impetus for change. What do you say?’
‘Here, have another sticky bun.’ Came the reply.