Four and a half years ago, I made the big leap of faith from fourteen years of working in corporate life in the public and private sector to owning and setting up my own businesses. It was a significant shift in many things including my thinking, approach to work and my approach to delivering outcomes.
I want to explore the key point above around the shift in thinking particularly as it relates to decision making. To explain this, in corporate life I worked well in doing the work I needed to do and delivering the outcomes expected of me. This included managing large budgets, lots of people and delivering outcomes on projects, services and contracts.
The problem was though I never felt like I really owned the outcomes in a personal and impactful manner. To explain what I mean, I really only understood this fully when I started my own businesses. Suddenly, rather than spending someone else’s money, managing the organisations staff or delivering projects for the organisation, it became far more personal. The simple reason for this was that it is! It is my business, my money, staff I employ and pay personally and clients who work with a business I own whose reputation is directly linked to me as the owner of the business.
This thought process of it being personal for me is a powerful concept. It has literally changed my approach in so many ways. I really think about it with everything I do, investments I make, people I employ. I have no doubt it has improved my decision making because of the personal touch involved with it.
Given this, I think all organisations both private and public need to embed this mindset with their staff. I realise that it is not practical for every person to go out and own their own business but there is an alternative that is very simple. A manager, CEO or director just needs to ask this one powerful question to a staff member with some possible extensions before any decision:
“If this was your business, would you……..
– employ this person?
– spend money on this project?
– invest your valuable time in to this initiative?
– work with this client?
– have that meeting?
– not improve that process?
– agree to the price for that service or product?”
I would welcome any other extensions to this question as part of discussion on this blog.
It will literally change all decision making in your organisation for the better. It becomes personal because it suddenly is. No longer will be there a lack of care factor because the question really sharpens your thinking before any decision is made. In my opinion, this will be one of the most powerful shifts in thinking you will experience. I know for me, it has been.