Different companies use different names for the expertise that is the life-blood of their businesses.
- Our tribal knowledge
- The expertise we all rely on for our daily operations, or
- Job security expertise
The latter one is especially telling.
- How many employees do you have who know something that only they know or master?
- Do you feel that people on your team are holding information close to their chests because they think that secures their job?
- Do you "tiptoe" around people on your staff because you are afraid of what would happen if they left?
- Do you have people on your staff who are getting close to retiring - and you are not so sure how to transfer all the things they know?
- Are you relying on predominantly on-the-job training to bring new people up to speed or to cross-train current employees?
These are just some of the questions Dr. Stephie will explore with you during your Brilliance Assessment.
- To what extent are your company's processes documented versus living in someone's brain?
- Which tasks are done by multiple people, each using their own "secret sauce"?
- Which processes do you know of (or suspect) that could use improvement?
Innovation comes in different forms. It can be inventing new products or services. It can be creating new ways of doing business; discovering new marketing opportunities.
The fact is: the world and our global and local marketplaces are changing faster than ever.
This recognition leads to questions:
- Who in your company has sufficient time to keep innovating so that the company stays at the cutting-edge?
- To what extent are you and your critical experts tied up with managing the day-to-day business instead of having time to think about what is next?
- Which plans for bringing the company to the next level are on the back burner because you - or others on your team - can't find the time?
- How hard is it for you and critical experts to delegate much of what takes up your time?
- How concerned are you about the quality of the work going down if you and critical experts delegated more than you do now?
Onboarding and Training
- How do you onboard new staff?
- How do you train them? Do you use on-the-job training, training systems, a combination of both?
- What is your turnover of employees?
- What is the cost of training new people?
- To what extent would you like to achieve a greater degree of cross-training so that more of your team can contribute to multiple areas of your business?
Rapid growth or scaling up are exciting times in a company. There is a lot of expansion of resources, people, customers, partners - you name it.
During a time of rapid growth, there is the risk of imploding as you are "exploding." We mean that your processes and systems have to scale along with your expansion. If that does not happen, bad things can and probably will happen sooner or later.
Relevant questions are:
- How are you training your new people?
- How are you cross-training all your staff so you can equalize the workload across different sectors as needed?
- To what extent are your processes documented - in a form that lends itself to training - so that all your people consistently execute them?
- How thoroughly have you examined all of your processes and methods of communication to determine whether they are still suitable for your new company size? (This is a critical question! Dr. Stephie has turned around companies that grew aggressively but neglected to assess and upgrade their processes.)
- How do you offboard team members who are leaving your business?
- Do you use any offboarding tools - if so, which ones?
- Do you have customized offboarding tools for different positions (e.g., customer-facing versus purely technical)?
- To what extent do you ask all employees for input? Do they tend to give feedback and make suggestions, and what do you do with it?
- When you offboard, do you tend to get valuable information?
- To what extent is the information you get surprising?
- How aligned is your vision for the company with others in the company?
- To what extent are the leaders of your company pulling on the same rope in the same direction?
- How much buy-in do you have from all of your staff in the company's mission?
- How engaged and committed is your team overall to executing this mission?
- To what extent do you feel that future succession of essential leadership and expert roles is easy and smooth?
- If people you are grooming to be successors became unavailable, especially without notice, how would that impact your business?
- How important do you consider preparing for the day when you will be passing on your business?
- How important is it to you to leave a legacy?