Professor Christoph H. Loch, from Cambridge Judge Business School says that 'you have to learn how to let go'.
In order to grow you have to let go
There is something well known in small companies that grow, which is the founder’s limit.
Small companies sometimes quite often fall into the trap of one charismatic person who starts it all up and then doesn’t want to relinquish control and at some point they can’t handle the complexity any more of the growing business and then they drop the ball and the business falls into a deep crisis.
So the challenge for SMEs to learn management is you have to learn how to delegate, you have to learn how to let go. You have to learn how to start using systems to be able to scale up the systematic way you are conducting your business.
The biggest enemy is that every new organisation re-invents the wheel all the time. You actually have to learn as a person. As the leader of the SME you have to learn what leadership means and how you need to change your behaviour and the other thing you need to learn is it’s not just ‘this is what we do and we add little incremental pieces to it.’
You need to explicitly articulate what your strategy is, what your position is, why customers are actually looking at you rather than your competitors and if you can’t explain it, then sooner or later your customers are not going to come to you anymore.
And the last thing, which is part of that, is you also need to acquire the discipline of looking at your business from the outside in, through the eyes of your customers, rather than always describing what you see because that’s not necessarily what they see. If you don’t understand really what customers see, then you’re not going to be able to articulate your strategy and your positioning right.
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