Keys to Success: Points 1 & 2

Andrew-Simon2In my last blog I talked about the difficulty of building new ventures without the umbrella of a large corporation. I said there were eight critical factors for success. Today, I am going to talk about the first two:

Point 1: Think Big! What’s your vision and how are you going to get there? It takes very little extra effort to think big or large scale! Why limit your horizons? Besides, if you are looking for funding to get going, independent investors are looking for the next “Blue Ocean” and most likely are not going to be interested in anything that does not translate into the next best/big idea.

When I took over my last company, it was small with a non-existent growth rate. After the first 30 days on the job I held a company town hall meeting, laying out where I wanted us to go. In essence, our growth…our vision.

When everything else failed, I said two things to make my point. The first was a quote from Emerson Foote who founded the large, successful advertising agency, Foote, Cone and Belding. He said, “Always shoot for the stars because if you miss, at the worst, you do not end up with dog s… on your hands.”

The second was a quote from the famous Teddy Roosevelt speech entitled, “The Man in the Arena.” Roosevelt brilliantly said “…and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Who knows if I made my point but we built a great company. So, having an oversized idea is not bad but limiting yourself because of fear of failure is!

Point 2: Organizational culture does count! Understand the culture of your organization. This is key to both the organization’s and your personal success.

Do you know and understand your corporate culture? Is everyone aligned? At Simon Associates Management Consultants LLC (SAMC), we use the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI ) to help assess the culture organizations. Where are key members of your organization now? Where do you/they wish to go? Is there a common culture? Do you need to rebrand your organization in order to ensure that everyone is moving in the same direction with the same set of values? And do you understand that if there are changes, you need to rebrand yourself both internally as well as externally to ensure for success?

So there you are: Think big and understand the culture of your organization. Seems obvious but these two points are the keys to building your company or executing your ideas. In the next several weeks I will talk about six additional factors that will help you think about your business.