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Four lessons from the corporate world

Two years ago, this week to be exact, I worked my very last day in the corporate world. 

I had spent over 27 years employed in large organisations and I knew when I left that my next chapter would see me working with and supporting owners of new, small and developing businesses. This was not because I thought the corporate world was ‘bad’ in any way, quite the opposite in fact. The corporate world can teach us many valuable lessons as it has evolved over the years.

From a personal perspective, I certainly gained significant knowledge and learned some important lessons along the way.  Lessons that can most definitely be applied to any business – no matter how big or how small.  I thought it would be useful to share these insights and lessons in the hope that I can perhaps make a positive difference or influence your thought train regarding a few key business principles.  

It may sound off-putting and some may say overkill to apply what a large corporation does to a small company or even a sole trader but in many cases the principles are the same.  They are also simple. The key is to apply the principle using an appropriate ‘fit for purpose’ approach. This is exactly what I do now – help businesses to apply these simple methodologies and strategies to progress.   

Some of the most valuable lessons I believe should be learned are about:

Values – Be honest  

With yourself and provide clarity to others.  What are the values and expectations of the business?  How does this reflect how you operate and deliver?  This will help you decide who you do business with and it should make it more enjoyable as well

Engagement – Share your vision  

We all know planning is essential but only if we communicate that plan.  Share with those that work in and with the business – people want to feel part of something and contribute to success

Discipline – Set the rhythm of the business

What is the pace of the business for developing strategy, plans and more importantly reviewing and evaluating progress against them?  How else do you know where you should be spending your valuable time and resources in order to make the most difference…

Process – Get the right balance

Too much procedures and processes can strangle a small organisation but too little can create a world of inconsistency, inefficiency and unnecessary mistakes 

This is merely a snapshot and all of the above can be developed in a way that suits your business at its current stage.  If applied correctly, these are will drive your business forward and help you to continue to develop, evolve and grow with the business and should remain ‘fit for purpose’. 

If this article has sparked ideas for your own business and you would like to have a discussion, then please do not hesitate to contact me: