Part 57: Empowering Your Staff – How Small & Mid Sized Companies Grow

How do most companies grow? Some do it through the sheer determination of the CEO, coming up with a new innovation, meeting a need better then others, networking or marketing very well, but many do it by empowering their staff to accept responsibility to grow the company by doing their part. Needless to say one must start with a quality staff capable and motivated to find opportunities that the company can then capitalize on. Then as the company succeeds those who are involved in this process are properly rewarded.

I have personally found excellent innovative concepts coming from the equipment operators on the factory floor and the rank and file suggestion box.

This process starts with a CEO who encourages their staff to take chances and even make a few mistakes along the way as long as they are not too serious and they learn from their experiences. Those who stick their neck out with new ideas that do not succeed should not be discouraged and others will be encouraged to innovate. Successful companies such as Google actually give their employees 10% free time to experiment with new ideas. They have resulted in numerous new business beyond the search engine everything from Google Maps, Android to Google AdWords. Not every idea works, but the net financial contribution of the successes vastly outweigh the fails which have included such flops like Google Checkout and Froogle to Google Labs and the jury is still out on Google Glass.Here are a few of the principles that they have followed to achieve success:

1. Have a mission that matters.

2. Think big, but start small.

3. Strive for continual innovation, not instant perfection.

4. Look for ideas everywhere and 5. Spark with imagination, fuel with data.

Admittedly not every company can hire the best and brightest or even be in high tech to innovate and one might be amazed what good people can do given the right nurturing environment. Older companies such as Herman Miller, Target, Wal-Mart, Whole Foods and Payless have become leaders in their markets thanks to internal innovations. And whoever heard of Facebook or Alibababa when they were just started out?

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