Today I spoke to over 40 local business leaders alongside Tim Ward (LEAD Alumnus, Cohort 8) and partner at BPE Solicitors, Paul Fussell (partner at Hazlewoods Accountants), Rob Stevens (who sold his business) and investor Ned Dorbin, Business Growth Fund.

Our Plan of Attack seminar focused on getting your business ready for sale.

I proposed 5 key value adding activities and in this posting I will focus on the 5th. The other four are:

  1. Leading Change and forming the Senior Management Team
  2. Diagnosing and installing correct controls and measures
  3. Implementing a Marketing Planning Process
  4. Introduce Employee Engagement

Arguably the 5th is the ‘bravest’ step of all as it takes guts to create a sense of urgency to make change happen and move it forward considerably.

A sense of urgency can be created by leaders focusing on the correct people in a business i.e. by following the 20-60-20 rule.

The top 20% in an organisation are those people full of energy, ideas and enthusiasm who look forward to coming to work. They are the ones that go ‘more than the extra mile’. The bottom 20% are the exact opposite – they are mumpers, moaners, whingers. They are always complaining about something or have reason to find fault. The mid-60% ‘act like sheep’ and follow those who make most noise – yes, the bottom 20%. So, in most Western businesses 80% of the employees are against the management Guess who the leaders are focusing their attention upon? You got it! The bottom 20% thus reinforcing the mid-60% view that they are following the right group as the bottom 20% are getting all of the senior management attention.

What is needed is a ‘switch’ of attention and the leaders to start leading by focusing their attention on the top 20% to listen, communicate, coach, support, train these people first. The top 20% will love this as they see leaders finally wakening up to lead! Within weeks, the mid-60% will see the change in the leaders’ behaviour and they will switch and follow the top 20%. Now the leaders have 80% of the organisation actively with them! Change can develop at a pace. Some of the bottom 20% may leave as they will not like the change or can keep up with it but most stay as they know the grass is not greener the other side of the fence. As the ‘rules of how things are done around here’ are changing, the bottom 20% will not want to break the rules so they follow the top 80%. Thus, you can take the whole organisation with you! The bottom 20% will still mump, moan, whinge etc. Just ignore them.

Simple! Rarely done!

I can assure you if you embrace and implement the 5 critical transformational steps you will have extraordinary returns and from today’s Exit seminar, extract maximum value for the sale of your business.

So, how confident are you in bringing these 5 value adding activities into your organisation?

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