What separates an average business from a successful one? And how can you take a company from good to great?
While there is no definitive answer to that question, there are certain habits that successful companies like JJ Bender, a leading seller of used printers, share.
Here are some of them:
It pays to be two–or ten–steps ahead of the competition. From Apple to Google to Amazon, the world’s top companies are always at the forefront of innovation and development.
Google’s President Sergey Brin once said, “Obviously everyone wants to be successful, but I want to be looked back on as being very innovative, very trusted and ethical and ultimately making a big difference in the world”.
All of today’s top businesses are invested heavily in innovation, devoting time and money towards finding new ideas and better ways of doing things, ultimately impacting–and helping–a lot of people. Even smaller companies like JJ Bender that allow you to buy used printers are carving out a nice niche for themselves. Why? Because they’re focusing on new ways of doing things.
Everytime you go to work, think to yourself: How can things be better? Look for a problem and develop novel solutions. Chances are, you’ll come across something worth considering.
Businesses that democratize the sharing of ideas are bound to be more successful than those that don’t. Studies show that collaborative teams that encourage interaction and camaraderie are far more productive and much happier than their lone-wolf counterparts. When workers feel that they are appreciated and that their ideas are valued, they are much more motivated to go the extra mile.
If you want ensure a successful business, you need to start by building strong relationships with your team. For starters, no one person should have a monopoly on ideas. Everyone should be able to contribute to the discussion and be given the opportunity to speak. Often, you’ll be surprised how the best of ideas can come from the unlikeliest of sources.
Who knows? That million dollar idea you’re looking for could come from the youngest or least experienced member of your team.
In 2012, Google embarked on an ambitious study on the secret of team success. The study, called Project Aristotle, followed 180 teams conducting exhaustive interviews, participant observations, and all kinds of analysis. Turns out, the secret to team success was simple: be kind.
The study found that teams with high “average social sensitivity” (i.e. those whose members were attuned to each other’s feelings) were a lot more successful than teams who were less connected. In fact, average social sensitivity affected team success even more than intelligence, credentials, and experience.
Where to start?
Understand your employees and figure out what their motivations, fears, and problems are. Doing so will not only help your business become more successful but will also help your employees feel valued, appreciated, and cared for.
Although these three habits aren’t necessarily roadmaps to success, they’re certainly great places to start. If you’re looking for ways to grow your company consider building towards a more innovative, collaborative, and empathetic work environment.