10 + 1 Guidelines for Accelerating and Sustaining Growth
Updated: May 17
It's the middle of summer and everyone's time is even more of a premium. Whether you’re down the shore (that’s Jersey-speak for at the beach) up in the mountains, going across-country or jetting overseas to get away for some well-deserved rest and relaxation, we hope you’ll find this a quick, must-read.
So here it is. Short and sweet...//NKST's 10 +1 high-level guidelines for accelerating and sustaining growth:
1.) Invite opposing viewpoints, entertain the ridiculous and at times, give credence to heresy.
One of the best ways we can enable our organizations to blur operational lines, reduce bureaucratic red tape and jump across organizational silos is to explore new and different approaches to better serve your customers.
It doesn’t matter if it challenges the mindset of “that’s the way we always did it before.” In fact, from our perspective that makes it all the better.
So, damn the torpedoes. Open the new ideas aperture as wide as it will go and see what crazy new innovations might come about as a result.
2.) Embrace the unthinkable, the unheard of and the impossible to imagine.
Get ready for change. It’s one of the biggest constants in business. As leaders, we need to be on our toes, anticipate those changes and be on top of new solutions. Many times, that starts from the top. But nowadays, new pathways forward can come from the bottom. Or even from the sides.
Our point is, there’s no reason to fear change and the unknowns that go with it. If we’ve done our homework correctly and have the right people in the right jobs, then bring it on. Reach out to newness and welcome it with open arms.
3.) Acknowledge and learn from the past, but don’t revere it.
In a multi-generational workforce, we find varying levels of experience and expertise. It is important for everyone in the organization to understand two key components. First, game-changing ideas can come from anywhere, and second, not all ideas are game-changers.
It requires respecting both the wisdom of successes and failures from careers that span decades alongside the eager, fresh and undeterred energy of newbies. A successful future depends on a healthy balance of previous knowledge and unbridled exuberance to learn what's new. That’s part of how we get to what’s next.
4.) Be ever-evolving, ever-learning and ever-improving
Never stop. One of the Japanese business philosophies we tend to favor is Kaizen – the continuous improvement of working practices and personal efficiency.
In this manner, we as individuals and as an organization are never static in our efforts to get better. We are continuously moving forward, together.
5.) Serve with humility, distinction and empathy.
It was Bob Dylan who wrote, “You’re gonna have to serve somebody.” For many, this is an easy concept to understand, but it’s a hard concept to accept. Once we do, however, we can take life and work to a higher level.
6.) Enjoy giving generously.
What’s the most valuable thing we have to offer? It’s our time. And, people ask a lot of it. There are some schools of thought that instruct the enabling power of saying, “No.”
Now, there is cause to place limits and boundaries on our time. But the more we say, “Yes,” the more opportunities arise. More opportunities to share experience. More opportunities to provide expertise and guidance. More opportunities to forge meaningful and valuable relationships.
So, the next time we’re thinking about empowering ourselves by saying, “no” perhaps we should think again on what exactly we might be missing out on.
7.) Favor positive outlooks.
For those of us who believe in the power of saying “Yes,” imagine the power that lies in positive thinking. That includes visualization. Seeing the positive outcome, we desire. Creating a plan to get there. And then acting on that plan to see it through.
In doing so, we create a positive vibe within that others see. They appreciate. They want to be around and they want to emulate for themselves. A team full of positive thinking people can easily carry the day.
8.) Curiously pursue curiosity.
To grow a business and to grow professionally and personally, we have to maintain our curiosity. Like that of a 4-year old who incessantly asks, “why.” When we can do this, we can effectively get to the crux of an issue, situation or problem.
Often times, this is how that small nugget of information is found. You know, the one that generates that great, game-changing idea. Without digging deep and asking “why” multiple times on the same point, that little nugget would never have been discovered.
9.) Find joy in whatever you do.
Someone once told us joy is over-rated. To be clear, it means supreme well-being and good spirits: beatitude, blessedness, bliss, cheer, cheerfulness, felicity, gladness, and happiness. Obviously, we agreed to disagree on this one.
10.) Live in the now and be excited for what’s next.
If we want to accelerate and sustain growth on a personal and professional level, we cannot dwell solely in the past or exclusively pine for the good old days.
We are here right now. We bring our experiences, our expertise, our knowledge and keep them in check with all the exciting developments in tech and data that are going on today.
With that, we choose to believe it is an exciting time for businesses to figure out where to go next and how to make bold moves with confidence.
11.) You can’t get there by yourself.
While on a business trip to eastern Europe we encountered a gypsy woman who whispered to us, “You can’t get there by yourself.” It was late at night or early in the morning and it was just the two of us in the misty, moonlit alleyway. She disappeared into the darkness and I was left there alone with that blessed curse.
As it turns out, it was not a curse at all. It is now the working mantra and philosophy of //NKST. Actually, we thought about using it as the tagline, but thought it would be a better story to tell to help introduce ourselves to new people, new employees and new clients. On second thought, perhaps it would make a good tagline.
These are our 10 + 1 high-level guidelines for accelerating and sustaining growth. We are always happy to share. Likewise, if you have thoughts, comments or suggestions, please feel free to chime in. We would love to hear from you.