Blog|4 min

4 pillars to inspiring a growth mindset and building growth culture within your firm

Amy Franko
Author, The Modern Seller; B2B Sales Consulting & Training

Disruption is all around us. In the last 18 months, businesses have needed to pivot like never before.

As a strategic advisor with an outside, expert perspective, perhaps your firm’s most important role is to help your clients think critically and creatively–to develop new solutions that will empower them to succeed and thrive now and into the future.

Having a strong growth mindset within your firm will provide the foundation for that magic to happen.

Ultimately, growth culture is your unique combination of strategy, people and tools that help you create sustainable, meaningful, profitable and long-term results that propel the firm forward.

If you focus on these four pillars, you’ll build the foundation for your firm to succeed.

Pillar 1: Strategy

Strategy supports–and also reveals–your culture. What does your strategy say about your plans for growth? Does it reveal that you have a healthy, productive, sustainable culture? Or does it perhaps show some cracks that need to be repaired?

What does your strategy say about your plans for growth? Does it reveal that you have a healthy, productive, sustainable culture? Or does it perhaps show some cracks that need to be repaired?

Business development strategy themes to focus on can include your key growth areas for the year- service mixes, lines of business, or key client segments. Fee models and incentives are important as well. For example, if you’re looking to achieve a certain growth percentage, are you incentivizing your professionals to drop fees at the end of the quarter or year to close business? While you may hit that one number, cutting costs also has unintended consequences affecting your longer-term growth strategy, and your culture. Being mindful of the strategy decisions made in one area–like pricing–can either positively or negatively impact results in another area of the business.

Pillar 2: People

The second pillar–people–may be the most important to growth. Questions to be thinking about here can include: What organizational design will best support your culture? Are people in the right roles? Are you investing in your future firm leaders by building their business development acumen and skills? Who already has a growth mindset and how can you empower them?

To strengthen this pillar, one strategy is to evaluate the strengths of anyone in a client facing role. By knowing the makeup of your team, you’ll make better decisions in skill development opportunities and hiring decisions.

“People” includes internal roles like your business development teams, client success teams, technical teams, and even back-office teams. This also includes your external relationships as well– outside partners and distributors. Collectively, these groups are your network ecosystem. Invest in the proper people to build your growth culture.

Pillar 3: Process

Firms have varying levels of sophistication when it comes to building processes. Lack of process inhibits advancement because there’s no defined structure in which to operate. However, too many detailed required steps can bog down results because the focus is shifted away from creating the correct result.

Your firm’s processes can encompass any number of components– including your talent lifecycle, your business development methodologies, skill development, your metrics, and accountabilities. Any change in one area can have an impact downstream, which makes it important to monitor both intended and unintended outcomes.

To find improvements, review how your firm operates and analyze the level of effectiveness for each required step. Do they support the growth mindset you’re looking to foster? Do they need to stay, can they be simplified, or can they be eliminated?

By thoughtfully designing and implementing structure, creating accountabilities, and checking in regularly, your firm can change its approach to evolving.

Pillar 4: Technology

Like processes, technology has a tipping point. Think of it as the Goldilocks’ principle. There’s a delicate balance to having the right productivity tools to support your teams. Implementing too many platforms detracts from selling and building client relationships. The average number of business development tools in any given organization is five, at a typical cost of $150 per professional. When you add up all the time and money involved, technology is a large investment. It's important to get it right.

Building a strong growth culture is not easy, but it will pay dividends in terms of more loyal clients–and ultimately–increased revenue.

There are two places I often recommend you focus your technology efforts:

  1. Your Customer Relationship Management system (CRM): This is the centralized tool where your relationships, opportunities, and metrics are managed.

  2. Video: Equipping your teams to build relationships remotely is imperative. This is a trend that will stay, even once we’re back together in-person.

Building a strong growth culture is not easy, but it will pay dividends in terms of more loyal clients–and ultimately–increased revenue.

To get started, take the time to reflect on the growth mindset you want to create. Then plan around your strategy, people, process, and technology. When you implement this plan, you’ll create a model that will help you create long-term success.

If you’re curious to learn more, I discussed this topic further during the Scaling Growth webinar series. Watch the recording on demand.


Topics
Business