• James

Transformation starts with information: strategies for SMEs

Updated: Sep 24


What does transformation look like? The recent “4 Strategies for Transformational Leaders” HBR article provides some actionable insights. So how can SME leaders apply these findings to their businesses without employing expensive consultants or thought leaders? Here were my takeaways:


  1. Practice new mental models: Leaders should consider what exists outside of just their business – what are the industry shifts? What does this mean for your strategy and growth plans? To achieve this, SME owners can take advantage of network-driven supplier events: seek to dig deeper into competitor and industry direction and work out how to get ahead.

  2. Work the edges of your organization. Proximity is key: be close to customers, be close to colleagues. This will enable you to consider the pain points for both buyers and deliverers of your service. Know your challenge before enacting change.

  3. Share leadership more systematically. Whilst small business leaders may already working the edges of the organization (above), this strategy – sharing leadership - is something that leaders should embrace. It is often the case that leadership and responsibility for actions (both significant and not) are held by an individual or a small group. By delegating leadership and ownership of actions, small business owners and leaders can step back and consider the big picture.

  4. Make empowerment live up to its promise. Business leaders often promise to empower their people but many fall short. By giving employees a chance to have a hand in defining their own roles and the processes within the business then employees feel more empowered and ultimately more engaged. Fortunately for smaller businesses that aren’t at the mercy of the bureaucracy that plagues larger businesses, this is a strategy that can be readily adopted.


The full article can be found here: https://hbr.org/2021/05/4-actions-transformational-leaders-take.

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