When is the best time to invest in the growth of your business, or indeed, yourself?
I had been invited in by a client to facilitate a corporate away day.
The board of directors convened a meeting to discuss the strategic direction of the business and to make plans for the future.
After a particularly heated debate, a decision was reached and consensus and commitment to a strategy agreed. However, the decision would have important implications for everyone in the business and the costs were significant and far-reaching.
When the Financial Director gave an estimation of what was involved there was a sharp intake of breath around the table.
One of the directors said, ‘Given the difficult economic and geopolitical climate that we’re facing are we sure that we want to make an investment like this right now. Forecasters say that the growth of the economy will be weak over the next few years’.
There were nods of agreement and some mutterings from the others in the room.
Everyone then turned toward the Chairman. He had started the business from scratch and had worked hard all of his life to make the business the success that it was today.
After what seemed an eternity, the Chairman pointed to a bamboo plant growing in a pot in the corner of the room. ‘The bamboo is a strange plant. You may notice that it grows in spurts. Then it goes quiet. Sometimes for years at a time. It is during this period that the bamboo lays down strong foundations for its next period of growth. And it is the same for us. During quiet times, we must make the investments necessary to prepare the business for the next period of growth’.
I have never forgotten that meeting. It seems particularly relevant given the recent upheavals relating to Brexit and a potential change of UK government.
Thought to consider:
What are the ‘bamboo or quiet years’ in your business? When is the best time to invest in the future growth of your business? It is the willingness to take calculated risks during the quiet times that helps your business get ready for the next stage of growth.
From a personal point of view, what have been the ‘bamboo or quiet years’ in your life? What have you done to invest in yourself to prepare for future growth? What has been the impact of this investment?
I’d be interested to hear your responses…
To your success…
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