Blog Search

Shining a light on the business blind spot

Shining a light on the business blind spot

Smart and successful businessmen have faith in their vision for their companies, but they need to be aware of their limitations and see themselves and their situations in the proper light. 

A failure to do this leads to the business blind spot, a place where we can’t see what is going on around us. It’s also a place where we see things not for what they are, but what we perceive them to be. It grows from a history of how things have always been done in the business and a narrow view of what the business needs going forward. On The Money Show with Bruce Whitfield this week, we discussed business blind spots, how they develop, what they cost your business and how to prevent them. 

Recently, I met two business owners in their late 60s. Both started their businesses from the ground up, work hard and earn their success. But what perplexed me was that even with their wealth of experience, both were plagued by glaring blind spots preventing them from putting succession plans in place.

In fact, the global status of successful succession is bleak – 28% of businesses survive it and only 3.4% make it there.

Keeping it in the family

However, blind spots are extreme in the family context. Founders in their late 60s and early 70s don’t admit to their fallibility easily. They can’t tolerate change, but argue that they don’t want the next generation to change the way they’re running the family business because it’s too risky. The successors can’t see that the founders are fearful of risk simply because time is running out and change means risk. This cycle places both in a deep, dark circle of despair – and both generations know it, but feel helpless to change it.

We all suffer from them

Many successful businessmen overestimate their capabilities and have an infallible view of themselves. They surround themselves with a team that seldom disagrees and mostly offers opinions that support the boss's views. They listen to reply, not to hear and they talk to an outcome but don’t back it up with a plan to act. They seem convinced that what and how they are doing things is the best course of action to grow their businesses even though the numbers don’t agree.

Luckily, there are some blind spot antidotes that we can embrace such as:

     Have a big vision for the business and one you believe in. The vision then becomes more important than your ego, your being right rather than effective and it will require you to surround yourself with co-creators rather than subservient implementers. The different views on getting things done will shine lights on blind spots for the business.

     Annually, do the turnaround steps to keep fresh, in the present and relevant.

     Don’t surround yourself with yes-men. A few contrarian people whose views differ from yours is a good thing. Diversity in a team will bring on contrarian views for certain. Create a safe environment for people to intelligently contribute opinions. That means listen to hear when they are offered and be sure your team knows why the business exists and what its goals are.

     Increase your self-awareness – understand that the way you project yourself might be viewed by your staff as bullying behaviour in your efforts to retain the status quo. A message will go out that even though you ask for an opinion, you never really engage with it. 

As a business builds over time and as growth comes in, the complexity of the operation increases and your ability to change your way of working is crucial. Don’t allow your business to be sabotaged by blind spots. They can lead to a misplaced commitment to a selected course of action that can cloud your vision and stunt the growth of your business. If the destination is clear and there is a clear vision, you can get past the problem and deliver on the promise.

Aurik Business Accelerator will work with you to build, implement and manage a family business succession plan. 

Tags: The Money Show, Family Business, Succession, Next Generation

Three sales propositions to speed up deals in a tough economy

Three sales propositions to speed up deals in a tough economy

In today's tough economic environment it is taking longer and longer to close deals. To speed up this process, you need three...

Read more

Start with the end in mind

Start with the end in mind

Plans don’t always work out – that’s life. Starting a business is no different, especially when you need to work closely...

Read more

Negotiating the family business deal

Negotiating the family business deal

76% of family businesses don't survive through a second generation. It's a scary statistic and one that affects many private...

Read more

Building a pricing strategy to grow your business

Building a pricing strategy to grow your business

“The pricing game is emotional”… this is how a tweet from a listener began, and he’s right. A challenge to your pricing feels...

Read more

NEXT-LEVEL GROWTH: WHAT IT IS & HOW TO GET IT RIGHT

NEXT-LEVEL GROWTH: WHAT IT IS & HOW TO GET IT RIGHT

How often have you heard the terms "Next-level growth" or "Getting to the next level" bandied about? It's become more business...

Read more

Our past determines our approach to the SA economy

Our past determines our approach to the SA economy

Carl Jung said “We are trapped by the images of our past”. Meaning that our past experiences affect our perception of reality....

Read more

White Knights, Silver Bullets & False Prophets

White Knights, Silver Bullets & False Prophets

The exhaustion of running a business can make us vulnerable to the allure of a cure-all solution. But if it sounds too good...

Read more

Help Pavlo to #NameTheBook
namethebook

Help Pavlo to #NameTheBook

Pavlo Phitidis has just completed a book about the ideas, thoughts and more valuably, his direct experience in building successful...

Read more

How to build a retail empire very, very slowly

How to build a retail empire very, very slowly

Retail is notoriously difficult, but if you have a great product targeting consumers - you need to get it right. Pavlo Phitidis...

Read more

Immigrating talent for a quick but enduring economic boom

Immigrating talent for a quick but enduring economic boom

If we can attract 100 000 STEM qualified immigrants, we can not only bridge the skills gap that is stagnating our growth,...

Read more

EMIGRATION: Its cost and opportunity to a business owner
Business Growth

EMIGRATION: Its cost and opportunity to a business owner

Over the last month, I have had two same, but different meetings with two different business owners. They were the same because...

Read more

Creating opportunities that didn’t exist before
Growing business value Business Growth

Creating opportunities that didn’t exist before

Creating economy is a key entrepreneurial skill. Its something that is entirely possible irrespective of the environment...

Read more

Why waiting to act becomes the only act and how to ‘snap’ the bad habit
Asset of Value

Why waiting to act becomes the only act and how to ‘snap’ the bad habit

With the South African elections now come and gone, it feels like we have passed a milestone that we were all holding our...

Read more

Winning mindsets turning thought into action and action into results
Building your Business Business Growth

Winning mindsets turning thought into action and action into results

The distinguishing feature between business owners who crack it and those who drift along, and fail… is mindset.

Read more

How to structure the offer of a Management Buy Out
Business Succession Succession planning

How to structure the offer of a Management Buy Out

A hardworking, smart professional presented me with a scenario on an offer she had received to conclude a management buy-out. She...

Read more

Position your business for success and maximum impact
Positioning your Business Business Growth

Position your business for success and maximum impact

Wing Chun Kung Fu, a style of martial arts, requires that you have a secure footing on the ground in all its defensive and...

Read more

Building a business is like sailing a ship
Asset of Value Building your Business

Building a business is like sailing a ship

Analogies are very useful to simplify thinking and action. As a #businessowner, building a #business in a challenging environment...

Read more

What’s your business worth?
Business Growth

What’s your business worth?

Firstly, this only matters for 5.4% of all #businessowners since 94.6% of all business started fail to sell. They close at...

Read more

Creating wealth through your business
Business Growth Wealth Creation

Creating wealth through your business

Wealth describes an abundance of a desirable thing. It could be friendship, love, money, access to a foodstuff and so on....

Read more

Developing an effective marketing strategy
Business Growth Marketing strategy

Developing an effective marketing strategy

If you can’t and don’t get potential customers to know that you exist, they don’t care and you die. They don’t care because...

Read more

Build resilience into your business to take control of your future
Business Growth Strategic Planning

Build resilience into your business to take control of your future

We often hear about being resilient to thrive and survive in business today. Why does this matter and what does it mean?

Read more

Escaping the project revenue trap and why you should do it
Building your Business

Escaping the project revenue trap and why you should do it

Recently, at an Asset of Value event in Johannesburg, South Africa, a room bristling with 58 business owners that collectively...

Read more

What is your business building approach to 2019: Chose one of 3 strategies
The Money Show Business Strategy

What is your business building approach to 2019: Chose one of 3 strategies

2018 has been an exhausting year. Taking time off is important, so long as you don’t break the momentum of your business....

Read more

How to Deal with Nightmare Partnerships, Collaborations & Joint Ventures
The Money Show

How to Deal with Nightmare Partnerships, Collaborations & Joint Ventures

Collaboration is a key element for building your business into a successful Asset of Value. But, not every joint venture...

Read more