The Importance of Learning & Growing with Industry Peers
I put together a list of questions that I felt would address whether or not training with some other companies would be a help to your company. The questions were:
- How could I get multiple options and solutions on the same idea?
- How could I test ideas that may work in real time?
- If I talked to another company, how could I “trust, but verify”?
- How could I get my existing company employees to hear what to do from a trustworthy source other than me, the company owner.
Where do you get your business information from? Usually it’s from attending a convention, a newly hired employee from another company, one of your subcontractors or vendors that tells you something about what a competitor of yours is doing.
The common thread through all of these sources is that you are not able to determine if they actually worked or not. Sometimes the information gets distorted in the process of transferring the information. One instance is a party game that has several people relaying the same story they were told to the person beside them. By the time the final person relays the “story” they were told, it is not anywhere near the facts of the original.
So what can you count on? What really works? Where can I get the help that I need and can trust in a timely manner? Let me tell you about the best way that I’ve found to get trusted and valuable information for everything I need in business.
What if you could be in a group of other companies similar to you in your mix of business and dollar volume that were not geographic competitors to you. You would be able to review their financial statements whenever you wanted. You could visit their companies and see if and how things actually worked. Because you are in the same business, you could actually see how the employees functioned in all tasks they had to do as could any of your company members. You could see how multiple companies used the same software. You could have a source of training for your company, by allowing them to visit other companies that have been able to achieve success in the direction that you have not or that you may want to take your company. One of the best things about being able to do this, is that you are able to train your people in real life and real time situations.
Let me describe a real life example that just happened. A company was having a very difficult time trying to determine what software they needed to use for their future needs. They had already tried two software options and the results were not what their company needed. One of the companies invited them to their office to see how they used a third software they were looking at. Just remember, the real cost of software is not what the software company charges for their product. The real cost is the amount of time and the cost of that time it takes to determine if the software is going to work for them or not. So they decided to take a group of key company employees to visit a company that they knew and trusted. They were able to go in and spend time on site looking anywhere they needed to, asking questions and getting answers from ALL members of the company using the software. As a result they were able to determine that the software would work for them. The host company was able to get a review of their process and as a result was able to further improve their existing system. Now the two of them are able to bounce ideas off of each other and move forward at a much more rapid pace and in the correct direction. By being able to trust, but verify each other’s actions, the power of two companies became much better than what they could ever have done as individual companies.
How many of you have experienced the boss coming back from somewhere with yet one more “crazy idea” that had no chance of working here in the company? Well, when the team returned from visiting this company, a couple of interesting things happened. First of all, they began to think that maybe the boss wasn’t as crazy as they had originally thought. They were able to see things for themselves as to what worked and what did not work. Secondly, they were able to convince the rest of the company employees that the software would work for them, because they had seen how it worked, but more importantly, they had shadowed someone who did what they did at another company using the software. They were able to ask hard questions of them regarding how it works for them at their company, without the boss overriding their comments and telling them to just do it.
I cannot imagine a more efficient and cost effective way that a company can get information on any topic they might need help on when they need it. I hope this helps you in your search for help in your business!
Wishing you a profitable business as a result of your intelligent team efforts!!