Principals who want to grow their business beyond a plateau have to accept that change is growth, both personal and professional. If your business has plateaued it is possible that you are facing the entrepreneurial equivalent of the Peter Principle. Luckily, the Peter Principle is not a death sentence and adapting a growth mindset can help business leaders break through the roadblocks that are holding them back. More powerfully, leaders can also empower their people to compound the transformation efforts. The business will be better suited to outperform the market in the long term because the focus on personal growth for leaders and their teams will lead to business growth. 

The Peter Principle

The Peter Principle is the idea that manager’s will rise to the level of their incompetency because they will be promoted from any role that they master. A business is no different. It is likely that you used a particular set of skills as your business grew, perhaps you were born to sell, or an excellent marketer, maybe you were a programmer. Since your reading this, its likely that you are feeling some headwinds though and to break through you will need to employ a new skill set. Maybe its learning the basics of corporate finance, or more likely the fine art of people management. In any event, the only way to beat the Peter Principle is to develop skill sets that make sure you never reach your level of incompetence. 

Compound the Effect of Growth Efforts

It is important to remember that the growth of your company is the total sum of the efforts of the company stakeholders. Therefore it is important to create a culture where leaders, managers, and their teams are stretching themselves. This way a business owner can compound the impact of the growth efforts across the whole business. You could encourage your team to take extra course work, or apply for professional certification programs.  But, put your money where your mouth is,make sure you set aside a learning budget.You also need to be willing to let people flex their new found muscle and make changes based on their new knowledge; it is important to reward risk taking to make the feedback loop self re-enforcing.

Make It Stick With Culture

The investment made in yourself and your people will energize the business with new ideas and new products, allowing it to more consistently win in the marketplace.

Pixar conducts research trips that their writers credit with increased creativity 

Maybe its not research trips for your business, however find ways to weave creativity into your company’s culture. This way, your people will be able to broker ideas and apply creative solutions to old problems. At worst, it will allow them to better connect with your customers on the topics that they are studying, such as supply chain management, or project management. At Bloom Advisory Group, we believe that a motivated and curious team will beat a status quo team 10 times out of 10 in the long run.

Put It All Together To Break Through

A creative and curious culture from the top down is the best investment you can make in the sustained success of your people. Leadership’s push to get better will lead to strategic breakthroughs and could even lead to top brass seeing the market making major shifts before the competition. Front line employees, managers, and senior managers will benefit from an outsiders perspective as they engage in both formal and informal training programs. We know culture is sticky, but if you can focus yourself on growth while setting aside time and funding growth, then there‚Äôs no telling what the ceiling might be for your firm.