“Do something. Even if it’s wrong.”
Those words from my running backs coach in college stick with me today. His point was that, on the football field, if you stop moving, your injury risk skyrockets. Someone is more likely to roll up on your leg and blow out your knee when you’re standing still amid the frenetic activity of a game. But when you move, even if it’s unproductive movement, your muscles are engaged, you are in the flow of the action, and your body is better equipped to absorb any contact.
My coach’s advice applies well beyond the football field. I believe it’s important to do something instead of standing still, both in business and your personal life. Sure, actions don’t always lead to the intended outcomes. However, having a bias for action ensures an individual or a company continues to seek innovation and, most importantly, progress.
In business, there are countless examples of how passivity can doom companies. Complacent organizations get battered by their competition and eventually left in the dust. Our industry – and many others – face big challenges today. Addressing those challenges requires leaders to be decisive and action-oriented. These leaders can’t be reckless, of course. But, in my experience, a bias toward action is absolutely necessary for a business over the long-term.
A passive approach to mounting challenges produces a malaise that seeps into company culture, sapping creative energy and hindering the company’s ability to respond to competitive pressures. On the other hand, action keeps a company moving forward and seeking improvement, which is essential to success in a competitive environment.
Since our organization’s inception, we have served clients through an entrepreneurial lens. Many of our leaders were business owners and founders before they joined our organization. Our teams are comprised of unconventional doers and transplants from other industries or professions. As a result, they are ambitious and demonstrate this bias for action. The makeup of our organization has fueled our ambitions and growth. And that spirit remains strong in our organization today.
I believe our people, from partners to Sikich Scholars, demonstrate this spirit of action. The question is, how do we – and other organizations like us – maintain that action-oriented culture as we grow and channel it into strategic activities that drive innovation and give us an edge in the marketplace?
Empower our people
If we’re to remain successful in the years to come, it’s incumbent on every person at Sikich to understand our growth strategy and their responsibility to help our organization achieve success. Empowering the talent at Sikich starts and ends with what works for our people. Our leaders don’t want stringent policies of where or when to work, and they don’t need micromanagement to complete their projects. Instilling a sense of trust affords every team member the opportunity to thrive in an environment where they can be successful and, in turn, contribute to our success.
The professional services industry is an evolving and competitive landscape that provides an opportunity for us to stand out. Our goal has always been to remain a leader in our sector and to continue expanding our talent base and service offerings, especially amid rampant industry consolidation. This growth mindset keeps our organization on our toes and always eager to innovate. Change is disorienting and unpredictable, that much is true. For us, we’re creating a successful, productive workplace by establishing and nurturing leaders who don’t shy away from challenges – rather, they embrace change, and they aren’t afraid of the lessons that might come from failing and trying again.
Where we’re going
We’ve never stopped moving, and we won’t stop any time soon. Complacency is a business killer, and to stay agile, we will continue to evolve with support from every team member of this organization. By nurturing our bias for action and attracting talent with this mindset, I have no doubt we’ll remain innovative, poised to take on any challenges that arise and position us to achieve our ambitious goals.
So, if you’re doing something – if you’re moving – it won’t matter if your first attempt fails. Having the drive to keep your muscles active or your business innovative sparks every bit of progress you need.