Innovation is the lifeblood of a successful recruitment agency. And leaders are, by nature, fire starters. But having a great idea is one thing: actioning it and generating ROI is quite another. If you are standing still, you are going backwards. The best recruitment business owners, therefore, are finishers as well as starters.
Turning your business into a machine for growth demands a process for prioritising, implementing and measuring the impact of change. Not got a proactive plan of action yet? Here’s a blueprint that will help…
The reality check
If you’re like me, you probably come up with new ideas on an hourly or daily basis, but developing an idea, and eventually implementing it, costs time and money (and lots of focus!) That’s why, before you sink too many resources into a concept, you need to conduct a reality check.
What’s the projected outcome? The ROI versus risk? Who will own it, and when will it be done by?
If you provide satisfactory answers to these questions, you’ll not only have validated your idea – you’ll also have a plan to get it underway. Driving a steady stream of ideas through this framework ensures you take a strategic approach to innovation.
If you’re not creative, and struggle to come up with concepts, find someone who is. Involving the team is good for morale and makes it easier to delegate when it comes to putting ideas into action.
Putting ideas into action
Never take on a project unless you’re committed to finishing it. We all have good intentions, but it’s easy to lose yourself in day-to-day operations and push grand plans down the priority list. After all, actioning them often involves stepping outside of your comfort zone.
Be disciplined. If you have an idea and it stays on your to-do list for more than a week, take it off. It’s obviously not important enough. The Eisenhower Matrix is a great way to help you prioritise your workflow:
But what if you’ve tried this and still find ideas stalling? The next step is to delegate. The truth is that some of us simply aren’t finishers. In which case, you need to surround yourself with people who are great at actioning the ideas you’ve started and create a process for doing so.
Holding people to account
Delegating gives your team a chance to impress, and they will do so brilliantly. They should return to you with something far better than you could have done yourself, so don’t accept shit, but equally, don’t set them up to fail…
Make a note to remind them of the deadline well before the due date and ask if they need any help. Measure their ability and effort, and reward good work through future opportunities. If they let you down, you have reasonable grounds to rule them out from further “opportunities to impress”.
Of course, you’re ultimately accountable for the overall implementation of the idea. So, set aside time down the line to review the performance of your concept, and assess whether it’s generating the expected returns. The more you go through this process, the more streamlined it’ll be. Soon enough, you’ll work smarter on innovation and ensure you’re spending time and cash on the right ideas more often.
Need help getting your engine into gear? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for leadership coaching and mentoring that will help you finish what you started.