The Innovative Way To Grow Without Blowing Your Budget



Alita Harvey-Rodriguez

Alita Harvey-Rodriguez is known as one of Australia's leading customer experience futurists and the brains behind award-winning application-based , training and consultancy provider, MI Academy.  For over a decade Alita has worked with global brands including REA Group, Mr Toys ToyWorld, SAP, Experian, Mountain Bikes Direct and Alfa Romeo to transform their digital marketing and customer experience. Alita has a passion for inspiring creative thinking within organisations to drive leadership, team alignment for increased performance towards strategic outcomes. Alita sits on several industry advisory boards including Girls In Tech Australia, Retail Global, Online Retailer and non-profit organisation, Retail ROI. She is a judge for the Online Retailer Industry Awards and a prominent speaker at events such as National Retail Federation's  NYC Big Show, Acquia Engage, HubSpot's Inbound, Retail Global and  Online Retailer.

Change doesn’t need to be big and world-changing. It can be tiny tweaks that can compound and grow your business overtime. 

Find out in this episode what are these small things, why we shouldn’t resist change, why do we need to slow down in order to scale your business.

** The 5X Framework Accelerator Program is now open for application. Click here to know more.

NAME: Ep 378 Impact Alita Harvey-Rodriguez – The Innovative Way To Grow Without Blowing Your Budget_audio.mp3
DATE: 2023-04-07

Alita Harvey Rodriguez, a retail growth strategist, discussed the concept of incremental innovation with Selena Knight on the Bringing Business to Retail podcast. Incremental innovation is about understanding how long it takes to do certain tasks and assessing the capacity of the team to take them on. This requires a detailed list of steps that need to be taken for the task and an understanding of the team’s capacity. If tasks are taken on without an understanding of the team’s capacity, it can lead to burnout, sickness, and lack of completion. Alita encourages entrepreneurs to think about the capacity of their teams when assessing tasks and providing feedback. By doing so, it will help teams succeed and ensure that businesses can grow.

Alita Harvey Rodriguez is the founder and managing director of Mi Academy, Australia’s most prestigious project-based training firm. They specialize in upskilling teams in retail and technology, such as marketing performance, customer experience, organizational alignment, strategic creativity, and sales enablement programs. Today, they are discussing something that is crucial in getting through any financial crisis: incremental performance or incremental innovation. Incremental performance is the concept that small improvements can make big differences in the long run. Incremental innovation focuses on making small changes over time to products and services, instead of creating and launching something entirely new. Both incremental performance and incremental innovation are important tools to help businesses survive, especially in times of financial hardship.

The conversation revolves around the idea of micro-innovations and how small changes over time can lead to big impacts. The speaker emphasizes that founders don’t need to make huge, drastic changes that could confuse customers. Instead, they should focus on listening to their customers and making small, incremental changes that meet their needs. They also mention a retail event they ran called Hat Games, which brought together 50 of the top minds in retail to come up with solutions to a given problem statement, and then pitch their solutions at the end of the day. This is a great example of how small changes can lead to exponential growth with minimal effort.

In this conversation, the speaker talks about a creative exercise she does called Faux Shark Tank which is a fun and nerdy activity. She explains that people are often nervous coming into it, but she explains that there is wine to help with creative juices. The speaker then goes on to explain that there are three main issues that prevent innovation in the workplace: lack of systems in place to give permission for innovation, lack of staff confident enough to bring up their ideas, and a lack of support for underground innovation which is when staff have come up with an idea but cannot bring it up to the surface. Lastly, the speaker talks about her own experience of underground innovation when she was employed, and how she implemented systems to make things easier.


0:00:00 “Incremental Innovation: Strategies for Building a Creative and Innovative Team”

0:03:00 “Incremental Performance and Innovation: A Conversation with Alita Harvey Rodriguez, Founder and Managing Director of Mi Academy”

0:06:16 Exploring Micro Changes for Exponential Growth: A Conversation with [Name]

0:07:46 Conversation Summary: Exploring Systems and Strategies for Innovation

0:12:32 Conversation on the Need for Innovation in the Ecommerce and Retail Industry

0:14:25 Conversation on Growth and Control in Medium-Sized Businesses

0:16:37 “Organizational Alignment and Innovation: A Discussion”

0:19:04 Conversation on Finding the Perfect Team Alignment for Founders

0:21:15 Discussion on Innovation and the Need for Honesty in the Workplace

0:23:08 Heading: Quick Wins for Founders: Understanding the Need to Slow Down to Speed Up

0:24:30 Discussion on Leadership and Team Management

0:27:52 “Strategies for Managing Sales and Marketing in Times of Budget Cuts”

0:29:45 Discussion on Strategic Creativity: Taking Control of Chaos

0:32:15 Discussion on Agile Project Management and Estimating Task Time

0:34:21 “Strategies for Improving Efficiency Through Incremental Tasks”

0:37:43 Conversation on Personality Testing and Communication Strategies

0:39:33 “The Benefits of Listening to Your Team and Customers for Incremental Innovation”

0:42:03 “The Benefits of Implementing a Customer-First Approach: A Conversation with John King of Maya”

0:44:20 “The Benefits of Consistency and Setting Benchmarks for Driving Incremental Performance”

0:49:32 Discussion on Improving Average Order Value

0:51:13 Heading: The Benefits of Setting Sales Targets and Achieving Collective Contribution

0:53:18 “The Benefits of Clear Communication and Visionary Leadership in Business”

0:56:47 Debriefing Strategies for Program Performance Improvement

0:58:38 Heading: Conversation with [Name] on Visionary Integrator Role and Decision Making Processes

1:00:08 Conversation on Growth and Innovation Strategies for Businesses

1:02:05 Conversation Summary: Alita Hardy and Harvey Rodriguez on CMO Blueprint and 50% Discount – CODE: CMO50


0:00:00 A: Sales thoughts are things that I think need to be done, but they’re not urgent. And I need to assess whether my team have the capacity to take it on or not.

0:00:09 B: One of the things that a lot of founders don’t understand about their team is how long it actually takes to do a task. So there’s a list that you see in Trello and you’re like, oh, okay, they’ve only got three things on there. Those things may not have a fully articulated these are the steps that it’s going to take to do that. This entire job is actually going to take about 8 hours. You’re just like, I don’t think that’s a priority anymore when poor Joe Ed is like, that was going to take me 8 hours and I was ready to move on to that because it’s really nicely going to complement this last thing that you pulled out of sales.

0:00:41 A: Thoughts?

0:00:42 B: So how am I going to fit that in? And that okay. All right. Capacity, capacity, capacity. Explosion. Crying in the corner. And then burnout happens. Sickness happens. Nothing gets done. And you’re like my team. What do we do?

0:01:01 A: Hey there and welcome to the Bringing Business to Retail podcast. If you’re looking to get more sales, more customers, master your marketing, and ultimately take control of your retail or ecommerce business, then you’re in the right place. I’m Selena Knight, a retail growth strategist and multi award winning store owner whose superpower is uncovering exactly what your business requires to move to the next level.

0:01:32 A: I’ll provide you with the strategies, the tools, and the insight you need to scale your store. All you need to do is take action. Ready to get started? Hey there and welcome to today’s episode of the Bringing Business to Retail podcast. When it comes to innovation and creativity and building teams that can actually think for themselves, which, let’s be honest, is what we all want and think in a way where business growth is actually inevitable, then the only person that I ever talk to for things like that is my super smart friend, Alita Harvey Rodriguez. Now she is going to come on today’s episode and talk to us about she’s going to call it incremental.

0:02:20 A: What are you calling it?

0:02:21 B: Innovation.

0:02:22 A: Innovation. Don’t worry if you don’t know what that means. I didn’t know what that means either. She uses big words and when she uses big words, I’m going to jump in and say, what the freaking heck does that mean? So she’s super smart and she is we were just saying, you know, when you get to a point in life and in business where you kind of forget to I’m not going to say dumb things down, but you forget what it’s like to be back at the beginning. And we use all this jargon in retail and ecommerce and AOV and the POS, and someone asked me the other day what a POS was and I’m like you’re in retail, what do you call the thing at the checkout where you put your oh, yeah, my Square.

0:03:00 A: And I’m like, that’s actually a POS. But we get so caught up right in where we are in business or even sometimes where we are in life, that sometimes we forget that maybe everybody else who’s listening doesn’t know what the freaking heck we’re talking about. So if I find you delving into that place where I actually am not 100% sure what you’re saying, bear with me, Alita, because I’m going to say to you, just like, dumb that down for me.

0:03:24 A: Please do.

0:03:25 B: Please do. First, I’m really excited for Square. They’ve taken over pause being a thing. And now it’s like, you know how Australians are really good at calling brand names? Things like, can I get a band Aid instead of a plaster?

0:03:40 A: Or a Google? Can I google something? You know that when your brand has become an adjective. No, a verb is a doing word. A doing word. When your brand has become a verb, then you kind of made it. Yeah, like, I’m going to Uber somewhere.

0:03:55 B: That and when Siri or an autocorrect autocorrects to your brand name made it.

0:04:05 A: Did not happen for me. I had to laugh the other day. This is totally not even where the conversation is going. But I was in Chat GPT and I was asking it to rewrite my lessons. This was literally writing, rewrite this paragraph in a more engaging way. And I would throw it a paragraph and it would come back with, like, better than what I wrote it. And so I thought, oh, I’m going to, like, chat GPT myself.

0:04:26 A: And it was like, write an interesting paragraph about Selena Knight. And it went, error. And I was like, does that mean I’m not smart enough? Am I not good enough for Chat GPT? But actually it was just broken. And I know what it would say about you. It’d be like, hey, peeps, if you want to find the person who is going to make your team ridiculously amazing and grow your business pretty much without you even being there, then you have to go and speak to this lady. So I’m doing all the talking. Chica. Who the heck are you and what are we talking about today?

0:05:02 B: I’m Alita Harvey Rodriguez and I’m the founder and managing director of Mi Academy. And we are Australia’s most prestigious project based training firm. And we work in retail and technology, helping to upskill teams in marketing performance, customer experience, organizational alignment, strategic creativity, which is the innovation piece. And then we’ve also got sales enablement programs, which is our tech side of the world.

0:05:30 A: Okay, so that’s what you do. What are we talking about today?

0:05:34 B: Today we’re talking about something that I think is really important and is what is going to get us through whatever financial crisis we’re heading into, which is incremental performance or incremental innovation. And really simply put, it is small changes that create impact over time. We don’t need to be looking for huge, big impactful changes. They might confuse customers. At the end of the day. What if we just listened to our customers and made micro changes in order to meet what they want from us over time and we don’t need to break the bank doing it?

0:06:16 A: Okay, that is super exciting. And it so falls in line with my philosophy, which is exponential growth. So that growth where you go from 100,000 to a million in five months, it doesn’t happen because you change the freaking world. It happens because, like you said, you just tweak things in your business and the results compound. And whether it is money, whether it is growth, or whether it is team performance or innovation, we’re not saying you have to throw the baby out with the bathwater. We’re not saying you need to ingest or inject millions of dollars worth of capital or cash.

0:06:51 A: What we’re saying is you probably have a lot of what you need in your business right now. Maybe you’re just not using it to the fullest 100%. First of all, let’s just talk about why founders, because everyone who’s listening here is probably we’re CEOs. But let’s be honest, you founded the company for the most part. Why do we resist change and innovation.

0:07:17 B: Man start to the hairy questions. Well, I think so. We’ve just come off the back of a huge retail event that we run called Hat Games, which is an innovation incubator, where we bring 50 of the top minds in retail together and give them a problem statement and give them innovation frameworks to come up with a solution to solve this problem. And then they pitch their solution at the end of the day with their cross functional teams. And it’s the best day ever.

0:07:46 A: I’m just going to jump in and say, she made this sound like nerdy. Nerdy. What it is, is like Faux Shark Tank where she gives you a challenge and you have to create like a product and a pitch and you get given a budget and stuff. And it is the most nerdy but fun thing because I have done it and it’s like everybody there, it’s their happy place.

0:08:07 B: People are so nervous coming into it, they don’t know what to expect. And I make a joke with everybody that I’m going to take you into an escape room. It’s not like that.

0:08:16 A: No, there’s wine.

0:08:18 B: There’s wine because we call that creative juices. And we just have all the stuff that you wish you could do at work but can’t do it because of bureaucracy or budget or whatever, just gets thrown out the window and you have this free reign off the back of Hat Games. I noticed there’s three things that kind of happen when it comes to innovation and why it’s either founders are scared of it or they’re trying to lead it, and their team won’t budge or can’t budge.

0:08:58 B: And this is where I landed. Did I say three things I meant for? Okay, bonus.

0:09:05 A: Yeah, bonus. Three and a bonus. Yeah.

0:09:08 B: The first one is that there’s no systems in place to give permission for innovation. So that’s a staffing issue and a leadership issue.

0:09:17 A: Yeah, but even a self issue.

0:09:19 B: It’s a self issue as well.

0:09:21 A: No one gives us our own permission to change because we get so worried that if we change, we’ll lose our customers.

0:09:30 B: Yeah, exactly. And I think I’ve said on your podcast before when we talked about strategic creativity or applied creativity, that it just comes down to lacking systems in order to do that. And systems and creativity sound ridiculous in what most people think. Creativity is free, rain, blue sky thinking, blah, blah, blah. But if you don’t have where you’re aiming for and a system to go from brainstorm into actual delivered product or innovation, then you just either get stuck in ideas, which I call the idea vampires. These things, they’re like, oh, remember that idea?

0:10:10 B: Yeah, what happened to that? That would still be good. But we’ll just keep doing things the way we are because we don’t have systems around us to support doing anything new.

0:10:20 A: Yes.

0:10:21 B: One, the second one, this one comes back to staff. And this happens usually in bigger organizations and is what I call underground innovation. Underground innovation is an idea that your staff member who might be swamped, has come up with and has made a quick fix for themselves trying to make something better or easier. But they haven’t brought that into the surface because they either don’t have permission again, usually comes back to systems not being available, and they can’t rise their underground innovation up into it being adopted by the company because oh, man.

0:11:02 A: Things like accidental, isn’t it?

0:11:05 B: Well, it’s on purpose for the person who’s done it. There’s no way for it to get airtime because there’s either no strategic light of where we’re actually going for, or people have brought stuff up before and they’ve been shut down because there’s no way to integrate it into what we’re doing. And I can’t see a way, and there’s a leadership problem there. And there’s also a bit of a change management problem there.

0:11:32 B: Change management is a whole it could.

0:11:33 A: Even just be a confidence problem. Right. I know that I’ve been in a position. I feel like that is me for so much of my pre self employed life. Because I look back now and I implemented underground systems because I did not want to drive to the other side of Sydney to pick up a paper, a piece of paper. And I’d be like, okay, so I’m going to create this Google Drive. This was like before dropbox. I’m going to create this Google Drive just between you and I, like, to our contractors. And you just put it in there and then send me an email so I know it’s there and then I’ll pull it out and I will copy and paste it into the thing and no one has to drive anywhere.

0:12:16 B: Underground Innovation 101.

0:12:18 A: Yeah, all that kind of stuff. And I did that so many times. But it was necessity, like you said. And I remember going to management saying it is ridiculous that I’m spending 3 hours on a round trip to Pete or they’re spending 3 hours.

0:12:32 B: That’s how we’ve always done things. That’s how we’ve also always done things. It’s just how it’s got to be done.

0:12:37 A: You’re making people look bad. That’s what I got. That is actually why I left my government job is I was oh, that’s your first problem. You are making other people look bad.

0:12:52 B: Awkward silence.

0:12:53 A: I’ve got no words. No words between that and being told that the only reason I was there was because the law said I had to be there, that was when I was out. I put my hand out firing. I know why you left. A valued member of our community, of our workspace.

0:13:12 B: I’ve got no words other than, wow.

0:13:15 A: Yeah, well, not why we run our own businesses. So we have the underground.

0:13:24 B: We’ve got no systems. No systems that doesn’t allow for permission for people to have space to innovate. And that was a big thing that we heard at Hat games when we said Why did you apply? Because I can’t be creative at work. You were experiencing I’m just here to do a job. And that leads to so many cultural issues, high staff turnover and just no innovation all around.

0:13:50 A: But the funny thing is, we’re talking about the retail and ecommerce industry. A lot of your people are ecommerce, which by its own definition has to be constantly innovating. Like if COVID taught us nothing. It’s like if you are not keeping up with change in the ecommerce and retail industry, then you are so left behind and it is getting faster and faster and faster. So it actually surprises me that the people let’s go, the people you hang out with, smart people in smart companies, have this system.

0:14:25 A: Do you think, I know you’ve still got two more to go, but do you think that this is a and you work with some big companies and then you work with some middle sized companies. Generally it’s not one person working on their own. They’re multi seven, eight figure businesses. Nine figure businesses. Do you think that that has happened as a result of growth within a company? It’s the founder saying or the board saying we want to be in control.

0:14:54 A: Where do you think it comes from?

0:14:56 B: Two places? Yeah, so it comes from two places. It depends on the size of the company. So if we start with a medium.

0:15:02 A: Sized business, what do you call a medium sized business?

0:15:05 B: I’m talking a business that is maybe turning over two to $30 million.

0:15:11 A: Okay. So, yeah, some of the people who are listening here are in that realm.

0:15:15 B: That’s right. So sometimes in that size of a business, the issue is that they’ve grown so fast and they don’t have and everybody is at capacity and they’re working so hard, the thought of doing anything new is terrifying, and all they can think about is, oh my gosh, I have more work to do. I would love to do that, but how the f am I going to do more work? I’m just going to go have a nervous breakdown in the corner or ask for a pay rise, which I know I can’t get.

0:15:54 B: That happens a lot in that medium sized business.

0:15:57 A: And even I think that transition from, say, high six figures to seven, let’s be honest, any of this transition is quite often at those up to that 20, 30 million people are still doing a lot of everything in a business. Like, you might be the chief marketing officer, but you might also have to pack some orders if, like, it’s Black Friday and 50 orders came. There’s still this expectation that you’re here for a thing, but you’re also here to be part of the team and chip in and help when it’s needed. So do you think that contributes to this problem?

0:16:37 B: Oh, yeah, definitely. And again, that comes back to listening to the people who are, for example, like in picking and packing, listening to the people that are in marketing and taking stock of what they’re doing from a reactive work day and think about how we can possibly automate or move around our tasks so that we’re focused on high value tasks and move the stuff that’s in the fill in and thankless tasks out of our way because they’re not making positive impacts on the business.

0:17:13 A: Okay, I feel like I’ve just put you down, like, a completely different path, so I’m going to allow you to come back onto your own track. So we have two.

0:17:19 B: It’s all part of the same thing. Because at the end of the day, innovation cannot happen without organizational alignment flat out. And to get to that point so if you want to start innovating today, the first thing that you need to do I’m probably getting into the end of the podcast here, but the first thing you need to do is have some organizational alignment and customer alignment. First things, the organizational alignment piece is the hardest thing to do because you’re dealing with different people’s ideas about what their jobs are, how hard they think they’re working, how much they’re being paid, what they’re spending time on. You’re asking them to shift what they’re spending time on. So then there can be this whole disruption of people thinking that, oh, I’m not valued at work if you don’t want me doing this task again. And it can be like this very emotionally volatile.

0:18:10 B: That’s not the word I’m looking for, but I’m going to use it cesspool, which shouldn’t be it’s not a cesspool. It’s the wrong word. But what do they call this? Incubators, like these chicken incubators, where we’re growing this new thing.

0:18:23 A: It’s a petri dish.

0:18:25 B: All gross. But we’re growing this new thing. And change is uncomfortable. Doesn’t mean that anybody is not valued. It just means that there’s going to be some growing pains to get us to utopia. We also need it starts with a shared view of what utopia is.

0:18:42 A: Yeah. Okay. All right, so we went through number one and number two. Let’s go back to three and bonus number four. Cool.

0:18:49 B: All right. Founders are the innovators. Number three is founders are the innovators in organizations, and they want their staff to be the same, but it’s like, excuse my language, pushing shit uphill.

0:19:04 A: Why aren’t look, you and I, we’re going to have the best conversation. We already are. But founders are generally visionaries, and if you haven’t read the book Rocket Fuel, people go and read it. You actually only have to read half of the book because it talks about how they’re for the perfect organizational YinYang melding. If you’re watching the video, it’s making sense because I’m doing hand gestures.

0:19:28 A: Elitist nodding. Yeah. For the perfect hierarchy, even, is you have to have a visionary, and that is the person who is coming up with the ideas, who’s looking towards the future. That’s probably you guys listening. And then you have to have the integrator. And the integrator is your operations manager. The integrator is the person who takes all of your ideas and makes them a reality. And everyone wants a freaking integrator, but there are only about 44% of the population who are great integrators. So finding one is like finding a unicorn.

0:19:57 A: So you actually don’t need another you, and that’s what you’re saying?

0:20:02 B: God, no, you do not need another you.

0:20:03 A: The world does not need two of you. Trust me. God as if the world was two of me. Wow.

0:20:09 B: That’s why I say when people look me up on LinkedIn, there’s only one of me. Alita.

0:20:12 A: Harvard Rigas. Look it up.

0:20:14 B: Thank God there’s anyone. Yeah, you only need one of you. But what you need it comes back to you need a process to bring people along for the ride. Before you get to that process, you need to understand what the space is available, like team alignment, organizational alignment piece. You need to understand what the space is available to bring people along and fulfill that vision for you.

0:20:41 A: I have been in the past, not very good at that, and I’m perfectly, painfully to the point where job interviews, hiring team, I will actually say I’m really not good at doing this, this, and this. And I’ll say I’m really not good at I don’t know the right words for it, but basically, sometimes I’ll say no when the answer is I haven’t actually had a chance to think about it. And so if you want me to give you an answer right now, I’m actually really good at that. But I will default to no.

0:21:15 A: And I don’t need people who just say yes. I really need people who will say no or I don’t think that that’s the best course of action, because if everyone just goes along with what I say, holy freaking heck, I’ve been there. We’re doing 50,000 things at once, and everybody’s brains are exploding. And so, like you said, having that framework and having the permissions and the parameters of this is where I’m at.

0:21:46 A: And I think you have to be painfully honest. I’m going to come up with 50,000 ideas. I just need you to keep me in check and go, no. This is why we work in 90 day plans, right? No, sir. You told us we’re working on this. You can work on that next 90 days.

0:22:01 B: If it aligns with our overall objective, then we can talk about it, love it, park it. Put it in the brain dump in your project management tool.

0:22:09 A: Yeah, we actually have that. It’s called sales. Great ideas. Sales Great ideas. I love it.

0:22:18 B: We call it sometimes just the ideas ice box and things like that. One of the things that can get really frustrating for founders is innovation isn’t a quick win thing. It can be a quick win thing, but you need to get through the hard part first. And founders are always looking for the amount of times that we’re doing audits, finding out about people’s, teams. And the thing is, the founders I just want some quick wins. Okay, here’s your quick wins that will get you this much. But if we really want that next level of growth, that incremental thing that we’re just constantly adding on 1% every time, not looking for that 180%, whatever it is, then we need you to understand that you need to slow down to speed up.

0:23:08 B: Processes need to be put in place. And just be patient for a second. Don’t jump into the next idea because you think this isn’t working, because you will end up with an innovation vampire that’s just cost you money and is sucking your blood. And you wonder, Why isn’t my team performing?

0:23:24 A: Why doesn’t my team take initiative getting nothing done?

0:23:27 B: They do fake work, wasted work.

0:23:29 A: It’s because you’re all day.

0:23:31 B: That’s it. You’re asking them to do something. You’re saying, Jump. They’re going, how high? You’re like, I don’t know.

0:23:38 A: Jump.

0:23:38 B: And then they start jumping, and like.

0:23:40 A: Why are you jumping? Yeah, that was like so three days ago. Yes. I actually had the moment where you know how they have to have that come to Jesus kind of moment? My moment and this is why I am now so painfully aware was walking into my store so this was quite some time ago and saying my team used to hate I was listening to a podcast on the way here and then you could see their face to.

0:24:07 B: Say, oh, yeah, shit.

0:24:09 A: What’s she going to make us do now? It would be like, I think we should blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And I had this most amazing team member, her name’s Neely, and she literally broke down into tears. And she’s like, it’s a great idea, but I can’t because they’re in such.

0:24:26 B: A reactive space, nowhere to do it.

0:24:30 A: She’s just like, what do you want me to stop doing to do this? I don’t have any more time or any more bandwidth. Like, I’m happy to do it, but I’ve also got 27 other things that you asked me to do for the rest of the month. Which one do you want me to focus on? And that was that moment. That’s like the arrow in the heart of I am the crappiest boss ever. And maybe nobody else has had a moment like that. But if you ever make your team cry because they can’t live up to your expectations, you know that you have to change as a leader.

0:25:05 B: They might also be crying. You might not be paying attention, which happens a lot. This person’s just wanting more out of us. These kinds of things happen as well, and I just can’t give them anymore. But there is structural problems there. Nobody has a North Star. They don’t know what they need to do in order to get there, or they thought they did, but the bar just moved. The amount of times that we hear are, the bar keeps moving, the bar keeps moving.

0:25:32 B: If I can get any founder to understand anything right now, one thing away is to ground yourself really deeply. Understand your one, three, and five year vision, and break up and be strict with yourself. Have an ideas, ice box, have sales, great ideas. Your team are terrified that they’re not going to be good enough. It affects, you know, then we talk about the effects on mental health. A lot of the work that we do, some of them, if we could just get paid. Like with people saying, I’m happier at work because of the work that we’ve done now, because I feel heard, I feel seen, and I can get stuff done and I see things come to fruition, that’d be great. But we can’t just want to just make sure that you’re grounded and constantly, deeply, really listening to your team.

0:26:27 A: I think that that’s the biggest problem with founders, is they don’t actually know what they want. Or if they do, you said they’re moving the bar all the time, but they don’t ever articulate, this is what I want in the next week, or this is what I want in the next month, or this is what I want in the next year.

0:26:43 B: That comes back to the systems. Yes, there’s definitely that. Founders are also quite good at telling you what they don’t like and not what they do like, which is also an innovation. Oh, no. This is a weird therapy session now, isn’t it?

0:27:00 A: It does feel like a weird therapy session.

0:27:04 B: And you just need to just slow down for a second. Just in Spanish, we say tranquilo. Take it slow. Tranquil cool.

0:27:21 A: And being tranquil, I feel like that’s where most of the energy comes from. But like I said, the thing is, I’m painfully aware of this. So I literally like you said, in our project management, there’s stuff that never gets assigned to people. I put projects into not Sales Great Ideas, but into I think it’s called Sales Thoughts. There’s two Sales great Ideas is actually locked and no one else can see it because they’re the things I put in because I think they’re great ideas. And then you come back a week later and you’re like, that was stupid.

0:27:52 B: I read another blog. I read another podcast.

0:27:55 A: Where does that fit in? But Sales Thoughts is usually like, my work in progress. And so I will put things in there and then I’ll go off and I will look at the team like, I’ll pull somebody up and see how much they have on their plate, and then I will decide whether something from Sales Thoughts can be assigned to them or not. So I know that I do this and I’ve put my little steps in place to kind of, I guess, pull myself back into line. But I would love did we get to number four yet? Because I would love some strategies. All right, tell me number four, and then can we get onto some strategies that we can implement if everybody’s nodding their head going, yeah, this is me.

0:28:33 B: Number four is like marketing budgets have been slashed, but targets have not, and marketers and people are freaking out about what can possibly be achieved. And this is really where that incremental piece comes into play. Can I make some comments on sales thoughts?

0:28:57 A: Go for it. Sales Thoughts are the ones that are probably going to happen as opposed to sales great ideas. Just in case you’re listening along going, I can’t remember. Sales Thoughts are things that I think need to be done, but they’re not urgent, and I need to assess whether my team have the capacity to take it on or not.

0:29:17 B: Yeah, okay. So there can be a problem in that. Okay, all right. One of the things that a lot of founders don’t understand about their team is how long it actually takes to do a task. So you might look at your team’s, she’s laughing because she’s like, oh, no, again. So there’s a list that you see in Trello and you’re like, oh, okay. They’ve only got three things on there, each. Those things may not have a fully articulated these are the steps that it’s going to take to do that.

0:29:45 B: This entire job is actually going to take about 8. Hours. And you’re just like, I don’t think that’s priority anymore when poor old I don’t know, let’s call it Elena. I don’t know. Joet joanne. So poor Joanne is like, that was going to take me 8 hours, and I was ready to move on to that because it’s really nicely going to complement this last thing that you pulled out of sales.

0:30:09 A: Thoughts?

0:30:10 B: So how am I going to fit that in? And that okay. All right. Capacity, capacity, capacity. Explosion. Crying in the corner. Not saying that Joanne’s going to do that, but oh my God, how am I going to fill this in? And then burnout happens, sickness happens, nothing gets done. And you’re like, my team, what do.

0:30:33 A: We do inside of my programs when you build out a 90 day plan? Because I am painfully aware all of this makes sense to me because I have lived it inside of our 90 day plan. It’s a spreadsheet that you build and you map out those tasks, and you actually have to assign how many hours you think it’s going to take. Yes. Because then all of a sudden, you realize in 90 days, actually, there’s no way that we could physically do the seven things that are on here.

0:31:01 A: There literally are not enough hours in the day of somebody’s life, in fact. So we’re constantly renovating our house. Right. And we have a spreadsheet of things that we need to do that have times attached to them. So it could be like, tighten the screw on the fence 10 minutes. So if we’re ever in that kind of procrastination situation where you’re kind of home but you don’t feel like working, you can pull up this spreadsheet. It sounds like I’m a control freak, but all of this is because I had no control.

0:31:36 A: To me, this is just organization now. This is not control.

0:31:39 B: This is what we refer to as strategically creative.

0:31:44 A: Because creative word for it. I love it.

0:31:47 B: That’s right, because creatives, I’m one and I’m preaching because I’ve had to do exactly the same as you, is take control over these things and organize chaos.

0:31:56 A: Yeah, because chaos is our heads. Right. And we can’t project that onto our creativity. It is even our renovation, it has things like rebuild the back deck. I think it’s got like 100 hours. I don’t know how many hours it’s going to take, but that’s like a weekend after weekend after weekend under that.

0:32:15 B: There’s micro tasks under all if we.

0:32:18 A: Decide to tackle that thing, then we’ll break it down, my husband and I. But then we just have these lists of things that are just like random little things that might be any wing thing from 5 minutes to maybe an hour or two. And that just means if there’s a weekend where we have a little bit of time, we’re like, oh, let’s pull out the list. And do we actually feel like doing that? And in our 90 day plans that we build out in our programs. It’s exactly the same.

0:32:40 A: It says we’re going to do this, Alita is going to do this part of it and I think it will take her 7 hours.

0:32:47 B: Okay, so on that what we want to say. I think it’ll take Alita 7 hours. Alita has a lot more experience in fulfilling that task and Alita is like, girl, you’re crazy. That’s going to take me at least 14 hours.

0:33:02 A: So you need to have that collaboration. Collaboration, yes, absolutely.

0:33:08 B: And it’s an agile technique. Agile is a project management framework. People use the word agile.

0:33:17 A: We’re agile.

0:33:17 B: That means you’re moving fast and things are going all over the place.

0:33:21 A: Agile. Yeah.

0:33:23 B: Agile is a framework for project management and time scoring how long something is going to take in a collaborative nature for sprint planning, which is another framework that sits under the Agile framework. Framework, frame, framework. You’d use that information and then build it out and really get a deep understanding of what the entire journey of fulfilling that project looks like. And then you can start to if you get your whole big picture together, then you can go, okay, where do we need to really get to to launch this thing? And then what are the bits that we can keep adding on it afterwards? So this is where that incremental piece comes in. Look at the big picture, collaborate and find out how long something’s really going to take. Get a really good grip of the micro tasks that sit under those. Because if you come up with like email marketing, for example, right.

0:34:21 A: No, I’m only laughing because I’ve heard the other side, but I’ve done the thing, so I know where you’re going with this conversation. For all the people out there who are still like doing their email marketing or have employed someone to do it, listen to what a leader is about to say.

0:34:38 B: Now I can go on all day about email and you know that I’m going to say, send out an email. Okay, I think that’s going to take you 4 hours. Me, as the email marketing expert goes, depends on how good the skills are of the person who’s sending out that email. It can take anywhere from 8 hours to 4 hours.

0:35:01 A: That’s right.

0:35:02 B: You’ve got a whole bunch of other micro steps that’s in under that. You have got to go and potentially go and segment the list, which could take a good 30 minutes if that segment is running correctly for you. We don’t have to make any data updates that could blow out to a three hour job on its own. We’ve got design. Okay, great. It might take me an hour to put that design together, but then I’ve got to go in for approvals and changes and everything. Okay, now it’s looking at about 2 hours of everybody’s time. We can probably reduce that a little bit if we do something what’s called an extreme working session where I’m designing and Sal is sitting there and approving it at the same time. Maybe we can get it done in an hour. Cool.

0:35:42 B: Then I’ve got the copy writing to do. Great. Okay, so I’ve got to go and do the copy. That’s probably going to take me another hour. Again, if Sal needs to approve that, then that’s probably going to blow up to 2 hours. We can do an extreme session. Bring that down to one. That extreme session is a piece of the system that needs to be built. Then I’ve got to go and do the testing. Okay, great. I send out the test. Oh, crap. All the links are broken. Damn it. Okay, now I need to go back and rebuild that. That’s going to take me another hour. I need to come up with the subject line. I need to do subject line testing. I’m going to go and test it with Co schedule. Okay.

0:36:15 B: So my whole email is probably going to take me, in reality, about six and a half hours. Once I add up all of those micro tasks. Just go and send an email ain’t going to help anyone.

0:36:26 A: Yeah. And also not just go and send an email, but not like even the part where the other person says, oh, when she said, go and send an email, what she really meant, I think, was go and send this email to our VIP segment of people who have purchased in the last three weeks to give them this offer.

0:36:48 B: Mind reading, mind reader.

0:36:54 A: You and I laugh because we’ve been there and we know that we do this. And you work with businesses all day, every day who are going through this exact same thing. So let’s talk about some strategies that we can implement if we’re sitting here thinking, oh my God, they’re talking about me. Yeah.

0:37:11 B: All right. The first thing that you need to.

0:37:13 A: Do.

0:37:16 B: Is engage your people, and you need to get a shared vision of what you want to improve. That’s the first thing. The second thing is with engaging your people, you really want to make sure that I encourage before you go into this kind of thing, I encourage that you do some personality testing because we.

0:37:43 A: Have done so much talking about personality testing.

0:37:47 B: There’s a whole do you love look. I think the easiest one to start off with is probably the 16 personalities, and that’s a free one. And then there is the I love.

0:37:59 A: Enneagram because Enneagram just we use Enneagram for any person who comes into our team, even if they’re like a contractor. Just a free version. Again, just to understand how they need us to communicate. For me, because I work in dot points like Joe Ed needs clarity. So now that I know that, I always make the extra attempt to put the extra information so that she doesn’t have to come back to me. Elizabeth is really creative, and she actually can just read my mind. So most of the time I’m just like and she’s like, oh, this oh, yeah, for sure. Definitely. Yeah, great.

0:38:39 A: But if we understand how people and we’ve had other people in the past that need to know why and oh, my God, that freaking drives me insane. It’s like, you don’t need to know why. You just need to get this thing done. And so when you understand how people work, one, you can adapt, but two, I think it gives you the knowledge, which means that the frustration is less about the person and more about the situation.

0:39:06 A: So I’d be like, oh, okay, I’m talking to them. They need to know the why. I’m going to throw that in. It’s probably not going to be enough. But then you have to have that conversation, which is like, this is all I’m going to give you. You don’t need anything more than that. If I believe you need more than that, I will give you more than that. But when everybody understands that communication type and style, you end up being able to just adapt that little bit so that there’s less friction.

0:39:33 A: Yeah.

0:39:34 B: Yes. We’ll stop.

0:39:38 A: Okay. Yes. Okay. Wait. Can I just ask, when you go into this conversation, like, having this conversation, who leads the conversation? Is the conversation led by what the founder wants, or is the conversation led by what the team wants?

0:39:51 B: It’s a great question. Incremental innovation usually shouldn’t be led by what the founder wants.

0:40:01 A: Why?

0:40:02 B: Because my business I know. I’m the visionary. It’s because you’re the visionary. You’re not in the weeds doing the day to day work. You’re seeing the big opportunities whilst your team is, like, trying to fix shit constantly, make stuff better, get stuff out, fulfilling the last version of your vision.

0:40:26 A: Yeah, okay. I love that.

0:40:31 B: It should come from your customers. It should come from your people.

0:40:37 A: Okay. All right. I like that.

0:40:38 B: And there should be alignment between those two things.

0:40:42 A: Yeah, you’re right. As the founder, it sometimes feels like a slap in the face that people just don’t understand what you I don’t know, like, you’ve been there. Like, do you find the same thing? It’s it’s not that you resent them. Like, you’re listening and you’re taking it on board, but in the back of your mind, it feels like someone’s just kind of, like, come up and kick you in the shins and run away.

0:41:05 B: Nobody respects me. Nobody respects why am I even here anymore?

0:41:10 A: Yeah. Ouch. But it’s true. A good leader is about listening to the people and listening to what your customers want. And your customers are your team as well.

0:41:20 B: Your customers are your team. Your team are your team. What am I trying to say here? I just think this comes back to hopefully what you’ve heard as a founder is being customer first. So what has come out just recently. Maya here, they’ve just posted consistently in the long time, had consistent growth, which has not happened for a long time in Maya. And their CEO John King, when he started, implemented a customer first approach.

0:42:03 B: And they have built every bit of growth in the last couple of years all around incremental innovation, not about what’s the next big thing that we can do, because the staff don’t know what that’s going to be. The market doesn’t know what that’s going to be. What they needed to fix is their internal systems operations, marketing by listening to their staff, listening to their customers. And this is why he’s been able to steer this huge, massive, incredible ship in the right direction. And if somebody like John can do that with a huge organization like Maya that he’s had to create and change legacy ideas and lack of systems or systems that existed in order to do that, then you can definitely do that in your medium and growing enterprise.

0:42:55 A: Yeah. I love it.

0:42:56 B: It’s painful.

0:42:57 A: Oh, it’s always painful when you crack through.

0:43:01 B: It’s like you’ve just, wow, why didn’t we always do it this way? And it’s almost like reinventing your company in a really positive way. And it’s not about changing what you’ve done. It’s about making what you’re doing better.

0:43:15 A: I have stolen this quote from Alex Homose, which is, success is on the other side of a few hard decisions. Growth is on the other side of a few hard decisions. He changes the word. But generally the good stuff is on the other side of some really hard decisions. And sometimes those decisions are going to be like breakdown moments and sometimes it’s going to be, wow, I have to listen to the people. So it is all uncomfortable because anything that is not in our control and every founder will tell you that they’re not control freaks. Trust me, guys, you are control freaks.

0:43:55 A: That’s why you own your own business.

0:43:58 B: Yeah, right. Oh, mate.

0:44:00 A: But that loss of control in whatever form it is, is always going to be deeply uncomfortable. So you have to be okay understanding that you’re in that uncomfortable space. But the good stuff happens if you can just push through. Yes.

0:44:20 B: So, which brings me back to the.

0:44:22 A: Next thing is awesome.

0:44:23 B: Consistency is key. With so many shiny objects, you can easily be misguided by a trend, and we’ve all seen it. You will not get a viral reel, just the basicest form of consistency here. You will not get a viral reel. If you follow the trends, you might get a few bits of growth as somebody who found it interesting, but you will not get where you want to go being misguided by trends. Back to sales point. I was listening to this podcast. Oh my God.

0:44:59 A: Stop.

0:45:02 B: Will be the killer of everything that you do around creating change. You have to have rhythms and rituals in place in order to drive incremental performance. You cannot get incremental performance that will lead to big changes if you’re constantly changing the benchmark, if you’re constantly changing.

0:45:27 A: Where we need delivery vehicle, the delivery.

0:45:30 B: Vehicle, you need that.

0:45:31 A: Keeping up with trends is exhausting. It honestly is like the amount of time competitors yeah. The amount of time, resources, and energy that goes into competing with your competitors or just trying to keep up with trends. It’s like I can tell you right now, if you are listening to this podcast, you do not have the resources to be able to do that. So stop trying. Just do your thing and you’ll be way more successful.

0:46:05 B: All right. Another thing which is painful, but must happen, and this is where that misguided by trendy things can start to stuff you up is if you do not have a grip on your benchmarks, your own benchmarks. My benchmarks, because they’re different from sales benchmark, because we run different businesses. We can look at what the industry benchmark is for, our open rates. But at the end of the day, if my target is to get incremental improvements on the revenue that I’m generating from email, I’m not going to look at what’s happening in the industry.

0:46:40 B: I’m going to sure, they can be helpful, but I need to start with my benchmark and set my new target based on what I’m achieving today. Benchmarks are absolutely critical for driving incremental performance and incremental innovation because you want to drive your ideas in order to improve that one number, whatever it is.

0:47:03 A: There’s so much pain in this conversation. I’m just going to hit you up in a minute. Like, what are some things we can do to kind of reduce the pain? But again, these are really hard decisions. So we have a fractional CMO team, and every week they’re so good. They come with all the stats and they will come in and it’s like, oh, your CPA, is this. Your conversion rate on the page, is this. Your landing page is this and, oh, it’s great. Our conversion rate on page is at 6%, guys, that’s actually really good. It’s up from 5.4%.

0:47:32 A: And I’m like, that’s great, but my CPA has doubled and that conversion rate on the back end is not working for me. And so having if you’re sitting here thinking, I don’t know what she’s talking about, it’s okay. It doesn’t really matter. The fact is, I have to keep them accountable. It is my job yes, they’re hired to do a thing, but it is my job to say what I believe. I want the results to be. They can come back and say, well, that’s not and they do. Sometimes they go, well, you’re going to have to put more money in if you want it at that.

0:48:05 A: And then they’ll give me the stats, it’ll give me the numbers. Or you can leave it at this. And this is what your results will be. But at the end of the day, I have to be the one who goes, I’m not happy with that. I want you to focus on this, because if I don’t say that, they’re just going to keep doing their thing, thinking they’re doing okay. Meanwhile, I’m going, you’re spending all my money and my conversion rate. Yeah. My cost per acquisition is disgraceful. It’s double what it used to be.

0:48:33 A: So at the moment, they’re working on cost per acquisition. Right. And as long as we can maintain our conversion rate between 5.4 and 6.2%, I’m okay with that because we’ve worked out the numbers. But again, hard decisions, hard conversations to have because we’re nice. Let’s be honest. If you’re listening to this, I know that you’re too nice and you feel like you’re dressing someone down, but actually people work for you.

0:48:59 A: And when you are clear, then they can be clear in the actions that they’re going to take.

0:49:05 B: That’s right. So you want to talk about tactics? This is the number one tactic that you can do. I understand my benchmark great. I know that this is my conversion rate. Maybe it’s not as great as what.

0:49:18 A: I want it to be. Right?

0:49:20 B: Okay. This is my benchmark. This is where I want it to get to. What are the ideas that we can come up with as a collective in order to improve that number focus there?

0:49:32 A: Let’s go.

0:49:33 B: Let’s run an idea slam down session where we generate eight ideas for 8 minutes. We might go and do some research in between. I’ve seen this work, I’ve seen that work. Or we can activate this in our platform. We should be adding this widget that will help us maybe lift our average order value or something like that. Just trying to find things that we might not be able to change the conversion rate, but I can change how much people are spending. Would that help?

0:50:00 A: Oh, yes, that would.

0:50:01 B: That’s where incremental innovation comes from. What’s my target? What are the ideas for fixing it? That’s it.

0:50:08 A: And that shouldn’t be painful, right? That should actually be fun.

0:50:11 B: I think that’s fun. What gets painful is when our team is at capacity and then they have that problem of I don’t have a framework in order to get from this idea into something because my leader is going to change the benchmark on me when they’ve gone and listened to an effing podcast.

0:50:30 A: I don’t do that anymore. Remember old cell? Yeah, but a lot of this is self awareness. A lot of this is because, like I said, I’ve been there, done that, and realized the errors of my ways. What else do you have to make it less painful and more fun? Because what I can tell you from experience is the fun is on the other side of a few hard decisions. And the fun, like sometimes the hard decisions, when you get through them as a team, not even the bonding, but what’s this word? Alita with my hands mushing together.

0:51:13 B: But amalgamating.

0:51:15 A: Yeah, maybe the sum of all the parts you feel like you’ve been part of something to get collective, the collective happiness, to know that you have been this is like the maslow’s, not hierarchy of needs. What’s the other one? The maslows? The one where we like self actualization. The work one? Yes, that one. Can’t remember it, though. There is a part in business where people get past just wanting to go to work and get paid. It’s like, I want challenges, I want to be part of a team. I want to be realized for my contribution.

0:51:52 A: Contribution. That was the word I was looking for. So your collective contribution, the intrinsic feeling that someone gets being part of the solution, you can’t quantify that with numbers.

0:52:07 B: That is, you can with retention, staff retention rates, because people are happier at work.

0:52:13 A: This is true. This is true. And I think that we I see this in sales targets. Like, when people implement sales targets, they think they’re going to lose their team. And sometimes you do. You’ll lose the crappy. People who don’t even want to be there, who just come to work for a paycheck. But what you actually see is such an exponential increase in growth, not incremental like I see sometimes 30% in 30 days, because people have something to work towards and it becomes a bit fun, like, Can I do it? Can I not do it? And as long as you’re managing those targets and have systems in place when the targets aren’t met, then it actually inspires people to do more and to.

0:52:52 B: Be more because they know this is the thing is 94% of people that show up to work don’t understand what their job has to do with helping an organization achieve its strategic outcomes.

0:53:10 A: That’s a bit scary, isn’t it?

0:53:12 B: Why am I showing up is the.

0:53:14 A: Question that people ask.

0:53:18 B: Terrifying is really what it is. But if you flip that on its head, have good communication clear in your head what your vision is, listen to what you think, the opportunity, what your staff think are the opportunities in your business. You can become the visionary that supports the people who are going to change your business.

0:53:38 A: Yeah, just to throw another hormone quote in, but this is a Layla Homose quote. I’m such a fangirl of her. She has I’m paraphrasing here, she has a saying that she starts all of her presentations pretty much with, if you could not turn up at work, if you could just not be there and your business continued to do exactly what it did, or it did it better, why are you here? And the answer is, you shouldn’t be. Like, the whole point is to get your business to the point where you can say, this is where I want it to go.

0:54:15 A: And you have the people to get it there. But we get so wrapped up in this is my business and I have to be here. But in the background you’re going oh my God, everything relies on me and nobody does anything. And I don’t really want to be the face of the business. That’s so exhausting. But the flip side is your whole brain is wired around this is my business. There’s such a disconnect there that if you don’t even know what it is you want then how the heck are your team ever going to help you get there?

0:54:42 A: That’s right. And that’s 94% of people don’t know the answer to that question.

0:54:46 B: They don’t know what you want. They don’t know where they’re starting from and they don’t know why they’re running in a direction. And this is a big problem in corporates is you have people running all over the place. Nobody’s actually running to the finish line because they don’t even know where that is.

0:55:03 A: Yeah.

0:55:04 B: It all starts with listening or starts with removing yourself from believing you are the visionary. Your role as the visionary can come back at some point. Once you have a grip and you have these processes in place, people aren’t experiencing burnout and these processes to get to the next level, to have incremental performance. Great project management, great meetings, run better meetings people. I think poor meetings and poor communication lead to staying the same. Lead to market laggers, not creating market leaders. I think that businesses lose something like $37 billion a year from running poor meetings.

0:55:48 B: Have structure, know who’s running them. Why are we showing up? Have agreed understanding. Don’t just have a meeting when shit hits the fan. Have specific meetings for different times in your project. Like what are the processes that you go through in a meeting when you’re kicking off something? What are the things that you need people to bring to that meeting? What are the activities and decisions that need to be made in that meeting?

0:56:12 B: If decisions aren’t going to be made in a meeting then we shouldn’t be showing up.

0:56:15 A: No.

0:56:16 B: Then what do you run? Mid. So you go and put the project plan together. Everybody has then work in progress meetings have those and get reports on what’s been done the week before. What we’re heading into this week? What are our goals for the week? Who do we need help from? Then go into your we have mid project retrospectives. A retrospective is a reflective process in which we can use to make things better or we can use to reinvigorate.

0:56:47 A: A strategy depending on in our programs. Guys, that’s the debrief form, the debrief form, the debrief form.

0:56:54 B: There’s so many different ways of doing it right. It can be stop, start, change, keep going. It can be what takes the wind out of our sails, what’s anchoring us down, what’s the thing that’s propelling us forward? What are their potential risks that we’re heading into that we need to mitigate and so that you can have active conversations about these so you can navigate them and keep moving forward.

0:57:18 B: Incrementally data. Don’t go too big and crazy on your data. I see people this is what we hear all the time is, I have so much data, I don’t know what to do with it. Okay, tell me about your data and practices and rituals. Oh, well, yeah, I look at them daily.

0:57:38 A: Okay. Look at them?

0:57:39 B: What does that mean? Well, I take a glance at them and up or down, like, I’m just looking for a green or a red. Okay, cool. So we’re not actually turning insight into actions. Okay. Again, if we don’t have processes around that, then we can’t know why. Like you’ve said just before, we’re working on our CPA right now because I know that that’s what we need to do. You’re actively in an incremental performance test framework right now. You’re actively in there.

0:58:10 A: Yeah. And so next week, we check back and see what happens.

0:58:13 B: What are your ideas? How do we adjust?

0:58:16 A: Yeah, and we did exactly the same thing you said, like the brainstorm. So we sat there together and said, all right, so Ky had some ideas and I had some ideas, and then we agreed that this is what he went off and had a bit of a think and talked to his team. And he came back and he said, oh, these are the ones we’re going to implement. Are you okay with it? And I’m like, yeah, sure. That’s fine. But sometimes I say no. Sometimes I say no. I would really like you to do X instead.

0:58:38 A: And I have to wear the blame for that if it doesn’t work. It was my decision, but they will say, okay, well, this is what our expectation is if we do it your way. And this is the expectation if we do it our way. Which one do you want to choose?

0:58:52 B: So there’s a really interesting way kind of around that, which is do the idea slam down, get everybody’s ideas out, and then do a blind vote. You don’t know who’s put those ideas down, and you just start voting on them. And you find most of the time it’s probably not the founder’s idea that people would move ahead with. The founder can be given two extra voting points so that if there is a tie, they can call the tiebreaker. And that’s it.

0:59:18 A: That’s it, yeah. I have always heard that your integrator gets the tiebreaker because they have a better idea.

0:59:26 B: Yeah, that’s good.

0:59:26 A: They have a better idea of what the team needs and what they’re capable of and achieving. And so the integrator in that visionary integrator role, maybe that’s your Ops manager. They’re the ones who get the tiebreaker because they have a better understanding of what will happen to the business if that decision gets made.

0:59:46 B: Yeah.

0:59:47 A: Interesting. Okay. But it’s just. About testing what works for you. We have been talking for a very long time and this happens when we talk because we have such great conversations. So I’d like to wrap it up, but is there anything that you wanted to cover that I maybe didn’t get a time for because I was too busy taking you off in other conversations? No.

1:00:08 B: Look, I just want to say that we’ve talked about it from a marketing perspective and a growth perspective. Growth can come in different ways, shapes and forms within an organization. And where to look for innovation is places like finance, marketing, operations, product, brand. Look in every part of your business, then break down. What are the opportunities that sit under finance? What are the things that are our bottlenecks, what do we need to change? And then list those out and then just keep zeroing down on what we call your ambition. So find your ambition first.

1:00:42 B: That is where you start. That’s where you set your benchmarks from, then that’s where you innovate from.

1:00:48 A: Love it. Love it. And pretty much what you just said, that’s what we call our five pillars. Same. Same. You’re listening? Guys? What she’s saying is find the thing in the pillar that you need to work on, which is what you guys do in your 90 day plans. I have loved this conversation and I always love talking to you and you actually didn’t make me feel like I didn’t know what I was talking about, so that’s always a bonus. Either I’m getting smarter or you actively made this conversation palatable to my or you’re just smart. Let’s just you guys do training with teams so you do things like email marketing training, you do growth training, you do leadership training.

1:01:28 A: If people are thinking I kind of like this chicken, I want to find out more, where can they find you? Awesome.

1:01:34 B: Well, you can find me on LinkedIn. Like I said, there’s only one of me on LinkedIn. Or you can find Au. We’ve got a whole bunch of free resources there and we’ve actually got something that might be really interesting. And if it’s okay with you, we’ve got something called the CMO Blueprint where we can actually come through and do an audit to tell you what your opportunities might look like. So I’m really happy to do 50% discount for all of the listeners.

1:02:05 B: If you type in CMO 50 at checkout, you can activate that one.

1:02:10 A: Awesome. Okay, well if you can send me the link, I’ll make sure we put that in the show notes so people can go straight to it. But thank you for yet another fabulous conversation. Alita Hardy. Harvey Rodriguez.

1:02:21 B: My greatest pleasure. See you, Sal.

1:02:23 A: See ya. So that’s a wrap. I’d love to hear what insight you’ve gotten from this episode and how you’re going to put it into action. If you’re a social kind of person, follow me at the Selena Knight and make sure to leave a comment and let me know. And if this episode made you think a little bit differently or gave you some inspiration or perhaps gave you the kick that you needed to take action, then please take a couple of minutes to leave me a review.

1:02:53 A: On your platform of choice. Because the more reviews the show gets, the more independent retail and ecommerce stores just like yours, that we can help to scale. And when that happens, it’s a win for you, a win for your community, and a win for your customers. I’ll see you on the next episode. Our.



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