Thoughts on Growth and Its Causes
Part 1 – Learning
Pendant Automation is closing an excellent first half of 2018, a period of rapid growth, following several years of sustained growth. A look back often spawns reflection on what happened and why. This is the first in a series of posts related to our reflections on growth.
Usually, when we talk about growth in the context of business, our minds jump to things like sales growth and profitability. For sure, these things are important for any business to continue to support its clients, team members, and the community in which it operates. But how do they happen?
At Pendant, we think of sales and profit growth as downstream outcomes. Downstream of what?
It starts with education and knowledge. Every team member at Pendant understands that our company gets better only to the extent that each individual gets better. And so Pendant team members constantly take classes, read, research, and share knowledge within and outside their direct area of responsibility. Often the learning relates only to the “soft” skills required to work and collaborate effectively with other people. Sometimes there’s not a crystal clear connection between, for example, reading a biography of George Washington, and growing in a way that will ultimately benefit the business. But we believe in it. We always accept a challenge because learning and growing are built into our DNA.
(Learn more about our core values here: http://www.pendantautomation.com/core-values/)
Sounds great, right? You may accept that learning is a prerequisite to growth. But how do you know if the amount, focus, and quality of the learning are working?
One Way to Measure It
It’s fair to assume that effective learning would lead to, among other things, strengthening your company’s ability over time to successfully execute a higher volume of larger and more sophisticated projects. Pendant’s projects in 2018 will be on average 15+ times the size of an average Pendant project in 2011, measured by sales. It’s not an accident or a great stroke of good fortune. It is an act of will. It’s a product of a growth mindset that back in 2011 said, “We can’t do that project…yet”, emphasis on the “yet”. That mindset led to a plan to learn and grow, followed by actually doing it. Six years downstream, the evidence is clear.
(For more on that idea, check out this link: Mindset)
This may sound obvious, and the idea that learning leads to growth is a simple one. Nobody is against learning, right?
Q – “How do you feel about learning?”
A – “I’m for it!” (with apologies to Mitch Hedberg)
But it’s like anything else. You have to actually do it. Reflecting now at the end of the first half, we’re more committed than ever to growing our business by investing in growing ourselves.