Reader Q&A

Readers of Basic to Brilliant have been asking great questions that are relevant for growing small to mid-size businesses. Here are a few, along with the answers. If you have questions you’d like answered, or would like to know more about the issues raised below, please reach out! Contact us for more information.

Kurtis Osborne, Director of Operations and Finance, Wilson Developments Ltd asks:
Q: Employees in our small business wear multiple hats. As we hire new people, our roles are constantly adjusted for each individual. How do we continually design new roles and update old ones to reflect the growth and changes in our business?
A: One of the first steps is to establish a list of core accountabilities for each role, the key relationships the person will have internally and externally, and the measure for success. Make these as foundational to the role as you can, updating them with a review every six months or annually. For new hires, you can then customize their role with an expectation plan for the first six months to one year that includes initial projects, tasks to complete, and learning milestones expected. All of these should align with the measures for success in the role, even though their daily tasks may be some variation of the core accountabilities. That allows you the flexibility you need with new hires while maintaining a base line understanding of the role and how success will be measured.

Sheila Hamilton, President of It’s Time Fitness Results asks:
Q: Can corporate values change?
A: Yes, corporate values can evolve over time. If you’ve identified several values that were relevant in the early years of your business, you may find that as the business grows and changes, the wording of those values may need updating, and there may be one or two new values you’d like to add, or replace with those identified earlier. Take a fresh look at the things your company has stood for or been known for no matter the circumstance. Then identify the key people who consistently demonstrate those behaviours. What three to five word statements would describe the core behaviours those individuals share in common? This can give you insight into the values that are core to your business today.

Doug Vanderspek, Transportation Executive asks:
Q: What brilliant practice would you recommend for implementation of a learning management system when a company has multiple locations (even global locations)?
A: Good question! When a company has dispersed teams, knowledge sharing and honing the learning culture are more important than ever. Intentional, scheduled and frequent knowledge sharing is essential. Ideally this can be facilitated through a learning channel built into an online collaboration hub such as Slack that provides the platform for people to share what they are learning and document the learning points in a centralized location. Weekly meeting structures that include dedicated time at the end to share real-time learning and feedback are one way to formalize the knowledge sharing process.