You can’t walk into work and have 23 things to do. How do you measure that? How can your pro AV business succeed if you’re constantly playing catch-up with your managers, your technicians, and your own understanding of where their strengths and weaknesses lie?
At the PSA TEC event in Denver, CO this week, a panel of security and AV integrators frankly discussed what’s worked best for them in terms of keeping their team accountable, developing a measurable direction, and making sure all employees live by your company-wide mission.
Here’s what they said:
Understand the Difference Between ‘Mission’ & ‘Vision’
These business 101-sounding terms are tossed around a lot. But there’s value in noting the differences between them and implementing both daily.
“Vision” refers to where you want your AV business to go. Your ultimate goal. But a “mission” is an everyday actionable item that contributes towards the realization of the vision.
Your business can have multiple missions, but they don’t mean anything if they aren’t aiming for a grand vision.
Reward Employees for Making Decisions Toward the Mission(s)
Vision is owned by the management, but management teams shouldn’t be the only ones making decisions.
Scott Ranger, VP of Paladin Technologies, says his company rewards employees for taking ownership of key in-the-moment decisions, even if those decisions aren’t always the best.
“Our people learn from it in ways we couldn’t if we sent them to a certifications course, which, by the way, are also valuable in their own right,” he said during the PSA TEC conference.
Give Everybody in Your Company Room to Grow
Once your AV business employees feel comfortable handling complex situations, they also need an impetus for continued growth. Christine Lanning, president of Integrated Security Technologies, recommends setting up a framework. She used the meeting structure recommended in Traction by Gino Wickman.
“Make your motto be: if you’re not going to grow in this job, you’re off the bus.”
Don’t Be Afraid to Fire High-Performers Who Don’t Share the Vision
Speaking of letting people go: firing is sometimes necessary. Now that you’ve established clear vision and mission, it is time to make sure everyone is on board with that direction.
President and CEO of PSA Bill Bozeman says your most talented individual who has every certification and is meeting his or her hard goals can also sometimes be “a destructive jackass” — or, in more mild cases, just someone who doesn’t move fluidly with others under your AV business’ goals.
Sometimes, you need to have frank but tactful conversations with someone who, despite performing well, doesn’t seem to be on the same page with the rest of the company, and that’s ok, Bozeman says.
“Addition through subtraction,” Lanning called it.
Look Externally to Solve Problems
“We’ve stopped looking internally and started looking externally to solve common issues,” says Preferred Technologies general manager Terry King.
“Learn humility: accept what you don’t know, and understand what you are good at. Then accept help from others — even competing firms — in areas you can improve.”
Learn more about PSA TEC here.