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Mighty Oaks From Small Acorns

Over the last few weeks, I’ve had fascinating conversations with leaders and owners about their suggestions to grow, develop, and scale their businesses. But having the thought is only the start. We all have brilliant ideas, but how many of us act upon them, see them through to conclusion, and then reap the rewards. 

Procrastination can rear its ugly head when beliefs are that failure is inevitable or a perceived lack of experience exists, delaying action and even stopping the idea from being developed. Working within a framework can often help work through challenges, provide solutions, and highlight where support is required.

A fantastic example of this type of framework can be taken from the world of coaching and has its foundations in work completed over 30 years ago but is still relevant today. The GROW model was developed in the 1980s by Sir John Whitmore and his colleagues and has since become one of the most popular approaches for coaching conversations. This initial work can be extended to become the GROWTH model that is incredibly powerful when applied to business challenges of all shapes and sizes.


Before exploring the six constituent elements of the GROWTH model, it is worth remembering that problem solving is rarely a linear process that a model or framework may suggest. The aim is to produce challenging, curious, and exploratory conversations to solve the problem. With you unlikely to stumble upon the best, most efficient, and highly successful results straightaway, expect cyclical or iterative discussions coupled with test and learn. 


The first stage is about gaining clarity and establishing a clear and compelling endpoint for the challenge. When defining the goal, remain focused on a commitment to deliver positive outcomes and the benefits that these bring. Look toward the future rather than analysis what has come before. Ask yourself what you would like to achieve by the end of the day, week, or month, and think about what benefits this will bring and how it will feel for everyone concerned. 


This phase looks at the current situation to establish the line from which positive movement begins. While seeking reality, it is easy to concentrate on failings, what is not working, or weaknesses. Always come back to the GOAL during every conversation, focusing on strengths and existing resources to help develop solutions during the next phase. Some great questions to ask yourself are:

What’s working now? and what skills, experiences, and resources can be utilised to help move forward to the goal? 


The ‘no idea is a bad idea’ phase. Have a group of divergent thinkers discussing the challenge will generate as many wide-ranging options as possible. Ensure you explore provocative ideas, thoughts, and strategies that will stretch the comfort zone of the business and highlight resources or expertise that may not be currently accessible. And finally, never stop when you arrive at the first acceptable solution. Exhaust every option and explore every avenue. 


WILL is the commitment stage. Through the previous stages, preferred solutions have developed. Now is the time for action. What can you achieve in the next 24 hours, seven days, or four weeks? Avoid procrastination at all costs!


The TACTICS stage takes the commitment from the WILL stage and seeks precise next steps, clear actions, and defined deadlines. Having already prioritised options and committed to actioning them, this is the who, how, and when stage. To get optimum results set clear objectives with defined responsibility and accountability. 


The habits stage is where you build sustained success. Perhaps holistic in nature, it may involve improved business processes, new resources, or even new company culture. Ask yourself what needs to be different about attitude, behaviour, or environment that creates a high-performance business. 

Next time you have an idea to improve your business, take the GROWTH model and turn the small acorn into a mighty oak.

Have a brilliant week!

David Rogers

Founder & CEO, Fuelled Fit and Fired Up Ltd

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