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The truth is that whether asked how our society works, whether it’s parenting or education, or the corporate system, narrows our vision, and it sort of asks us to conform. If you’re a small business owner, if you’re an entrepreneur, you want you and your team not to conform, you want you and your team to imagine things that could be possible, and to go and do them to have the wherewithal to do it to go and do them.
It’s really all about the mindset of the corporation, the culture, the mindset of the culture of the business. You as the business owner, you as the senior person in that accountancy firm, you’ve got the opportunity to set that.
I think it’s by setting up systems and processes and recruiting the right people that have the mindset so that you can be brave and curious – both of those things unnecessarily because what is true for any business, or any of us in this world right now: if we do nothing, we keep the status quo, we’ll move backwards. The world is changing at such a rapid pace, we have to innovate, we have to try things that may or may not work. We’ve got to build the confidence and the bravery and the curiosity to experiment and find that way through because that gives us the edge. That’s really cultural, I think. You can set your corporate reward system to set bonuses wholly on financial performance, wholly on growing five per cent from last year. We all know we’ve yet, well, maybe we should have set a five-year bonus that doesn’t expect us to grow in any given year, because we’re trying things that are going to really deliver in three-or-four-years’ time.
We’re happy to make mistakes and get it wrong. As long as we can iterate and we can learn, we can adapt, and we can build something from those trials and errors, then we have a better business over a five-year period. So how and I would advocate that we certainly didn’t tell Ella’s Kitchen businesses I’m involved with now, though, is build a bonus scheme based on one year wholly on financial performance.
Obviously, you need a successful sustainable business that makes profits and that interest should be tied to bonuses. But living the values of the reason why your company exists, I think, should be embedded within the way people are remunerated and motivated and rewarded for contributing to their company.