Chapter 13 Governance

So far our focus in this breakpoint has been on building a team, both of leaders and in your wider organisation. There is a higher level of help that has to be considered, and that only starts at the moment that you realise that you really don't need to do this on your own. In fact, it's not even a good idea to try to do this on your own. Keith McFarland points out that nearly all of the breakthrough companies he studied had outside help, what he called the scaffolding that you need around your business so that you can build it from the outside. Many struggling or dawdling companies have owners who are pathologically self-reliant. They would rather fail than ask for help — and asking for help in their minds is a failure. As someone once said, the five most powerful words in the English language are ‘Can you help me please?'

The reason we need scaffolding is because the first casualty of business ownership is objectivity. We get attached to certain ideas, people, ways of doing things. We get so attached to our opinions that they become beliefs — and they can be a luxury in a fast-changing market. I don't believe anything about my market or my business, in part because I have no way of knowing if my beliefs are true or valid. I do have some opinions, which change as I get new information, new insights and new ways of looking at my world.

It's a good idea to get as much help as you can in finding those insights. That is where upgrading your governance comes ...

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