| | MARCH 20199uninspiring rewards & recognition to employees, using pirated soft-ware, and so on. There cannot be a better way of self-destruction.2. Not Harnessing Commit-ment of Team MembersHighly committed & motivated workforce and long hours of dedi-cated work are absolutely required for a small business to grow rap-idly into a Unicorn. Not having a good ESOP, treating employees only as a cost factor rather than as `co-owners', inadequate delegation of decision making powers and consequent high entrepreneur-de-pendency are sure pitfalls to be avoided if business has to grow fast.3. Treating Support Functions as Cost CentresA common mistake that many small entrepreneurs make is to fo-cus only on sales team and to ig-nore the support functions, which reflects in the inadequately skilled human resources employed in sup-port functions, absence of reward & recognition plan for support function employees, sub-optimal employee strength in support func-tions, making support functions work for long hours every day because they don't generate reve-nue. This results in good resources leaving the organisation, with con-sequent deterioration in the effi-ciency of support functions. Unless support functions are treated as the foundation on which the struc-ture of production and sales oper-ate, the organisation cannot grow at the speed at which it is capable of growing.4. Not Focussing Adequately on Organisational CultureOrganizational culture encom-passes values & behaviours that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of a business, which affects the way people and groups within the or-ganisation interact with each other, with clients and with other stake-holders. It is a key driver in shap-ing organizational behaviours and influences productivity, employee engagement, and commitment. This can be perceived from how a customer is treated while doing business, the general efficiency of the organisation in responding to customer queries, customer griev-ances and vendor enquiries, and quality of interactions that vari-ous individuals and groups have among themselves within the or-ganisation. Mutual trust and em-pathy are an essential part of a healthy organisational culture.Risk culture is an integral part of the organisational culture. Busi-ness is all about managing various risks, which can be categorised mainly into business risk, credit risk, market risk, operational risk, legal risk, compliance risk, and so on. A well-functioning risk man-agement system is a basic require-ment for an organisation to grow strong and fast. Where the risk cul-ture is strong, people at all levels have adequate understanding of various risks involved in the busi-ness they are in and play their part with the full consciousness of its risk implication. Treating incon-venient regulatory prescription as just another business impediment to be `managed' or to be circum-vented could have disastrous con-sequences. No business enterprise can hope to grow large and remain efficient and profitable without having a healthy organisational culture with a strong risk culture at its core.5. Not Investing in Training & ReskillingTraining & developing employees with a view to up-skilling their capacities give businesses the re-quired competitive advantage in our increasingly technology-driv-en world. If an organisation has to change its trajectory and grow fast, it has to change the way it does business. That is why training and reskilling assume importance in transforming an organisation from a static, also-ran entity to a dynam-ic front-runner - especially, in the present day VUCA world. Aiming high without investing in training and reskilling of staff is as unre-alistic as hoping for an Olympic medal without training.A thorough understanding of the negative effects of committing the above mistakes would help small businesses to exploit the im-mense opportunities that are avail-able to grow and prosper.
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