Propelling GCA into the next lap
Ian Dyason. 12 March 2021
In the previous two articles, I had taken a retrospective look at GCA's business over the past 5 years and highlighted the good and the not-so-good parts of the business. But good or bad, we have learnt a lot and we are now in the position to propel the business into the next 5 years with optimism. We are excited for better things to come. So in this final retrospective instalment, we articulate these plans for the next 5 years...
1. More structure and devolution of responsibility
Everyone must be empowered to take responsibility and be accountable for their results. GCA can only grow on the backs of growth-minded contributors.
GCA must grow on its own merits. It cannot be the results or efforts of a few. There has to be a proper structure with devolution of responsibility. Everyone must be empowered to take responsibility and be accountable for their results. GCA can only grow on the backs of growth-minded contributors. Hence, there will be more hiring for roles that will drive the business in the right direction. The business must, of course, be able to support such a structure. If it is unable to drive topline growth, then it would not be able to hire, and if it cannot hire, it cannot grow. There must therefore be a sense of urgency within the whole organisation to run towards the first level of sustainability, which is to be at a revenue level 3 times the total cost of business. This will allow us to hire more, and hire better, for the following years. Capital alone would not allow us to get there. The sustainable point is revenue growth.
Just calling for a Zoom meeting is not enough. This has to be on the back of a slew of digitised outreach methods that increase the number of touch points.
The digitised business is now the main mode of business. After one year of Zooming around, people are more comfortable meeting on-screen such that they are disinclined to meet face to face. This is a good thing because the costs of customer acquisition are now lower; but one needs to be able to effectively use digital solutions to reach across this artificial divide. Business development people must change their tactics; where once they relied on coffee or meetings to make the connection, they now need to use more innovative means through Zoom. However, just calling for a Zoom meeting is not enough. This has to be on the back of a slew of digitised outreach methods that increase the number of touch points. Programme delivery also needs to change. We have learnt that just because people sign in to a Zoom training session, it does not mean that they are present. There is a need to adopt a set of digitised engagement activities to ensure that they are present throughout the workshop. More work-study methods need to be conducted within the business to make sure these activities are appropriate across many different geographies and cultures. This is because of....
this is the reason digitisation is so important - it allows us to carry out business from anywhere in the world to anyone in the world!
Singapore as a market is too small for sustained business growth, and if we are truly digitised, then there is nothing to stop us from operating in different countries and in different cultures. True, the products and services have to be adjusted to the language and culture of different markets, but that does not stop us from looking beyond the shores of Singapore. In fact, the way we are now geographically located, we are already a global company! We have staff in Singapore, Malaysia, France and Qatar! And we already have a partner in Vietnam! So while our customers are currently located in Singapore, over time, we are confident that we will have customers all over the world! And this is the reason digitisation is so important - it allows us to carry out business from anywhere in the world to anyone in the world!
It is not enough just to pay lip service to quality, it must be in our DNA. And if we fail to deliver on that promise, then we don't want to be paid for the service!
GCA, the 5 Dimensions and Growth Forecasting are all proprietary products and brands that we can, and should, build and protect. As we move across borders and build a network of trainers and coaches, they must be joined together by the promise of high quality and effective outcome. GCA as a brand must be synonymous with superb value and effective results. It is not enough just to pay lip service to quality, it must be in our DNA. And if we fail to deliver on that promise, then we don't want to be paid for the service! It is by living up to the highest ideals of quality and organisational impact will we then be able to build a consistent and strong international brand. This begins with all of us, providing the highest quality effort for the business, for the customer, for the stakeholders. Our brand is only as good as our actions. So let us always over-deliver on all our promises to everyone we deal with! Only then will our brand be built!
there is a need to extend its application beyond what GCA can offer. This can be done through licensing.
The 5DGM is only as good as the applications that come with it. So what if we know our growth mindset tendencies, but we don't know what to apply that to? Hence, there is a need to extend its application beyond what GCA can offer. This can be done through licensing. Suppose a career management portal wants to help its members adopt the right mindsets as they traverse the different jobs, they can license our assessment and output for use in their portal. The same can be said of business and management training organisations. If they want to develop, say, an entrepreneurship programme, they can license our 5DGM for Entrepreneurs to help coach their students towards the appropriate mindset while they learn the ins and outs of running a business. The more license agreements that we can enter into, the greater the brand will expand. And that will lead to greater growth of the business.
6. Thought leadership
The 5 Dimensions of the Growth Mindset (5DGM) radically expands the concept of the growth mindset, but it is still a means to an end. We need to take the 5DGM onto a higher plane. The next step in our research is to seek specific business and personal impact with the 5DGM. This will allow us to claim certain thought leadership positions that will grow its effectiveness in the market, and impact on the brand.
Single sourcing our revenue streams is very risky and the pandemic has shown us that we need to de-risk our supply chains and our business models.
Going into the next 5 years, GCA may be elevated into a holding company status, where different businesses will belong to it. So the 5DGM will be one business unit under GCA, as will be the overseas consulting which I am currently heading. There are other businesses that I am currently seeding, which, when they germinate, can also be added to the holding company. In this way, GCA will be diversified, and that is important to allow us to ride the storms of the next pandemic. Single sourcing our revenue streams is very risky and the pandemic has shown us that we need to de-risk our supply chains and our business models. Creating a holding company and driving different businesses under it will allow us to accomplish that. So that together, we are stronger than if we are apart.
The motto of one of the schools in Singapore says, "Onward and Upward".... It is the perfect description of how we will be progressing over the next 5 years!
I like the picture that was chosen for this article. It is an upward looking perspective. And that is what we are doing right now... looking up at the beautiful blue skies of the next 5 years! We know that the journey is not easy, and the path is not straight. We know that it takes EVERYONE'S commitment to make it happen. As Founder, it is my responsibility to line up the resources and the businesses together. But that is not enough to see this through. In fact, there is little that I can do, if no one else is on board with me. So I count on everyone's support as we build a brighter future for GCA! The motto of one of the schools in Singapore says, "Onward and Upward". I like that! It is the perfect description of how we will be propelling ourselves over the next 5 years!
What an exciting ride that will be!