Stuck between a smart or scalable business? Why not have both?

Building a smart, scalable business

I work with smart people. Not just slightly above average smart but really, scary smart, like absolutely best in their field smart. I’m amazed at how their minds work and how they solve the complex problems they do.  I admire the research they embark on and their ability to apply their vast bodies of knowledge in innovative and creative ways.   As a result of being smart and focused their content is powerful, and cutting edge and can transform individuals, teams and organizations in many ways that drive measurable results. But, there’s a problem — despite their intelligence, many of them aren’t running a scalable business.

If you have great content and it can only be released into the world by your own interactions (speaking, workshops, writing, etc.) it is not scalable and therefore cannot reach the potential that it has to change large enterprises.  Large companies admire and respect great content.  They lean in when you’re speaking.  They ask wonderful questions.  However what they need is for your work to be cutting edge and scalable.  They need a variety of ways to deploy your content across a large and diverse population around the globe in a wide variety of formats.

If you don’t scale, your impact is limited.  Very limited in fact.  If a company has a choice between the smartest solution available to their struggles and it primarily resides in your head versus a solution that is a bit (or a lot) less powerful than yours but it is available in multiple formats – you will lose.  You won’t even be in the running.  Being scalable is not a nice to have, it’s a must have unless you want to limit the reach of your work.

So here’s the good news.  You do not have to choose between smart and scalable.  You can (and clearly should) be both.  Now that’s easier said than done and it’s not a simple task.  Figuring out how to move your content into assessment tools, and diagnostics and video based learning systems are more than likely outside of both your comfort zone and your skill set.  That’s ok.  The first thing you need to do is to understand how many options are available to you and what the best path to take to scale your work is.  It is not a formulaic, one size fits all process.  It has to be done in  a strategic way that takes into account your competition, the markets you should be serving, how best to take your processes, models and methods and how to get them out across a team and across a large organization.

To summarize, smart is good, but you need to think about building a smart and scalable business if you want your work to have the biggest impact and to be able to monetize it in multiple ways.

Peter Winick has deep expertise in helping those with deep expertise. He is the CEO of Thought Leadership Leverage. Visit Peter on Twitter!

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