It’s easy when facing day-to-day business challenges to become risk averse and cautious. There are times when that’s the right approach, but equally there are occasions when boldness is required.
That’s something we’ve experienced directly, as Business Stream was created in response to Scotland becoming the first country in the world to let organisations choose their water supplier. We’ve since become a key player in pushing for competition to be introduced in England, which will become a reality in less than two years’ time.
That led us to examine the concept of boldness in a wider context and research that we have just published, based on speaking to nearly 400 directors and decision-makers, underlines the relationship with bold behaviour and success.
While our survey participants cited Apple, Dyson and others as role models, it’s clear that boldness is a positive attribute relevant to all companies, no matter what their size or sector.
Our report, Fortune Favours the Bold, also captures that bold companies do three main things.
They make decisions that are clear, well defined and ambitious. They take calculated risks and are prepared to step outside of the comfort zone. Finally, they are brave and, once a decision has been made, stand firm.
These behaviours are key, whether launching a new product, expanding a business or facing a difficult situation.
However, the research also identified that the availability of resources and speed of decision making are the two main factors in determining how bold a company is.
Taking these findings, we developed a quick test on our website that allows companies to assess where they are on the ‘boldness matrix’, supported by a ten-point plan towards being bolder.
Based on the survey, and our own experience, we believe a bolder approach will help more businesses to achieve better results for themselves, their customers and the economy.
• Johanna Dow is chief executive of Business Stream