Starting the conversation…

There are five gifts of business plateaus. Use them together or separately to break through to the next level of growth!

Host: Jess Dewell

What You Will Hear:

There are five gifts of business plateaus, use them together or separately to break through to the next level of growth.

Host: Jess Dewell

What You Will Hear:

Gift #1: Crutial elements overlooked for scaling time and talent to create independence at every level.

Gift #2: Scaling processes to leverage time and automate (because your business is a technology business).

Audience Question: in what ways can I can scale talent -with a team that works really well and worked together for a long time- to get to the next step of growth?

Live Audience Question:  Are you saying that internal “disruption” in the workplace is actually good? If so, can you put some parameters to it?

Gift #3: Investigate where you have internal and external communication weak points.

Gift #4: Add feedback loops and a knowledge base to find patterns indicating changes in customer expectations.

Gift #5: Get better at change using these skills to keep yourself motivated to succeed and lead by example.

Audience Question: I consider myself aware of my communication blind spots (and I work on them), but how do I remove obstacles when the communication problem is not on me but on one specific team member, unwilling to change?

Live Audience Question. So, software evolves from beta, to 1.0, 2.0, and so forth. Is that the sort of workplace change you’re talking about — some incremental, some generational?

It’s BOLD to confidently face business plateaus.

Notable and Quotable:


Jess Dewell 3:13
The five gifts of business plateaus. I’m going to list them here so you’ve got them. Scaling time and talent. Scaling processes, communication, especially the weak points of our communication and then understanding and anticipating changing customer expectations, as well as getting better at change being motivated to succeed.

Jess Dewell 3:45
Our biggest challenge is scaling talent.

Jess Dewell 4:37
We think we can burn the candle at both ends for ever.

Jess Dewell 4:43
We only have 24 hours in a day. So what do we do? We figure out how to stay awake longer. We play hard to work hard. We work hard to play hard, all of those isms, if you will, have a place, and they’re great for sprints. They’re not It’s great for marathons.

Jess Dewell 5:04
Even if we’re in flow. Even when we love what we’re doing. At some point, we get tired. And there’s only so much we can do to rekindle the passion and the energy to keep burning the candle at both ends.

Jess Dewell 5:23
When we reach a sales plateau, as a leader holding up the mirror first is the most important thing that we can do.

Jess Dewell 5:42
Every action, every behavior, every chance we get to reinforce or chip away at our or ganizational culture, starts with us — because we’re followed. Were modeled. And once we recognize that we know how to move forward.

Jess Dewell 7:31
We want everybody in our organization to show up and be all in and present. When we get too comfortable, or we’re having too much fun, we can take our eye off the ball. And so too much fun, and too much comfort, will be a place where we can look to in a time of a growth plateau. What can we do to just get a little uncomfortable? Not threatening. Not uncomfortable to the point people don’t want to come to work. Uncomfortable faced with problems that when we work together we can get to where we want to go.

Jess Dewell 8:59
When you put a team together that is comfortable with each other, they might be more efficient, but they don’t come up with as many ideas to solve problems. When you put a group of people together that don’t know each other very well, that might actually have some discord between them. they actually have to work to get to the ideas. And they end up coming up with more ideas, usually better ideas, than the group that works together.

Jess Dewell 9:27
Streamlining on one side looks really great and amazing. Well, we’ve have a team We’re really efficient and then on the other side, it’s maybe we don’t want to have this extra input, this longer time that it takes. Well, which one is going to get you closer to the next set of growth goals that you have? A little bit of discord.

Jess Dewell 10:25
When we find ourselves spread too thin, when we feel like we need more talent, but we’re not ready to make that investment, let’s see who’s in the room together. Let’s see what ideas they’re coming up with. Maybe it takes a different combination of the team to figure out what’s necessary, and be able to make the time to figure out how to scale our time and our talent.

Jess Dewell 11:25
Sometimes we end up feeling like we are ruled by the process. We’re ruled by the guidebook. And it becomes mundane to engage in the role that we’re in. Because we’ve decided that we know what’s most efficient in this process is it. Well, what happens if we were to break the process? To scale a process means to put strain on the processes — the system in place — and see what happens.


Jess Dewell 12:22
The system is always going to break. The people may break, in terms of not knowing what to do, or being really uncomfortable, or speaking out about something not working. But if we’re kept in a lane too long without any disharmony, what ends up happening is we’re like, ” Well, I’m not going to stick my neck out for that. I’m not going to be the one to do this. I guess I’ll start punching a clock.” And then our productivity goes down in a whole different way.

Jess Dewell 13:37
We end up managing the process instead of managing the product. Or managing the process instead of spending time developing relationships. And we know that we’re selling people to people. We know we’re belly to belly. We know all of these different things, yet in practice, technology can bind us a little too tight.

Jess Dewell 14:04
We lose one of our top clients, or we gain somebody into that top client echelon of our business. In both of those cases, we find out where we are doing well, and where we are doing less well. So when a new client comes in, and all of a sudden, they’re incredibly large, and they demand a lot of time, things may actually break. And that’s in some cases exactly what we want. We are pushing for the processes. We are pushing what we know our processes can do, and we’re seeing where the rubber meets the road, and what improvement can be.

Jess Dewell 15:07
An unintended consequence of bringing on a new large client is, many of our systems could break and they may not be the ones we anticipated. Knowing that that’s there is at least some sort of knowing. It’s not completely unknown. Yet we can’t plan for it yet. We can’t depend on it because it’s only through how the people are working together, what the processes are actually doing. And once they’re pushed to the limit, do we get to see what is actually breaking, broken or weak?

Jess Dewell 16:50
Our inclination is, well, we’ll fix it later. We’ve got to keep going. The thing is, when we are achieving our growth strategy, and we are leaping and bounding forward, we don’t have time. And then when things stop, or slow down, we have forgotten the places that we have banded because we’ve done them for so long in such the same way, they become normalized. And our band aids become a part of who we are as an organization.

Jess Dewell 26:11
Just because we have something, we might even be using it sort of well, our culture may actually be different. And this is where communication can be the key to getting through a business plateau. This gift of not only self awareness, but how we communicate.

Jess Dewell 27:22
When we’re throwing band aids on things, and we’ve got the biggest quick fixes, and we’re burning the candle at both ends. Another place we fail is keeping things simple and straightforward. We’re all throwing stuff on to figure out how it works. And now it’s like adding unnecessary things to the pot and figuring out how to use them. It creates so many processes that we don’t know what my break or not. We don’t even know why we have some of the processes because it happens somewhere, and then it became part of what we do, and then it became normal.

Jess Dewell 29:49
If we tell everybody what the can’t, and all the reasons why they can’t, they’re not going to try and figure out where they can.

Jess Dewell 31:45
So by not creating parameters, we have weak communication. By creating too many parameters. We create frustration and a lack of a desire to keep figuring things out on our own.

Jess Dewell 32:02
Growth will come from, Do we have independence at every level? And are we willing to sit with the uncomfortable and allow others to sit with uncomfortable without us solving their problems?

Jess Dewell 32:28
What are the lessons that you really remember? The lessons that you remember came from some sort of hardship. hen we are removing hardship, we end up not having enough discord. We end up not having enough thoughts that are coming in swirling around in the pot to see what can bubble up to be the best. And the companies that are able to do this are the ones that not only have strong cultures, they also have strong growth strategies and have a record of achieving them.

Jess Dewell 34:21
What are our customers and potential customers we are trying to reach, what are they actually doing and how are they actually behaving? I would say. a knowledge base becomes incredibly necessary. And knowledge bases are hard. They’re hard because all of this information is coming in. And it’s raw. It’s unfiltered and it’s unrefined, and so finding a process that will help organize all of this raw data to at least pull out patterns that we’re looking for, will be incredibly useful.

Jess Dewell 37:33
We know we’re looking for changes, but we can also look for change from things that stop, from things that have ceased, and go from there.

Jess Dewell 38:54
We need to be willing to look at ourselves and do some self reflection. Once we can do that, we now have the ability to look outward and see things for what they really are. The good, the bad, the ugly. The overhyped, the under hyped, whatever it is, and be able to bring that in.

Jess Dewell 42:03
When we allow somebody else to dictate what courage is, we’re giving away our power. And when we give away our power, we are placing a different priority on the information coming in. When we allow the status quo, we forget that there are assumptions to question. When those two things happen. We tend to be okay with not knowing and not seeing, and we begrudgingly and then outright refuse to look at things that could help us grow.



process, discord, plateau, scaling, growth, uncomfortable, talent, work, break, client, knowing, communication, overhyped, efficient, band aids, business growth, collaboration, cooperation, communication, decision making, courage, problem solving, strategy

There are five gifts of business plateaus. Use them together or separately to break through to the next level of growth!

Even in the best of times we can experience plateaus in business. How prepared we are to recognize, respond, and adapt … all these factors impact business performance. Our internal and external feedback loops, people to call on for expertise, and the strength of our soft skills create a map to plot a course forward. Jess Dewell shares the five gifts of business plateaus.

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