Starting a business is a big achievement for many entrepreneurs, but maintaining one is the larger challenge. There are many standard challenges that face every business whether they are large or small. It is not easy running a company, especially in a fast-paced, ever-changing business world. Technology advances, new hiring strategies, and now, political changes coming with the new administration, all add to the existing business challenges that entrepreneurs, business owners, and executives have to deal with.
Maximizing profits, minimizing expenses and finding talented staff to keep things moving seem to be top challenges for both SMBs and large corporations. We have been interviewing companies from around the world to discover what challenges they are facing in their businesses. We also asked each company to share business advice they would give to a younger version of themselves.
Below is our interview with Lior Arussy, CEO at Strativity Group, Inc.:
What does your company do?
Strativity helps organizations optimize profits and customer retention through the design and execution of differentiated customer experiences and culture. As customer expectations constantly evolve, we ensure that our clients stay innovative and purpose-based to ensure they become the first choice of their customers. Our work is focused on both helping organizations become and stay relevant to their customers and employees by understanding the gaps in performance and designing customer experiences that employees are proud to deliver, and customers are willing to pay premium for. We shine the most in deploying those programs through employees-lead transformations. We are based in New Jersey with offices in Canada, UK, Singapore and Australia and had the privilege of serving over 200 leading brands in the last 16 years impacting over 1 million employees and over 600 million customers.
What is your role? What do you enjoy most about your role?
I am the company's CEO and chief inspiration officer. The work we do is tough. Most organizations are convinced that they are doing it already. Our job is to place a mirror in front of them and show them that they are not as good as they think they are. Change is not an easy process and our job to hold their hand and walk them through the valley of fear and anxiety. The privilege we have is to then show them the exceptional performance they are capable of. I am most proud when an organization and its employees discover the power they do have and go on to delight their customers while reaping the financial rewards. It is absolutely priceless to see an employee come back with a story of how they made an impact by making the personal choice of delivering above and beyond. This is what I enjoy the most and it is worth the hardship to get there.
What are the biggest challenges in your business right now?
Organizational temptation to go for a technology shortcut has always been an obstacle for transformation. Digital transformation has acerbated the issue and is being perceived as a panacea for everything. In reality, it is part of the solution, not the entire solution without an integrated approach for digital and Human experiences, those partial solution will not create sustainable differentiation. Most executives, however will opt for the shortcut and not for the in-depth, integrated solution. That is a huge challenge. Additionally, there is a trend towards "do it yourself" where clients attempt to cut and paste concepts and try to implement in-house. Often because they may lack the skillset and capabilities, they fail to achieve the results (our study shows only 9% success rate) and as a result give up prematurely.
If you could go back in time, what business advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?
When I started Strativity I had a plan. I invested in that plan and within 6 months I was out of money and facing a complete collapse of my dream. I was sure it was the end. Failure was not an option for me (enough with this cliché) and I could hardly recover. It was difficult to recover. I am still not sure how I did it. My ego was bruised, and I was mostly unable to believe that I actually failed. Plan to fail. When you start your career with naiveté and the confidence of youth, you do not factor in failure.
You act as though you are invincible and own the book of truth. When you sense possible failure, you steer away as soon as possible and keep yourself in the safe zone. That zone does not allow you to grow and develop and experiment. Failure will happen. Factor it into your plan and allow for it to happen, when it does. Why? Because without it you will never fully explore your potential and possibilities. Failure produces experience and wisdom. Without it you merely repeat yourself.