Expert Network: The Floriss Group, LLC Mentors that Change the Path to Growth
“When I look at the misconceptions that non-sales practitioners bring to sales meetings,” says James Rores, founder and chief growth officer of The Floriss Group, “it is similar to the way ancient civilizations believed the path to curing a migraine was to drill a hole in the skull.”
Rores has been an active participant in the Expert Network from the very early days, scaling the Floriss models and growth disciplines for the startup environment. He doesn’t drill skulls, but on occasion, while he’s coaching, he might need to tap a few heads.
“The Floriss Group is all about motivating business people to be curious, to ask tough questions, and to recognize the way that their current views and beliefs might not be serving them,” Rores says.
“We signed up to be an Expert Network provider because we believe that jobs build strong communities, families and kids. We believe in the entrepreneurial ecosystem and want to do our part to give back,” he says.
Teaching entrepreneurs to be agents of change
“We define growth as the mastery of change,” says Rores, a fourth generation entrepreneur.
“The idea is that to create growth, we have to have an organizational perspective that embraces and drives change in the marketplace,” he says. “People who are willing to be flexible, who understand how to disrupt a buying cycle or a marketplace are the ones who will have a meaningful impact on their industry and the organizations that they sell to.”
Much of Rores’ work with TechColumbus clients has been in the area of overachieving sales targets. Sales people know they are responsible for growth. Rores emphasizes that growth is job one for every employee, not just those who are in sales.
“Talk to any successful entrepreneur,” Rores says, “and they will tell you that startup companies need to invest as much in sales and marketing as in developing product, especially in the early stages.”
Rores’ approach through his Expert Network engagements aims to add balance to entrepreneurs’ perspectives—the type of balance between branding, product, marketing and sales teams that investors want to see. “We give all four groups the same language to use to communicate and metrics that they all can use to measure progress against their common goal,” he said.
Rores has worked with TechColumbus clients in both pre- and post-investment stages.
“Business leaders, no matter what size the company is, need to know four answers,” Rores says. “What level of growth is possible? What change is required to get there? How much time will it take, and where do we start? Our program is built around getting the business owner and investor both on the same path.”
The first step—even for startups, Rores says—is to assess where a company is today in the context of their goals.
“Does the company have the people and processes required to achieve growth?” Rores says. “It’s not about questioning the company’s ability to get where they are now—they’ve done that. It’s assessing their ability to lead change in order to get where they want to be, which is a wholly different exercise—stress testing the organization and people against the challenge presented by the company’s aspirations.”
The question becomes what is the maximum input and output that the existing people and processes can deliver together within the context of what they are creating already? The methodology is all about measuring a company on its ability to grow, on its mastery of change.
“Why would a business invest in anything that wouldn’t drive growth?” is the question that Rores tees up.
The Floriss model identifies three levels of contributors based on the assumption that in every business, there are people at every level who have the potential to be leaders in their role. The objective is to develop people into what Floriss calls growth multipliers. These growth multipliers are the key to a company achieving predictable, repeatable, organic growth.
Hiring and developing people who can execute and drive growth
Rores finds that companies and people are successful, but often they don’t know why.
“They might say, we are successful because of our people, so I ask what is it about those people that makes them so successful,” he says, “because if companies knew that, they would rarely make a bad hire and they would always be expanding their potential for growth.”
To figure out the growth multiplier potential, Rores teaches companies to assess people and systems not based on what they’ve done so far, but based on what they have the potential to achieve.
“It’s a wildly different exercise,” he says. “We talk about what’s the maximum they could do for the organization in context with what they are creating all ready. If people aren’t positioned to drive growth, what changes need to be made?”
Rores teaches companies how to hire better employees as they grow.
“Many companies don’t know how to hire growth multipliers. We can teach how to hire people with greater potential or better experience than current employees have—even if the current employee is viewed as a star,” Rores says.
“If we make the mistake of hiring people who aren’t as qualified, we can turn an A organization into a B,” Rores says. “How many times do we hear companies say they failed because they were undercapitalized, when what is more likely true is that it’s a matter of poor execution.”
When Rores works with Expert Network entrepreneurs, he tells them not to plan on getting lucky. “We’ll take it if it comes,” he says, “but we are going to build the very best company we can and by doing so create sustainable growth, sustainable jobs, and a sustainable infrastructure of the company and the community.”
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