My mantra is a simple one – business growth begins with personal growth. If your people aren’t part of the plan, then you’re sabotaging your chances

I started my career in an agency that specialized in internal communications, so I’ve always been a keen advocate for the power of employee engagement. I’ve seen, firsthand, the impact that an aligned, connected and supported team can have on the success of a business.

That being said, unless you’re quantifying it, how can you be sure that you’re achieving your true growth potential? I spent the best part of a decade developing the strategic and planning offerings of some of the events industry’s biggest agencies, which meant focusing on storytelling effectiveness above all else.

There’s a tendency, when thinking about growth, to fixate on metrics and data analytics. But I don’t believe that measurement has to be so complicated. Instead, I think you need to formulate a clear vision of what growth looks like, and begin the process with a clear sense of how you’ll know when you’ve achieved it. That’s the effectiveness side of the equation. As for storytelling; that’s how you inform, inspire and motivate the people around you, to help you accomplish those goals. They need to understand and share your vision – if they’re going to come on the journey with you.

It feels right that we’re talking about growth right now, especially since there’s so much uncertainty in the world. It’s hard to remember another time in my lifespan when there was so much division and instability – and those things can put untold pressure on businesses.

I can understand why some companies might feel as though the safest way to negotiate the turmoil would be to just hit the brakes and hope for the best. But I’m reminded of something I was told when I was learning to drive – brake into the curve, but accelerate out. For me, getting through the challenges ahead means preparing for acceleration. That’s why the business with robust growth plans won’t just survive whatever recession lies ahead; they’ll power out of it.