These beliefs that guide the work we do on behalf of clients are validated through the successes our clients have experienced. Unlike most strategic plans that fail in execution (over 70%) or most strategic initiatives that don’t work (3 out of 4 don’t return value), our clients see an immediate difference in how the company works together, saving time because they have a clear focus and clarity, and over the course of their plan, hit their growth targets, many doubling or more in size. This is our “toolkit”. When others are sharing their process, we share our beliefs. Processes don’t produce results; they are a means to an end. Thinking and decision making DO. So, here we share with you how we think and what guides the decision making we will accomplish together.
Success is dependent on the ability to think “outside-in”.
In order to serve the market successfully, we must understand it. We have to think like they think. We have to respond to their perceptions regardless of whether they are accurate because we have to move them from where they are. It is imperative that leaders lead from the “outside-in” as it is the view that correlates to the successful navigation of next stage growth opportunities, resulting in accelerated and profitable growth. Here are a few questions to get the wheels turning about whether you are thinking “outside-in”:
- Do you charge fees for things customers don’t think add value but reflect operating costs of the business?
- Do you prefer new products that are pragmatic (they are affordable to make) over innovations that customers want?
- Do you measure results against last year or relative to potential in the market?
Whac-a-mole Management™ causes more problems than it solves.
The arcade game where we bop the latest pop-up mole sometimes seems like a good analogy to problem-solving in our companies. We battle the hundreds of little things that pop up and yet it distracts us from doing what matters. Dealing with issues one-off is not constructive; while it may solve it faster, by solving it in isolation we often create downstream problems elsewhere without realizing it. Leaders are encouraged to “strategically engineer” their organizations –develop a strategy and organize to achieve it, integrating across operations for successful implementation. Rather than each department coming up with a list of activities they believe will make them better, work across the leadership team to develop a list that makes the entire organization better and define the role for each functional area within each initiative. There will be greater impact and fewer total resources spent.
Strategic engineering provides more value than typical strategic planning.
Strategic planning serves many purposes and it is essential for an organization to have a plan. The trick is to make sure it is effective and implemented. That is harder than it sounds and execution is usually the point where the most value is lost. The best companies have effective long term strategy that they sustain over time, and then continually update how they deliver it to the market. That means that your company, once the strategy is developed, needs to be “strategically engineered” to produce the results that it wants to achieve. Leadership needs to be aligned, priorities set, resources allocated, communication clear and consistent, with measures visibly established to track progress. The strategy alone is not enough.
Your organization is unique.
If you, like most leaders, believe that your organization is unique and special than there are a few things you can do to reinforce and build on that belief.
- First, seek information and hire people who can bring you insights from the market. Do not focus solely on competitors. While it is valuable to know what competitors are doing, me-too actions have negative consequences. Following suit and adding services or practices because a competitor does adds costs and eliminates differentiation meaning less margin with no more revenue. Getting advice from people who advise others in your industry means you will be getting the same advice—not differentiating. Your goal is to set yourself apart and provide unique and meaningful benefits to your target customers that make them choose you. You can’t do that if strategically you behave like other competitors.
- The most unique thing about your organization is the individuals that comprise it. They each have one-of-a-kind DNA. Competitors don’t have your employees. Make sure that you have a superior group and that you truly engage them to get the best of the collective braintrust to set your business apart.
Reignite provides many pragmatic examples and tools that help executives, managers, and leaders see opportunity through a different lens, so they can discover the profitable connection between market needs and their organization’s unique capabilities.