Strategic choices: Porsche or Pick-up truck?
Focus and forget pleasing everybody.
Whatever business issue or challenge you are facing, I believe you should always start from a strategic perspective. Step back, way back, and ask yourself if the solution you are considering is consistent with your strategic plan and will move you toward your long-term objectives.
Have you made explicit strategic choices and communicated them effectively to your employees and your customers? Or are you too busy with operational issues and management challenges to think strategically. Often the strategy has just evolved organically, as you respond to changes in the business environment, the competition and customer preferences. Perhaps it’s time to assess where you are strategically and decide if that’s where you want to be.
In order to clarify a company’s strategic positioning, branding and corporate personality, my colleague Lp Camozzi and I used to ask clients the question, “If your business were an automobile, what would it be?”
Confusion and contradiction were often evident. And even more revealing was to compare the owner’s answer to the automobile suggested by managers, sales staff and customers. Owner thinks Porsche and customers think pick-up truck? We have a problem.
For better strategic focus and improved results in the market, clarity and consistency are important. First determine the characteristics, features, and performance of the automobile you would prefer for your corporate role model. Then maintain that strategic focus and ensure consistent communication of the key elements in all your internal and external messaging.
And forget about being first with a Porsche-Pickup that is sporty, luxurious and has good cargo carrying capacity.
Remember that the camel started out as a race horse, designed by a committee to please everybody and failed miserably (unless you need to travel long distances in the desert).
Your Uncle Ralph, Del Chatterson
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