Roy's Blog: April 2012
April 30, 2012
I have often said there is no Silver Bullet to BE DiFFERENT. No single thing you can do that will vault you to a relevant and unique VALUE provider. No one act that will bring you into focus and separate you from the Faceless Herd.
The BE DiFFERENT journey, rather, is about doing a lot of the right things. The LITTLE things that are really “uncommon sense” (if it were common sense you would think more organizations would be doing them!)
My work is pretty basic. Simple. Uncommon sense. I have discovered and successfully implemented Practices that DO propel an organization to make a GaSPWORTHY and commanding competitive position in their markets.
People come up to me after a Seminar or Workshop and comment how straightforward my stuff is and how refreshing it is to have a Business Leader like me get down to ground zero tactics that actually work.
Makes my day.
What is your IQ on the things that need to be out in place to BE DiFFERENT?
Take my QUIZ to learn where you think you are on the Journey. 40 Questions dealing with key Practices that define the Milestones along the way. An opportunity to sort out where to focus your priority to expedite your progress.
The QUIZ promotes honesty. Take in a private place where “no one is watching”. Be brutal with your answers. Only then will you be able to make productive moves.
Take the QUIZ with your team. Use the process to build a broader honest view of where you are. And be prepared for team spirit to soar.
Just do it - Begin - Stay focused - Execute - Endure the pain - Enjoy the success - Reap the rewards.
April 26, 2012
I am uncompromising on the importance of EXECUTION in determining the success of an organization. Get your plan just about right, execute it flawlessly and you will win. No question about it.
So who owns execution? Generally since many functions share in the responsibility to execute the plan it rests with an executive team. But it needs an owner. It needs single finger accountability to ensure that it gets done. Shared responsibility, however noble, is simply not up to the task.
Enter the Strategy Hawk.
This is a role deserving of a person with superior currency in your organization; someone who is respected and viewed as a ‘go to person’ when results are expected. Tenacity perseverance, passion and energy are all apt descriptors of the Strategy Hawk.
This person is handed the reins to ensure that your Strategic Game Plan is executed to the ‘letter of the law’. He or she is empowered (generally by the Chief Executive) to do whatever it takes to see that the plan is executed as committed to by all stakeholders.
The job description of the Hawk looks like this:
- Follow up on commitments
- Interrogations on negative variances
- Reporting on status of plan execution to executive
- Probing to understand why commitments are missed
- Encouraging/cajoling/nurturing people on to fulfill their obligations to the plan
Not a role for the faint-of-heart!
Strategies get executed because there is someone with fire in the belly who is constantly in the faces of the deliverers. It doesn’t happen naturally. People are too busy?
Accept this reality and appoint your hawk to ensure your strategy gets executed. Dedicate your hawk to the task. Give them no other responsibilities. Pay them only on how effectively they perform this role and achieve plan progress. Pay them handsomely when they succeed. Honour them among their peers.
April 23, 2012
They are annoying.
They come late and expect us to stay open.
They come early and expect us to open.
They don’t like some of our staff.
They have attitude.
They change their mind.
They are too sensitive about getting their needs met.
They tell their friends how bad we are when we make a mistake or break a promise.
They are always looking for a deal.
They are inflexible; always want to get exactly what they asked for.
They always criticize but rarely praise what we do.
They complain about our prices.
They expect to be served by friendly staff regardless of the crumby day we are having.
They never seem to be satisfied.
They think they are the only ones we have to take care of. It’s all about them.
They stress-out our staff.
They shop around; their loyalty is inconsistent. They don’t seem to appreciate what we do for them.
Some days it makes you think another line of work would be preferable. Problem is you can’t avoid customers. Gotta figure out how to live with these unpredictable and demanding folks since we can’t live without ‘em.
What’s your “gotta live with ‘em” Strategy?
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April 21, 2012
Probably one of the most critical BE DiFFERENT Practices I discuss in my book is The ONLY Statement.
It says that your quest to BE DiFFERENT has the objective of defining in very precise terms how your organization is unique relative your competition. Clearly if you are the only one that provides specific value to your target customer, your chances of success are significant in comparison to a firm that provides what I call ‘common value’ - value that is very similar if not identical to others - and has to use price as the gimmick to attract customers.
Here are examples of The ONLY that organizations are claiming:
“We provide the ONLY solution that premanently stops people from depositing biohazard contaminants through manhole covers”— MUG Solutions
St John Ambulance is the ONLY provider of First Aid, Health & Safety Solutions Anytime, Anywhere”— St John Ambulance
Developing The ONLY for your organization is not a task for the faint of heart. It is very challenging and exhaustive process and you may not get it done! Or it may take you weeks to finally get it right. Stay with it though and it will be well worth it.
And don’t get memorised with your work. Make sure you go test it with your customers to make sure that the value you have chosen in your only statement is both compelling to the customer (it addresses a real high priority need) and it is real (they believe that you deliver it). If you don’t get a thumbs-up on both counts go back to square one and begin your work again.
Look in every nook and cranny in your organization to find only value. Some companies like ARA Safety of Vancouver chose a product, Marriott International Hotels chose their ‘Spirit to Serve’ while Queen’s University in Kingston Ontario chose providing personal coaching to meet the special needs of each student.
Take the BE DiFFERENT Quiz and test if you’re on the right track.
Seen good examples of the only statement? Send them along to me.