Posts Tagged ‘Strategic planning’

How to Lead a Quest.jpgToday’s business environment is highly dynamic, making anticipating the future more complicated than ever. Market shifts can catch organizations off guard and lead to lasting problems. In How to Lead a Quest, Dr. Jason Fox suggests that pioneering leadership can help leaders effectively address issues in today’s market. The key to this approach is exploring several potential scenarios that a company may face and developing strategies to support each one. The result is a more flexible and dynamic leadership methodology.

One of the biggest challenges facing businesses today is sustaining growth. In How to Lead a Quest, Dr. Jason Fox offers a new approach to growth that he calls pioneering leadership:

  • Pioneering leadership relies on exploration outside the scope of an organization’s default ways of thinking and operating. This requires four leadership superpowers: imagination, curiosity, doubt, and wonder. This form of exploration can also be referred to as Quest-Augmented Strategy.
  • To prepare an organization for the future, its leaders must build a quiverof options. The best way to decide if an option is viable is to form hypotheses and conduct experiments.
  • Experiments may end in failure, but some forms of failure are better than others. Failures that should be avoided include corruption, deviance, apathy, pessimism, and willful ignorance. Failures that suggest change is needed include distraction, inadequate processes, and lack of ability. Failures to be celebrated include quitting after careful consideration and lack of perfection.

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On PurposePurpose is important to customers and employees alike. In today’s market, three reasons account for the rise of purpose as a defining aspect of marketing and sales: changing consumer values, technological innovations, and a shift in the value base of many developed economies. In On Purpose, Shaun Smith and Andy Milligan offer a guide for creating a brand experience that increases customer satisfaction and loyalty. Their step-by-step analysis illustrates how a business should define, design, and deliver brand identity and purpose across diverse platforms.

The authors believe that:

  • Successful branding requires companies to establish a clear sense of purpose that inspires both employees and consumers. Brands that design a unique customer experience in line with their core purpose create a culture of profitable sustainability.
  • Purposeful leadership requires making decisions that are in line with an organization’s purpose and values.
  • Successful organizations show that they believe in something, and they deliver value based on those beliefs. Having a customer-centric perspective is the best way for any organization to define its purpose.
  • To keep an edge on the competition, organizations must deliver a unique customer experience that spans across multiple channels.
  • Long-term planning is important for the success of any organization-sustainable delivery of branded services or products depends on creating the right culture for customers and employees.

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your-creative-mindMany people mistakenly believe that creativity and innovative potential are static, inherent qualities. In Your Creative Mind, Scott Cochrane offers insight into how individuals can master their minds and unlock their creative and innovative potential, all while taking steps to live healthier and more fulfilled lives.

There are five steps that can help people on their journeys to dynamic growth:

1. Be flexible. Stagnation and attachment to business models and market strategies can be fatal. In order to be successful, individuals must be willing to pivot when a shifting market or new technological innovation calls for it.

2. Improve their minds. Creativity can be unlocked by taking steps to ensure that the mind has a proper balance of chemicals and is constantly learning and growing.

3. Maintain positive mindsets. Fearing failure and basing one’s performance on the performance of another are two actions that are destructive to creativity. It is important for people to think in terms of possibilities rather than probabilities, and to focus on positive motivations.

4. Maintain positive relationships. How a relationship is developed determines its trajectory. Business partnerships must be approached with a shared vision of an ideal future that is based on unlocking the potential of all parties involved.

5. Visualize and meditate. Techniques that clear the mind of unnecessary distractions and help to create both inner peace and a heightened focus on objectives are vital tools of a bold mind.

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119613433Companies that spend their entire time focused on their core products or on introducing new products to new markets seem to be the norm. However, a less risky, less volatile way to increase revenues and profits involves edge strategies. In Edge Strategy, strategy experts Alan Lewis and Dan McKone help leaders recognize and capitalize on these opportunities. By exploring the permission they have earned with existing customers, and the latent value of existing assets, businesses can capitalize on new profit centers without investing a lot of capital or changing the visions of their companies.

In business, growth strategies usually include expanding into new core products and services. However, there are strategies many leaders overlook that are easier to implement, less risky, and less costly. These strategies focus on the customers a company has already acquired and assets it has already developed. There are three basic types of these edge strategies:

  1.  Product edge. Giving customers options to add or remove elements of a core offering.
  2.  Journey edge. Adjusting the company’s role to increase its support of the customer’s ultimate objectives.
  3. Enterprise edge. Applying resources that support the core products in a different context for a different offering or set of customers

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strategy-that-worksIn today’s fast-paced business environment, companies are constantly struggling to create value. While some may believe that this is simply due to external forces, many organizations in fact suffer because of the way they are managed that leads to a disconnect between their strategies and execution. In the Harvard Business Review Press title Strategy That Works, Paul Leinwand and Cesare Mainardi discuss how exceptional companies such as Amazon, Apple, Danaher, Haier, IKEA, Lego, Natura, Starbucks, and others have bridged the gap between strategy and execution to become undisputed market leaders.

The authors’ research has revealed that, instead of following conventional business practices, these winning companies embrace five acts of unconventional leadership that allow them to become and remain coherent:

1. Committing to an identity. Instead of chasing growth, the winning companies define themselves by what they do, not just what they sell. They develop a truly differentiating identity based on their key strengths and use those strengths to guide them through today’s rapidly changing business environment.

2. Translating the strategic into the everyday. Instead of focusing on functional excellence, the winning organizations blueprint and build a handful of unique cross-functional capabilities that are at the heart of their strategy and drive profits.

3. Putting the culture to work. Instead of fighting their culture, winning companies identify and leverage the parts that work in their favor. This gives them a culture that reinforces their distinctive capabilities and breeds collaboration across functions. Coherent companies typically have three common cultural elements: emotional commitment, mutual accountability, and collective mastery.

4. Cutting costs to grow stronger. Instead of cutting costs across the board, winning companies cut costs strategically. They make investment decisions based on whether or not the investments will support their value propositions and distinctive capabilities.

5. Shaping the future. Instead of constantly reacting to market changes, highly coherent companies shape their future. They do so by continually recharging their capabilities systems, creating demand based on their privileged access to customers, and realigning their entire industries.

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