Competitive Strategy: Value Discipline

Imagine you were building a football team from the ground up. Would you just go about willy-nilly picking the best available players?  Do you think after you filled your roster and realized you had 10 quarterbacks, and no running backs or receivers you’d ever win a game? What is your value discipline? No, when you build a team, you build a team around the best talent available to execute a particular style of play.  You choose a style of play, build a team around that style. You build a strategy around the optimal path to exploit your resources and compete against the other teams. If there are no great throwing quarterbacks available and there are a ton of mobile quarterbacks and running backs, you build a running team. To build on that you would look for linemen that can help you support that running strategy. You declare to the team, "we are a ball control team." You better make sure everyone on the offense now understands we are a run oriented-offense. The coach declares to win we keep the ball on the ground, control the clock, and dominate the ground game. Everyone knows we are built to run. If the coach misses...

Executive Coaching Keeps Your Brain Honest ark

Executive Coaching Keeps Your Brain Honest

Executive Coaching Keeps Your Brain Honest Why do business leaders need an executive coach? Executive coaching keeps your brain honest. Got that? Your brain is constantly lying to you. Now I'm not just picking on you either because my brain lies to me too. Why just the other day it told me what a great looking guy I was, but that's another story. Modern neuroscience proves that we make decisions with a part of our brain we share with reptiles...

Business Focus on Bean Soup

Business Focus – The Soup Lady

Business Focus Introduction In business, especially in small business, the importance of business focus can't be overstated. In small business the rule should be first things first and second thing never. Enter Susan Trivers, the Soup Lady. Last week I met Susan at an event where we shared respective business stories. Susan's business, The Trivers Consulting Group, is revenue focused consulting practice. As I asked her how she got started, Susan related an interesting story. The Soup Lady Many years ago, sometime between when dinosaurs roamed the earth and prior to the explosion of the world wide web, Susan purchased a carryout restaurant. In those days most carryouts were sandwich shops. Serving quick, low quality food. Susan's business, located in Alexandria specialized in more substantial, high quality meals for the family. One of their specialties were soups and everyday they would serve a cream-based, a bean-based, and a broth based soup. Susan was concerned because at the end of the day she would often have to dump a large amount of unused soup. She decided to fix that problem. So she decided that she would track and gage soup consumption, statistically and scientifically instead of the gut-feeling methodology used by most businesses. So she bit the bullet and...

McDonalds Sales

Basic Sales Stuff 101

Butt On The Line - Someone in your company must have a target on their back with their butt on the line to deliver revenue.  Great companies...

Fire Bad Customers

Fire Bad Customers

Fire Bad Customers? Are you crazy? It's hard enough to get customers, why the hell would you fire them? We all know this, not all customers are created equal so fire your bad ones. I recently worked with two CEO's who were complaining about their customers. In one instance the CEO was asked to submit a proposal to an existing customer and who was applying pricing pressure. When I asked him why this customer was so important to him, he said they represented about 40 percent of his company's gross revenue. Upon further digging, I found out that the 40% revenue customer only produced 2% of his profit. It became clear, that: 1) winning this barely profitable customer at a discount might be losing and, 2) that there needed to be a methodology to evaluate the value of a customer. I'm a student of the human mind and how we often we make bad decisions. I know that if we go with our gut, we are just as likely to be wrong as we are to be right.  Study's show that even the best statisticians make poor statistical judgments when they're pulling answers out of their butts. If CEOs formalize an evaluation process, if they're intentional about...