Yet, too many companies still rely on small updates, upgrades, or makeovers of their product lines as their “innovation.” That is just not good enough.
“We live in a world where the returns on incrementalism are going down and the returns on real innovation are going up.” Gary Hamel (Strategy Consultant)
In too many cases, these companies lack a unique strategic vision that would differentiate the company and its products and services from the competition.
Instead, their strategic vision is to do more – sell more products in more markets to more customers – and execute better than anyone else.
Strategy guru Michael Porter refers to this as the “Be the Best” Mindset. This mindset generally leads to a zero sum competition where everybody is going after the same customers with the same undifferentiated products; but, at lower prices. With this approach, everyone loses except the customer who now gets the same products and services at those lower prices.
To develop a true strategic vision, our companies must find a way to be unique.
- How can we differentiate ourselves by meeting the different needs of our targeted customers in a way that is clearly superior to our competitors?
Below, I list five steps that all our companies should take to create that unique strategic vision.
An ethical leader is someone dedicated to always doing the right thing for the employees, the business, and all stakeholders. Alas, this ideal for the selfless and driven leader clashes with the reality of who most of us really are.
So, how do we, as flawed human beings, become the near perfect ethical leaders that we need to be to drive our businesses to success?
The answer is simple… we cheat.
We create sneaky tips, tricks, reminders or work arounds that help us to live up to the ideal of the ethical leader. By following each of the three “cheats” below, we can all become more effective and more ethical leaders for our teams and in our businesses.
Many of us aspire to personally be as productive and effective as possible. We read articles and blogs (including some of mine – How to Be 10X More Effective…) and take classes to learn how to get more done in less time.
Unfortunately, as leaders, this goal of personal productivity is the wrong goal to pursue. Our goal needs to be:
How Can Our Overall Team Be More Productive and More Effective?
In helping make our teams more effective, we need to give them more time to do their jobs. This means eliminating as much as possible all the distractions, noise, irrelevancies, and trivialities that cloud the mind and waste the time of our team members.
To make change happen effectively (for our companies and for ourselves) requires daily attention and regular follow up.
People don’t get better without follow up. So let’s get better at following up with our people.