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Ideas for Innovating and Competing in a difficult economy

November 12, 2008

Discover areas that are ignored or invisible

  • Connect the dots. Opportunities lurk in neglected fields everywhere, especially where people take dysfunction as the expected way of life. You can look within your own industry for the same kind of opportunity discovered.
  • Think global. You have one office, but it is quickly becoming a global giant. Because of technology, your customers, business partners and competitors are everywhere.
  • Scale quickly. Scale is important when you are building any kind of community-based business. But achieving scale is not just about signing up people. Your service has to offer value to all participants.
  • Keep checking your intuition. Particularly in today’s business climate, with its smarter, plugged-in consumers, you can’t afford to take a chance with a major change. Check it out so that you can spot the pitfalls and profit thereby.
  • Pay attention to service. High-tech businesses still require much human interaction. Points out that a little human touch can help define the character and feel of your business.
  • Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow. plans for expansion and visionary notion of how large a neglected field might be are both bold and sensible

Outside the box is an understatement

  • Widen your lens. Look for obvious alternative to current sales/services channels:
  • Make friends. your organization has gone to great pains to reach out to partners and business associates to explain its operations and earn their trust. Your organization is reaping thousands of referrals from other channels it should be.
  • Execute on the change. For your organization, execution means building a company that delivers both high-quality products and a high standard of service, and changes have to be made in people, processes and technology to get the job done.
  • Redefine the culture. your organization’s recognized that they are, caring, empathetic individuals, but they are not in the retail business. His understanding of the distinction led him to create a customer-centric culture that is exemplified by a program to teach your organization nurses to welcome complaints as a way of improving their service.
  • Hunt (the right) heads. Look for the perfect set of experiences – in both operations and turnarounds – to prepare for the challenges ahead.
  • Find what’s truly valuable. maybe a much-respected name in the world. Focus on extensive research to uncover what is perceived to be your company’s most valuable asset this should influence a sharp turn in the companies course.
  • Squeeze nickels. Introduced new manufacturing techniques to reduce expenses and raise productivity.
  • Walk and talk. Have the intelligence and business training to make the right moves in terms of reorganizing the sales force, hiring talented aides and leveraging the culture.

Here are some questions that can help you think outside the Box:

1.       Do you know where the breakdowns occur in your industry? Can you turn these breakdowns into a major business opportunity?

2.       Are you looking beyond your industry to discern how to deliver more value to your customers?

3.       If your business is not performing well, where are the breakdowns occurring and what management disciplines must you apply to fix your systemic problems?

4.       Can you see an opportunity to meet a neglected need by widening your company’s frame of reference?

5.       Is the focus of your business narrow enough to enable you to target markets and build the capabilities needed to serve those markets?

What is your point of reference for Managing, now change it.

  • Look at the bigger picture. How is the industry changing, and how can you change your frame of reference to compete on a wider field where you could develop an edge?
  • Build a community, but tend to business. Much supposedly smart venture money is flowing into community-based Internet businesses, which derive their profits solely from advertising.A less risky business model includes marketing some of the thousands of products and services that can be sold to Internet communities.
  • Widen your lens, but narrow your focus. Web sites that focus on a single market do better than those that spread themselves around, no matter how big they are.
  • Organize for ideas. The ability to view your company in a new frame of reference is not limited to the executive ranks. Create a culture that puts a high value on employee suggestions.
  • Persist in your quest. It takes courage to move out of your familiar boundaries and play a bigger game on a new field. But success belongs only to those with the courage to stand by their convictions and risk failure all the way.

Focus on Key Success Factors

  • Control what matters. If you manufacture a complex, customized product, the need for control is clear. The key is to know what you are really good at, what makes you distinctive, and therefore, what you need to keep in-house.
  • Hire the best and keep them. Real human resources should be managed to achieve near zero attrition is a tribute to the culture good leadership have put in place and to the high-quality work they provide to their people.
  • Don’t build to sell. A business with a life and purpose of its own will have a better shot at success over the long term. Some investors would never buy a company that was built just to be sold.
  • You can have too much of a good thing. Most managers don’t understand that without the infrastructure to handle potential demand efficiently, he had to limit his commitments to customers.
  • Think big. From the beginning, A company’s growth potential can be limited only by the soaring growth of the product itself, but not all new ventures are so lucky.
  • Don’t neglect your infrastructure. Keep your organization’s structure simple; that way, if you do need to add people, you can do it easily.
  • Think targeted marketing. by relying on word-of-mouth marketing; you can avoid spending on traditional advertising.

Know what to focus on an when to introduce control

  • Ambition matters. Companies that outsmart the competition look for dramatic growth, while incumbent businesses are content with incremental growth.
  • Intuition reigns. Companies that outsmart the competition make strategic choices based largely on intuition, whereas incumbent businesses often get bogged down in research and analysis.
  • Focus prevails. Businesses that outsmart their competitors stay focused on what they do best.
  • Customers rule. Companies that outsmart their competitors focus on how they can better serve customers; incumbent companies focus on their competitors.
  • Choose the right chaos to tame. Make sure the leaders background is relevant look for the tools to solve complex problems. Fixing the dysfunctional, disorganized parts market was a challenge suited to his skills.
  • Look for fragmentation. Fragmented industries – those in which there are many operating parts that do not work well together – provide some of the best opportunities for high-growth strategies.
  • Go for scale. If you can achieve scale early in the development of your business, you can become the resource of choice. The combination of ease of access, almost unlimited choice and competitive pricing is hard to beat.
  • Pair value with values. There is something liberating and inspiring about a business that makes a real contribution to society, not just for the owners and leaders, but for employees and customers as well.
  • Don’t just cut your own costs. Do the same for your suppliers.
  • Beef up your culture. smart people; then they train them and give them a chance to make decisions on their own and learn from their mistakes.
  • Develop an appetite for technology.
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