A Sports Analogy

Here is a business anaylsis excercise that can make your company better.  In sports, leagues are always changing the rules.  This is done with the intent of making the league better.  When these changes are viewed at an individual team level it is good for some teams and maybe not good for others.  The team management has to asses the rule changes and determine how it might effect them and discuss how they will change to adjust to the new rules.  This is standard practive.  Keep in mind that in sports, rule changes are made during the off season and teams are informed of the changes.

In business, change is ongoing.  Sometimes businesses are unaware that a “rule change” has occurred.  Every year it is worthwhile to sit down and determine what has changed in your business, in your industry, in your marketplace and with your customers.  What do you need to change in order to continue to win under the  “leauge’s” new rules?  A useful technique to employ as part of the exercise is to say “If we were to launch a business to complete against us, what would we do?”  Put together a plan.  Now ask yourself, “Is there any part of this plan that might be seen by consumers as better that what we are currently doing?”  If the answer is yes then you should seriously consider implementing this in your business.  If you aren’t able to, or decide against taking this new approach develop a plan to bullet-proof your business from competitors that might use this approach.  It might be a simple as developing a communications plan to explain how your plan or offer is superior.

If this exercise is done on a regular basis your business will evolve and stay current and reduce the risk of having dramatic changes forced on you in the future when you are not well prepared.  Be proactive.  It’s almost always better to have change be an evolution instead of a revolution.  Good luck.

Playing Shape

One of the things that I enjoy doing is looking at other industries or endeavours for solutions to a current challenge.  This technique can also be used to introduce learning and initiate growth.  I often refer to this as Creative Emulation.  Here is an example; when you first start playing a new game you have to focus on the fundamentals.  In pool the basic game involves sinking balls and you begin at that level.  Once you become proficient at the basics you advance.  “Playing shape” looks at not just sinking one ball, you also set yourself up for your next shot.  This involves knowing where the cue ball will go after it strikes the colored ball you are trying to sink.

Can you apply this concept to your business to take it to the next level?  When you are dealing with a new customer, rather than be focused on this purchase, can you position yourself for this while also setting yourself up for the next?  What does that look like in your business?  This is a theme that we will look at from time to time, stay tuned.