The Art of Good Strategy

Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication.
Leonardo Da Vinci

Many businesses I come across and have worked in sometimes struggle with saying “No” to the wrong sort of customer. You know the ones – they play you off against your competitors to squeeze the lowest possible price, complain about late deliveries / quality threatening to back charge and then pay well beyond terms. We all have them; the key is to maintain your intestinal fortitude, not make poor decisions and spend the time you save by concentrating quality customers that appreciate who you are and what you do.

Leaders who are clear about their Why, Purpose and Strategy are more confident in saying “No” across the range of decisions they need to make – the very act of understanding, with absolute clarity the answers to these questions provide the focus that businesses need.

Just last week I was speaking to a client who runs the following sense check over an idea before spending money / time / effort / on an initiative.

i.  Do we REALLY want to do this?

  •  A great question requiring brutal honesty going to the heart of our own motivation and team buy in; it needs to have the right combination of challenge and excitement.
  • As the saying goes ”the first sale is to yourself”; when you are authentic about your why and sincerely believe in what you are doing, it is SO much easier to get your people and your customers to follow.

ii. Do we know we can do this as GOOD if not BETTER than anybody else?

  • What is our competitive advantage and how do we differentiate in the market place?
  • How do we leverage what is called our core competence? Click here to know more.

iii. Are we going to MAKE MONEY out of it?

  • Can we sell it for more than it costs us to make and distribute?
  • Is the value proposition sufficient to warrant the investment?
  • Are we going to be able to sell the value rather than getting stuck in a price war?

We all have so much choices these days, questions like this ensure:

  • Customers become more aware of the value you can add
  • Employees to be clearer about who you are and what you do
  • Leaders support and empower their teams to say “No”

These days risk of being “a jack of all trades or master of none” is just too large to ignore.

Charlie Pidcock

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