On February 29 through March 1 2012 there was a workshop presented by Verne Harnish in Beijing called Mastering The Rockefeller Habits organized in part by EO Beijing, Agenda Magazine and EASTWEST Public Relations. This workshop wasn’t like most and that is because of the speaker: Verne Harnish, founding member of the Entrepreneur’s Organization over 20 years ago came to give a workshop to aspiring entreprenuers and old-hand business people alike at his Beijing Rockafeller Habits Workshop.
As EASTWEST founder Jim James and Verne have known each other for years (Jim is a founding member of Beijing’s EO chapter), the EASTWEST team attended and gained some insights into what makes a good business great and keeps them that way. The simple question that Vern and his workshop strive to answer is, “How can a business consistently outperform their competition?” While we can’t give away all his secrets in this meager blog post we can maybe start a discussion on how to go about achieving this goal.
So what can you do to become more competitive? One good place to start is first realizing the cold truth that you will never have enough resources. Even the biggest and most successful companies in the world are still missing something – businesses are not static. Once you realize that you aren’t superman but just a mere mortal the next step is focusing on one thing, one choke point, and doing everything in your power to alleviate it. These choke points can come in the form of 1 of 4 decisions that, once resolved will help your business grow.
People –> Strategy –> Execution –> Cash
If you have a sticking point in People it’s likely due to lack of quality people, lack of employee retention, lack of employee happiness or something similar.
If Strategy is the issue you may have a problem with the direction the company is going. Are you targeting the right customers? Where do you want your business to be in 3-5 years?
For Execution, the simple issue is if you do not have people doing the right things. Are customers complaining? Do customers have to go through a long process to get your product that both alienates them and lessens cash flow?
A problem in Cash means that you don’t have enough options on where to go with your business. If you know where you want to go and have the right people doing the right things but can’t because you’re stuck in one place then Cash is your sticking point.
In the diagram above, it’s worthwhile to note that each Decision is often influenced by the one preceding it – maybe the reason you don’t have enough People is because you don’t have enough Cash to have a decent recruitment campaign? Maybe your business is lacking Strategy because the People at the top aren’t qualified to be there?
It’s may be difficult to look in the mirror and be brutally honest with your business, but don’t you think your competitors are doing the same?
Once you realize your sticking point, all that’s left is to focus on it until it is no longer.
What do you think? Leave us a note in the comments.
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