As mentioned in SWOT Analysis – part 1, you need to start with a clear strategy, before you even look at doing a SWOT Analysis.
Early in my business career, (prior to joining RESULTS.com) I had the experience of having external consultants come into my firm to do “strategic planning” with us on an annual basis.
I recently read a great interview in the New York Times with David Cote, chairman and CEO of Honeywell. He made some insightful observations about leadership which I have summarized and commented on here.
My colleague Ben Ridler, RESULTS.com CEO, says that he looks to recruit people who have what he calls, “the ownership gene”.
At the end of every month and quarter and year, your company probably generates a balance sheet and a profit and loss statement. No matter how accurate they are, they're only looking in the rearview mirror.
A few years back I attended a presentation given by business author and former Gallup researcher, Marcus Buckingham. One of the highlights of his presentation was how he defined the difference between leadership and management as per his book, First Break All the Rules - What the world's greatest managers do differently.
One of the more interesting books I’ve read in the last couple of years is the book, Good Strategy Bad Strategy, by Richard Rumelt, and I thought it worth repeating the key points again.
Most management writers these days encourage leaders to be more participative and collaborative in their decision making. Gone are the days of the top-down, hierarchical organization of the past they say! But then why does the business media continue to make heroes out of highly autocratic leaders, writing biographies about them, and sticking them on the magazine covers?
A couple of years back we booked a half-day pistol shooting session with a tutor at the LAX firing range in Los Angeles. One of the things he said stuck in my mind. "Remember," he said, "you have to aim for the bull's-eye if you want to hit the target. If you just aim for the target, you will be more likely to miss it." That's as true for marketing as it is for pistol shooting, but it's not an insight that comes naturally to business leaders. I've encountered several companies that seemed to think that it was best not to aim at all. A plumbing company might describe its customers as "anyone who needs plumbing services." A toy store could say its customers are "people who buy toys," while a toy manufacturer would describe its clients as "companies that sell toys." It sounds reasonable, but actually it is a huge mistake. It's like aiming in the general direction of the target: You waste a lot of ammunition. As any good shooter knows, if you want to hit the target consistently you need to aim for the bull’s-eye every time.
The same principle applies to marketing. If you identify who (or what) your bull’s-eye customer is, and take careful aim at them, you are far more likely to hit something.
A survey published in Training magazine showed that employees want to discuss their Goals, Tasks and Results frequently, but most managers are not making the time to have these conversations. Here is a summarized overview.
Since implementing the RESULTS.com software, communication between staff members regarding reaching targets and goals has improved ten-fold. (There is also healthy competition with the new “gamificiation” feature!)
Tania Young – Director – BRAVEday
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