Wednesday, August 15, 2018

 

Understanding that the Grass Isn’t Greener
Becoming an Adaptive, Strategic Leader
Why Your Company May Need a Data Scientist
Teaming as a Foundation for Learning
Moving From Solution Sales to Insight Sales
The Danger of Playing it Safe
Teamwork on the Fly
Shaping a Collective Ambition
The Growth Outliers-Our Clients

As a nation, we are searching earnestly for new opportunities of growth in products and services. We are diving in more deeply, searching for new opportunities with a strategic process. The differentiation companies are fighting to achieve has turned to a point of survival, not just another growth plan initiative. The critical component to success and sustaining growth while managing competition falls on understanding that “the grass isn’t greener.”

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To navigate through the perilous waters of our current business climate, we are challenged to not only think strategically, but to lead strategically. We are being summoned to the table by our clients to collaborate on strategic platforms that will support growth initiatives, and help to achieve broad-based corporate objectives.
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A good friend of mine, a chief strategy officer at a Fortune 100 company, has shared with me before the frustration of the amount of data the company has accumulated, but has not utilized in order to gather learnings and set a strategy. This has led to underutilized space, lack of space efficiency, and missed collaboration opportunities based on culture environments. The lack of collaboration may have also caused global innovation issues as well.

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Back in May I wrote a blog post called “Teamwork on the Fly.” It was based on a Harvard Business Review report written by Amy C. Edmondson, the Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School. Amy’s PR staff contacted me to say thank you, and graciously sent me her most recent book on the teaming concept.
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Here’s an excerpt taken from “The End of Solution Sales,” a recent Harvard Business Review article: “…one of the firm’s top sellers, who asked to give an RFP presentation, quickly commandeered the meeting to his own ends. The seller began with, “Here is our full response to your RFP—everything you were looking for. However, because we only have 60 minutes together, I’m going to let you read that on your own. I’d like to use our time to walk you through the three things we believe should have been in the RFP but weren’t, and to explain why they matter so much.

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Have you ever heard someone say,” I work better under pressure.” Or better yet, “My team works great under pressure.” I’m sure we all can relate.

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If you watched the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, you may remember the extraordinary water cube where all swimming and diving competitions were held. This cube won prestigious engineering and design awards and cost and estimated 10.2 billion yuan. It could accommodate up to 17,000 spectators and was covered with semitransparent eco-efficient blue bubbles.
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Some companies come through hard times stronger than ever. As I was perusing a recent issue of my favorite magazine—you guessed it, Harvard Business Review—I found an article that touched on three companies that have beaten the odds through growth, productivity, and healthy profits.

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Recently, Lawrence and I were calling on a national firm, who has been more than successful over the $1 billion mark. The innovation, coupled with the operational excellence and the mixture of consumer insight research and execution, has created a future of success for their current and future growth. As Lawrence and I make an effort towards consultative selling excellence, we know the importance of understanding what kind of company we are engaging. I do not mean just understanding their industry, what they sell or how they are organized, but a more in depth understanding of what their strategic growth platform looks like, how they intend to grow over the next 10 years (implementation of growth characteristics), how will their growth or the growth of others effect other industry leaders….

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The audacity to know what your customers want before they do, delivers an inference of not listening to our clients to a point of understanding their needs. However, the authors of the HBR article entitled Know What Your Customers Want Before They Do, states that advances in IT, data gathering and analytics allows us to deliver propositions, ideas, strategic influences better than what our client advises...

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