Today’s changing market is challenging for most CEOs. Fierce international competition coupled with stringent lending practices are creating a difficult combination to successfully navigate. Are you feeling pinched in your business today, and is it placing higher than ever demands on you?
Well, you’re not alone. According to KPMG International, the global accounting and consulting firm, CEOs around the world are experiencing some of the most daunting challenges they and their businesses have ever faced. This is because the world is changing quickly for today’s business leaders. This means that how they are leading and growing their organizations are their top priorities.
Our executive management consulting firm, MarketCues, has identified three ‘Cues’ that can jumpstart your organization and bring the best out of everyone who works with you.
Cue #1 – Think Small
I don’t think there’s a better way to put this. Organizations often make a significant strategic error in launching their new product or service with a national focus. Even global brands that are in every market throughout the United States, and elsewhere, test their new ideas in a small way before launching an enterprise-wide program or campaign.This is just smart leadership. Thinking small allows you to focus all of your resources on your most important asset: those you serve, and this always pays huge dividends.
Once you have identified a small group of customers within a local area you can branch out to larger geographies, and/or markets, and continue building market share relative to your resources and capabilities. This may seem obvious, but over three decades of continuous consulting has led me to see many businesses do not follow this simple and effective strategy preferring to start big and this just as often backfires on them.
Cue #2 – Produce Big Ideas
Every single successful business started with a compelling core idea that made customers and clients prefer their brand from their competition. Over time, their products became the preferred choice because they performed at or above their customers’ expectations. Differentiation of your brand, product, service, and ultimately your organization comes from the fuel of being truly unique. Take any major brand and ask what is it about it that makes them stand out.
Disney equals world-class theme parks. FedEx equals overnight delivery. Oracle equals enterprise-ready software integration. All of these companies remain focused on keeping their brands at top of mind, but they do so by remaining true to the core value their brand promises. This benefit began in a small localized area with a big idea behind it. Today, their product is based on a very strong idea that is central to their entire organization’s DNA. So, the question you should be able to answer confidently is, “Is what I am offering truly different to any other organization in the market?” The more the answer to this question is yes, the more successful your organization will become; and the reverse is equally as true.
Cue #3 – Fear Nothing
Building an organization is not for the timid at heart. If you have leaders on your team who don’t like taking chances, perhaps it’s time for them to rethink their place. Or, if you find some who prefer to hide behind safe ideas and keep their head down with the least amount of accountability, you may want to help them consider a career change. I realize this sounds harsh, but the simple fact is without risk there is no reward. And as CEO, it’s up to you to ensure the organization and its customers are well served by everyone on your leadership team.
Implementing these three cues of thinking small, producing big ideas, and fearing nothing will help you build your organization’s relevance. Of course, following these three cues won’t guarantee your organization will be immediately successful, but they will point your organization in the right direction for growth.