Business Must Do

Business……A Must Do!!!

Written by: Coach Online by Al Rodway

No matter how busy you are.  No matter how good or poor you think you have been at planning and decision making in the past.  No matter the size of your business nor its current status.  This is a MUST DO for every business!  Take the time to fully understand all of below, including purposes and approach.  Then commit the time as outlined to go through the exercise … the rewards will be staggering !  As they have been for many businesses who have done it.

The fact that covid has and will continue to change the landscape for business is an added reason to embark on the exercise below.

  1. Select two groups of people of at least four in each and no more than eight.  (If you are a business of less than 8 people or feel you need to bolster the thinking ability of the people from within your business then choose some from the outside as well).  Ensure there is a mix of thinking style and personalities within each group.  Consider aspects such creativity, structure, detail, big picture, optimistic, outspoken, considered, spontaneous, visionary.  Also ensure a mixture of job types … for example, don’t have finance, administration and operations in one group, with marketing, sales and strategy in the other.  Those groups are likely to be too similar in approach.
  2. Set one group the following task, being crystal clear on the requirements:
    1. Imagine we remain in the same or similar industry but have the necessary capital to start afresh as a brand new business, knowing what we know now about the industry.
    2. Design our new business from the ground up, including but not limited to:
      1. Our Why
      2. Products / services
      3. Pricing
      4. Target customers
      5. Marketing approaches
      6. Operations
      7. Premises and equipment
      8. People
      9. Finance
      10. Technology
      11. Sales
      12. Administration
      13. Governance and decision making
      14. X factor ?
  3. Set the other group the following task, being crystal clear on the requirements:
    1. Imagine we set out to completely disturb the industry we are currently in and have the necessary capital to do so.
    2. List all of the parameters under which our industry currently operates.  To explain this, use the two examples below:
      1. The taxi industry, prior to Uber, existed under the following parameters:
        1. Taxi companies owned their own vehicles.
        2. Taxi owners (and companies?) employed their own drivers.
        3. Taxis had designated areas for ‘Taxi Stands’ and pick up points.
        4. Meters were used to establish the cost of each trip during the trip.
        5. Centralised booking services were used for customers to arrange a taxi, frequently by phone call.
        6. Customers paid each taxi driver at the end of each trip (usually).
        7. The cost of setting up one taxi cab was extremely high.
        8. Consider how each of the previous parameters was displaced by Uber when it entered the industry.
      2. The cola industry, prior to Red Bull, existed under the following parameters:
        1. Coke and Pepsi dominated the industry, and promoted their products as having ‘reasonable’ sugar levels.
        2. Coke and Pepsi promoted their products as reasonably healthy.
        3. Coke and Pepsi played down the amount of caffeine in their products.
        4. Coke and Pepsi promoted taste as a selling point.
        5. Consider how each of the previous parameters was displaced by Red Bull when it entered the industry.
    3. Outline a new set of parameters we could set up for our industry, as Uber and Red Bull did, thinking as creatively and as courageously as those two businesses did.
  4. Allow both groups to set up their own sessions to hold their discussions, so as to draw on their initiative and also allow them to take between two to three weeks to complete their suggestions, ready to present to the two groups combined.  (This is deliberate to establish empowerment of the groups).
  5. At the end of three or four weeks, have both groups present their suggestions (in whatever format/s they choose) to the two groups combined.  Allow as long as each group says it needs to make their presentations.
  6. At the end of both presentations (and ensuing discussion), set up another combined group session one week later, for one to two hours, to then agree what is to be done as a result of the entire process.  This will draw on the best ideas and suggested changes from both groups for the business to move forward.  Do not tell anyone prior to now of this step (because it could make them more practical than creative in their thinking).  This session will clearly be inadequate in duration to make clear cut decisions about the best ways forward for the business so ask the combined group how they would like to go about it all from here, including implementation of agreed decisions.  It is important they feel part of the creation and implementation process from here.

The purposes of this exercise should be obvious … to revamp your business into an arena of its own creation that best suits its purposes, maximizes its likely success and gives a significant edge against all competitors.  This will happen by intellectually removing today’s circumstances and perceived limitations from everyone’s thinking and by drawing on a body of thought rather than just ‘those in charge’.   The first group starts afresh by thinking it is starting a new business, without capital restrictions, in the current industry, so a clean slate to rid itself of whatever has cluttered the business today.  The second group gets the chance to completely disrupt the industry itself.

You will need to get very clear in your own mind the steps in the above process before seeing its value and power for your business.  If you think it is too far fetched then I will be blunt and suggest you are narrow in your thinking and have become accustomed to ‘what is’.  If you think it is too costly, you are putting the cart before the horse.  If you think it is impractical then I hope you are not in a strategic role for the business !

Rarely do I say ‘must’ but I am saying it for this exercise.  And now is the best time we have ever had to embark on it … covid, post covid, during covid … because everything is so different anyway !

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