Thoughts on Excellence Free E-Newsletter Series
Volume 15, Issue No. 2a
June 1, 2016
By Dan Coughlin
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I like the word effective. To me, it means intentionally acting in a purposeful way that improves results in a desired outcome.
If a person does something randomly and a desired result improves, that’s not being effective. That’s being lucky. However, if the person sees a connection between an action and a result and does that action in an intentional way and keeps improving at that action and the desired outcome improves, then that is being effective.
The Three Parts of Every Business
Every business regardless of how big or how small it is consists of three parts: production, innovation, and branding.
Your business produces something of value that other people pay for. You need to know what your company produces, and so does every other person who works for the company. If you don’t know what that is, then you can spend an enormous amount of time and money being busy and not being effective.
When you know what your company produces that people pay for, you can intentionally act in a way that supports that production. Essentially, this is the definition of your business. It’s the business you are in.
Anheuser-Busch InBev produces beer.
The Walt Disney Company produces family entertainment.
McDonald’s produces a quick, hot meal in a clean and friendly environment.
Ralph Lauren produces a style for people to use.
In my business, I don’t produce executive coaching sessions, articles, speeches, books, or videos. That’s not what people pay for. I produce practical ideas business people use to improve their performances and results. If I’m spending my time on anything other than producing and delivering practical ideas that are relevant for the individual or group I’m working with, then I’m not being productive in my business.
What is it that your business produces? Then intentionally act in a purposeful way to create and deliver it.
To me, innovation means creating more appropriate value for your customers. There are two parts to this idea. First, you have to know what your company produces, and, second, you have to know what is of value to your customers.
If you produce cars and you have an idea on how to make a better-tasting lemonade, then those two things don’t go together. Apple makes electronic devices that enrich people’s lives. If they have an idea for a better computer, phone, watch, pencil, tablet, or tv that would add more appropriate value to their customers or potential customers, then that would be an effective innovation. If they have an idea on how to climb a mountain better, then that would not be effective in their business.
You need to innovate in order to improve your business results consistently over the long term, but not every innovation is going to be effective for your business.
Answer two questions:
- What does your company produce?
- What would make that of more appropriate value for your customers or potential customers?
Then lean into efforts that would create those innovations.
Your brand is the value your customers think they receive when they buy products and/or services from your company. It is also the value your potential customers think they would receive if they did buy from your company.
A branding effort is an attempt to reinforce in the minds of your customers the value you want to be known for delivering. If you want to be known for making a great beer at a reasonable cost, and your branding efforts are about how to make a car, then you are not delivering effective branding.
Answer these two questions:
- What does your company produce?
- What branding efforts will reinforce in the minds of your customers and potential customers the value you want to be known for delivering?
Every business consists of three parts: production, innovation, and branding. Know what you produce. Find ways to make it of even more appropriate value for your customers and your desired customers. Make sure all of your branding efforts connect to what you want to be known for producing. When you do those three things, you increase the effectiveness of your organization.