There are things that work and many more that don't. Let's discuss what we've experienced . . . not our opinions . . . but actually what our days and nights as marketers, business leaders, parents, people are teaching us. Please give us a hand. Tell us about your experience with this stuff.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Strategy: The Cost of Great Decisions

Leadership and organizations have to understand the cost of getting to a decision and the organization's ability to execute those decisions.

On the one hand sit decisions that determine the strategic direction. These are inherently costly and time consuming. As they should be.

However once the strategic decisions are determined, every other decision should be about getting execution done which follows the strategy. And the cost associated with making those and the time those decisions take up should be minimized. In fact the determinating factor should be can those decisions be executed appropriately and how fast?

Once a strategy is determined: a decision that is 70% right/accurate/special that gets executed beats a 100% right decision that doesn't . . . every time.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Best Opportunity to Build Loyalty Occurs Around Problems

Interviewing a large key client a few years ago I ask him why they had become so loyal to our company.

Without hesitation he started, "Well you guys were handling a very important matter for us and it wasn't going well. I approached (the relationship partner) and let him know that I was displeased and that something had to be done. (The relationship partner) made the decision to replace one of your senior partners handling the matter with someone else. And the change worked and the matter's result was highly appreicated by us. In effect (the relationship partner) showed us that our relationship took first priority over any politics within your firm. From that time on we knew we would be taken care of and that we were partners with your firm."

I've seen this played out time and time again. When things get tough, we each have the opportunity to show what we are made of and develop a relationship with clients and teammates which speaks louder than all the good times.

The math says that Loyalty can be more a function of trust based on how we deal with problems than all the dinners and the wins . . .that client service is shown best in tough moments.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Key Measurement of Strategy is Ability to Say No

Everyone claims they have a strategy.

One of the best ways for testing any person's or company's strategy is the organization's ability to say 'no' to opportunities.

Strategy should inherently focus an organization's resources and investments. And by definition, a strategy then limits what can be invested in.

So next time you are considering a strategy, ask yourself and your partners, what does this eliminate? If if doesn't eliminate much, then its pretty useless.

The arithmetic here is where there aren't easy and enforceable "no's", there won't be great "yes's" and will limit returns for the strategy.