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Key Business Strategy

Success U — Business Model Key Questions

About 110 Series A Entrepreneurs have formed into a collaborative through Montgomery & Associates Law Firm. A few of us industry experts are doing “faculty sessions” where we teach the essentials with the idea that quick, fast bursts of what really matters will help short-cut the learning curve and accelerate success. So a few weeks ago, I spoke at what is now called SuccessU (name is under construction) regarding Business Models, and the following are the video clips and notes from the talk. A PDF is available at the bottom of this entry.

The Heartbeat Model

Much of CEOs I talk with spend a lot of time thinking about ways to drive growth of their business. Perhaps they never even stop thinking about it. And after they work on it a lot, they tend to engage their exec team on the topic. Once that level of discussion has happened, a group of incredibly talented c-suite people have figured out how to “grab” on to what it is they need to do. But the key question remains, how do employees “grab on” to the strategy?

Strategy in a Downturn

Here’s a rule of thumb: During good times people think it is their strategy that’s good, and in bad times, people think it’s the market.
During a downturn, many executives are much more likely to think a redirect is necessary. In a similar fashion, during times of great growth, we assume that what we’re doing is causing the desired results so staying the course makes sense. Neither point of view is really true. They reflect our perception of what we believe to be true.

Listen to the Oppressed

We listen to the rich, but we need to learn to listen to the oppressed. The voices that are often not heard are the ones that can add a dimension to a growth strategy that can’t be found at the top of the organization. It’s not glamorous and it likely won’t make it into the PPT slide that goes to the CEO or to the Board. It will however make a difference in how that strategy actually becomes reality. And you’ve heard me say it before. A strategy not made into reality is just a set of theoretical slides. Strategy has to be about the outcomes that are created.

What is this Strategy thing?

Because all the “right” strategies in the world could be applied to any business but what makes it right for them is really about leveraging their core strengths today. So it’s about discernment certainly to figure out what is a company’s strength today. And what are they clearly not able to do. And then to look at that clearly, without bias to think about what makes sense. I suppose in some way it’s the role of a parent to a child or a teacher to a student. The parent or teacher sees things the child or student doesn’t. Not because the child is stupid or the student ignorant, but both are learning and are too close to the situation themselves to have some perspective of what true gifts / strengths / abilities they should place their leverage.