I was reminded this month of an article on LinkedIn by Daniel Burrus about 7 things that get in the way of successful business growth.
- Failure to anticipate change
- Failure to communicate
- Failure to collaborate
- Failure to innovate
- Failure to solve problems
- Failure to de-commoditize
- Failure to differentiate
I recommend giving it a read.
Funny that the article I’m referring to is from Feb 2019. It’s “pre-pandemic”. Yet, it’s full of truths that resonate today. Probably because Daniel’s methods as a Strategic Advisor offers a framework that helps you navigate uncertainty. He’s one of the influencers that I follow closely.
But back to the article.
It’s something I use to ground my core services
I return to it periodically because it’s a reference for me in identifying the core services in my consulting business. As well as a guide I use to reflect on how my own business is performing.
The services I provide are grounded in helping people avoid or recover from these failures. Narrowing my focus to failure to communicate, failure to anticipate change and failure to innovate. Above all, I focus on failure to communicate – which to me is better called failure to engage. It represents the two-way communication channels with customers, employees, shareholders, and stakeholders. In other words, it’s not just communicating at people.
You solve the failure to differentiate by working the other six
I love how he sums up in the final one, failure to differentiate, that you solve it by working on the other six. “You differentiate by avoiding all the failure modes we’ve discussed that prevent business growth. You anticipate, communicate, collaborate, innovate, pre-problem solve, and de-commoditize. Become what your competition isn’t in order to differentiate.”
It reminds me of the old joke where one hiker said to the other – I don’t have to run faster than the bear, I just need to run faster than you.
While it would be great to have the resources to work on all seven areas, a lot of brands don’t. Yet, differentiation is a game of inches. Working on one or two can place you in a completely different arena than your competition. And I truly believe working on one or two of them changes or informs the others as well. So, you do move them all forward.
Which is your Achilles heel? Which ones are you good at?
So, which one is your Achilles heel? Which of these failures is one that you want to work on avoiding? Likewise, which ones do you believe you are good at?
Food for thought!
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