Today’s environment is forcing businesses to evolve more quickly than ever before. The electronic era has spawned companies that do not consist of bricks and mortar, but organizations that merely identify opportunities and coordinate resources to get results. The pandemic has forced entrepreneurs to pivot their businesses to survive. Most companies struggle to reorientate themselves to a rapidly changing landscape. Many entrepreneurs have not received the requisite training needed to deal with today’s business climate and quickly seize new opportunities. We now can see the rapidly changing business climate that would have happened over the next five years or so, but the pandemic has compressed these changes into months.
Winston Churchill once said, “The optimist sees opportunity in every danger; the pessimist sees danger in every opportunity.” Regardless of the rapidly changing business landscape, business development is still founded on three distinct yet integrated activities through which your business can pursue its natural evolution. They are Innovation, Quantification, and Orchestration.
Innovation is often thought of as creativity, but the difference between creativity and innovation is the difference between thinking about getting things done and getting things done.
Innovation frames your business concept and is the pursuit of actions that separate your business from its competitors. Innovation starts with developing a product or service that offers unique and significant value in the customer’s eyes and is followed by actions that can be major or minor steps that improve productivity, customer service, sales closing ratios, or service methodologies.
On its own, innovation leads nowhere. All innovation needs to be quantified and defined. Without quantification, how would you know whether the innovation worked? Quantification is not done in most businesses, and it costs them a fortune. Quantification is the development of systems that track the performance of your business on a daily, monthly and annual basis. Some refer to this tracking as KPIs or Key Performance Indicators.
Once you have innovated your business concept, the impact on the business is quantified, once something that works better than what preceded it is found, once the discovery of how to increase the “yeses” from your customers, your employees, your suppliers, and your lenders or investors is made, its time to orchestrate the whole thing.
Orchestration is putting in systems that eliminate discretion or choice at the operational level of the business. Finely turned systems will generate predictable and consistent results and allow the company to scale. As with an orchestra, the conductor or business owner must keep everyone on the same page, and in synchronization, or chaos will follow. Execution and managing growth are the most serious challenges your business will face.
Next week I will discuss executing the business development process using the Rule of 34.