strategic advantage

Sustainable Change | Extraordinary Business

Sustainable Change is Strategic – Creating a Culture of Adaptability

Strategic Advantage

An organization that can change can remain competitive. Conversely, an organization that can’t change will become obsolete over time. That is the simplest description of change as a tool – it can keep companies competitive. An organization’s culture can be its biggest strategic advantage. To change means to become different. An organization that not only can change, but change consistently, has created a sustainable competitive advantage. The question then becomes, how does an organization create this sustainable competitive advantage?
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A Strategic Advantage Your Firm is Missing: Innovation | Extraordinary Business

Innovation
Where do you see your company in the next ten years? At the same place? Larger? Perhaps in more markets?
If you are like most business owners, you have some vision for where you would like to take your company. The thing is: growth doesn’t happen by accident, and staying in business doesn’t happen by staying the same. Whatever your vision, you will need to gain some level of strategic advantage, and innovation is one of the tools that firms can use to gain it.
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Product Development – Follow the Plate

How a good product development process can save you time, productivity and money

Over the past 10 years, nearly all of our clients have been entrepreneurs – people who spotted needs in the marketplace and built companies to meet those needs. So, by nature, we all – myself included – constantly think of new ways to sell more stuff – products or services. Based on experience, my guess would be those in the restaurant industry that run their own stores or have the flexibility to be creative must be masterful at this due to the need to come up with some new menu items that will sell nearly every day.

If you think about it, restaurateurs have to be good at this or they subject themselves to losing a lot of money, quickly. When they commit to a special, they are immediately investing ingredients and time into the development of the menu item without necessarily being able to get the investment back. So while the cost of a plate might be 1/4 – 1/3rd of the price of the product (raw goods) the time associated with developing the item adds additional costs.

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  • Test, Evaluate, Adjust, Repeat

Test, Evaluate, Adjust, Repeat

Dimensions of product improvement and the product improvement cycle

While I am not a car person, per se, there are a few models that I tend to keep an eye on for what changes are made year after year, One year, there might be body styling changes, another, there might be a better engine, another year, they might have added airbags or something to that effect. The expectation has been that in a car’s first year or two in production, it still has “kinks” to get out of it before becoming what it could be.

The question begs to be asked, of course – why not keep the car the same once it has been produced? Why do engineers and other members of the product team need to continue to evaluate how the vehicle can be improved year after year?

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Test, Evaluate, Adjust, Repeat | Extraordinary Business

carDimensions of product improvement and the product improvement cycle

While I am not a car person, per se, there are a few models that I tend to keep an eye on for what changes are made year after year, One year, there might be body styling changes, another, there might be a better engine, another year, they might have added airbags or something to that effect. The expectation has been that in a car’s first year or two in production, it still has “kinks” to get out of it before becoming what it could be.
The question begs to be asked, of course – why not keep the car the same once it has been produced? Why do engineers and other members of the product team need to continue to evaluate how the vehicle can be improved year after year?
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Process and Strategic Advantage | Extraordinary Business

How strategy and process engineering will help you create strategic advantages in your company.

imageIf you know the fast food industry, you probably know that they go through great stakes to ensure that everything is done the same way, every time, no matter what store you go to. While you might encounter various personalities and different store layouts, for the most part, the cashiers greet you the same way, they ask you if you would like to try the special, they get your order, try to upsell you, ask you if you would like anything else, let you know how much your order is, etc..

Now, if you go to a McDonalds, for example, it is not going to be the same experience as going to a Chick-fil-a, although the two are competitors and serve fast food items. Surely, there is some overlap, but while McDonalds puts a lot of emphasis on getting people fed, you might assume that Chick-fil-a might focus more on the experience.

You can see this looking at the dining room: often, in the dining room at McDonald’s, if you see employees, they are typically cleaning something and don’t pay much attention to the diners except to offer a friendly greeting. On the other hand, at Chick-fil-a, you will probably find that the staff typically roams the dining room in a very friendly way, speaking with guests and answering each request with, “it would be my pleasure.”

With respect to price, you will probably pay a bit more for Chick-fil-a’s over-the-top service, (plus you cannot get a burger).

What is the difference? What is the point?

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Process and Strategic Advantage

How strategy and process engineering will help you create strategic advantages in your company

If you know the fast food industry, you probably know that they go through great stakes to ensure that everything is done the same way, every time, no matter what store you go to. While you might encounter various personalities and different store layouts, for the most part, the cashiers greet you the same way, they ask you if you would like to try the special, they get your order, try to upsell you, ask you if you would like anything else, let you know how much your order is, etc..

Now, if you go to a McDonalds, for example, it is not going to be the same experience as going to a Chick-fil-a, although the two are competitors and serve fast food items. Surely, there is some overlap, but while McDonalds puts a lot of emphasis on getting people fed, you might assume that Chick-fil-a might focus more on the experience.

You can see this looking at the dining room: often, in the dining room at McDonald’s, if you see employees, they are typically cleaning something and don’t pay much attention to the diners except to offer a friendly greeting. On the other hand, at Chick-fil-a, you will probably find that the staff typically roams the dining room in a very friendly way, speaking with guests and answering each request with, “it would be my pleasure.”

With respect to price, you will probably pay a bit more for Chick-fil-a’s over-the-top service, (plus you cannot get a burger).

What is the difference? What is the point?

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The Most Dangerous Strategy | Extraordinary Business

5 key steps to include when developing your Company’s strategic plan

imageImagine that you are about 16 years old, meeting with your guidance counselor and discussing the future with them. They may have given you an aptitude test, reviewed your grades and classes and perhaps pointed you to some colleges. Based on what you knew, you might have written down a plan – finish High School with a decent GPA, take your SAT, get into the college of your choice and launch into an extraordinary career that will allow you to achieve all of your long term goals.

But what happens if your perfect plan veers off course, say, you didn’t get the grades you hoped for, your SAT wasn’t stellar and as a result, you had to go to a junior college instead of getting into the college of your choice. What happens if you have a life event that disrupts your plans altogether?

Does that mean that you no longer pursue your goals?

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The Most Dangerous Strategy | Extraordinary Business

5 key steps to include when developing your Company’s strategic plan

imageImagine that you are about 16 years old, meeting with your guidance counselor and discussing the future with them. They may have given you an aptitude test, reviewed your grades and classes and perhaps pointed you to some colleges. Based on what you knew, you might have written down a plan – finish High School with a decent GPA, take your SAT, get into the college of your choice and launch into an extraordinary career that will allow you to achieve all of your long term goals.

But what happens if your perfect plan veers off course, say, you didn’t get the grades you hoped for, your SAT wasn’t stellar and as a result, you had to go to a junior college instead of getting into the college of your choice. What happens if you have a life event that disrupts your plans altogether?

Does that mean that you no longer pursue your goals?

 [···]

Read More