We are all looking for fresh or new approaches to creating a successful business. Yes, this involves more than winning our share of customers or controlling costs.
One of my favorite client questions is “What is holding you back?” Or more to the point, what bottlenecks exist in your industry that holds your company back?
A very perceptive Harvard Business Review article studied more than 50 small and midsize companies that set “business as usual to one side and solved big structural problems endemic to their industries, not just problems they alone face.”
The takeaway? Today we have to break the rules and upset the apparent wisdom about how things work. But how do we figure out what rules to break?
The research determined that just about every “not business as usual” innovation was effective because it broke one of five types of bottlenecks:
- An outdated purchase or usage experience (customer experience)
- A superfluous major expense category
- Significant financial risks for customers
- Disengaged or demotivated employees
- Detrimental side effects of the product or service
The HBR article discusses each of these bottlenecks and how to break them by describing the experiences of five companies. In breaking those bottlenecks, they reduced their costs, eliminated entire cost categories, boosted demand levels and more.
Take time to scan the HBR article that includes a chart “Busting Your Industry’s Bottlenecks” which lists a set of key questions for each bottleneck. Take this chart and discuss this approach at your next several Leadership Team meetings. Your goal will be to ask the “very hard” questions and identify and change the game in just one of these areas that will impact your growth and success.
This article also provides some thought tools and important questions for finding your X Factor, that 7-10 times competitive advantage over your competition that I have posted about previously.
Contact me to explore how to break your industry bottlenecks!
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