Do you have a competitive edge?

17/06/2014

The school of thought that assumes all high growth businesses are technology based is wrong. Fast-moving companies display an edge that connects with their customer’s world, one filled with imagination, inspiration and fresh thinking. Their founders and teams have an inherent ability to spot a niche, an unfulfilled need or problem demanding a solution.

Gazelle performance can be achieved by repackaging a traditional idea. The fusion of a diverse range of business models to produce a whole new experience is a skill high growth entrepreneurs have perfected.

Focusing on activities that don’t necessarily bring in revenue can also attain the edge. However, they do position the organisation head and shoulders above the rest. In other words they produce a wow factor. Leading experts in creativity would claim that 95% of a company’s point of difference is achieved by as little as 5% of what it does.

High growth businesses excite their customers by displaying their edge with passion and clarity. Companies must avoid falling into becoming a “me too” market player – this drives down margins, the cheapest wins, a sort of spiral descent very difficult to recover from.

So how do you find the edge? It starts with the mindset of the leader – old world tells us to think outside the box. My recommendation is to get rid of the box because it does not exist – eliminate limiting beliefs, self-imposed boundaries and negative influences that restrict your ability to think. Find a coach or a mentor who will help you fill the pipeline with new possibilities. Find your 5%!


Brave and Bold Awards – a great do !

07/06/2014

It was a privilege to have been invited to say a few words to close Thursday night’s GrowthAccelerator’s Brave and Bold awards. The session provided a visible platform to celebrate the successes of individuals who have done something pretty amazing for their organisation, staff, shareholders, local economy and indeed UK PLC.

Without events like “The Brave and The Bold” those enterprising individuals would have remained the unsung hero’s of society – it’s only right to acknowledge their achievements raising their profile and say thank you for what they have done and are doing for the economy.

We should not forget what a lonely journey growing a business can be. It takes mental toughness, commercial acumen and a big dose of emotional intelligence to translate ideas into a sustainable high growth business. The end product of job creation, exports and economic wealth is an achievement that must be applauded.

The quality of entrants to the GrowthAccelerator Brave and Bold awards was truly outstanding – they are living proof of how high growth businesses behave; a philosophy of disciplined entrepreneurship was clearly evident. More specifically I observed all the ingredients of getting growth right – a DNA comprising:

1. Clarity of vision and strategy – executed with effective leadership and ruthless financial/operational focus

2. A positive mindset – invisible forces powered by passion, energy, mental toughness and big ambition. An ability to overcome the roadblocks growth inevitably brings is crucial.

3. High performing teams – balanced with thinkers, doers, controllers and sellers all working to a clear road map and common sense of purpose

4. Customer focused culture – one that delivers a remarkable experience and ultimately “go to brands”

5. The innovative edge – making them stand out from the crowd. They use their IP and knowledge assets to engage all stakeholders with impact. They are memorable

The exemplar companies I witnessed on the evening are a source of inspiration to the entrepreneurial community. Both winners and nominees play a pivotal role in promoting growth and encouraging others to go for it – their stories of success should be a powerful motivator to others seeking business wisdom.

I certainly hope everyone who attended will keep flying the flag for GrowthAccelerator. The economic impact of this service is just amazing – its living proof that high quality external coaching from “been there, done it individuals” deliver breakthroughs in business performance, period.