Insights, ideas and inspiration
Most of our blog entries can be read in two or three minutes. One or two go into greater depth and others are bite-sized. All are intended to share with you insights, ideas or inspiration that we hope you will find useful, interesting or energising.
Covid-19 has presented all of us with a set of circumstances and challenges of which we have no direct prior experience.
If there is something good to have come out of it already, perhaps it is the way it has obliged all of us to quickly and critically examine how we create and deliver value for our customers and, importantly, for the wider community.
In trying to work through this conscientiously and authentically, it also tests our values and how we choose to interpret and apply them to a completely new context.
In this blog, we describe our first response, the thoughts that shaped it and the new offer we have created as a result.
This complements our existing products whilst being quite distinct from it, reflecting the new realities we are all responding to.
We are all aware of the pace of change surrounding businesses and of the many different drivers of this. It is one thing to acknowledge change however, and quite another to reach clear conclusions about what it means for your business and what you need to do in response, if anything. In this blog, we’ll consider how you might begin to form answers to both these questions by taking a fresh look at your business model.
Many of the entrepreneurs we meet are either struggling against, or giving in to the gravitational pull of day to day operations. As expectations from customers, employees and even government ratchet endlessly upwards, it is understandable that their focus gets pulled towards the demands immediately in front of them: Client expectations, staff morale, GDPR. So why should we care about, let alone invest in purpose?
Whilst the concept of capacity is straightforward, it’s relatively uncommon in our experience to find service businesses who know their capacity, and how this is built up across departments or teams. And even rarer still to find businesses that are systematically using capacity management to inform their business strategy.
The result is uncertainty, poor decision-making and sometimes, break-downs. Running a business without a capacity strategy is rather like driving a car without a dashboard.
As experienced business coaches, we are yet to meet a Client who wakes every morning wanting to buy time from a B2B service provider. Yet we regularly meet service providers who sell their value as an estimate of the time required to create and deliver it.
One reason for this is an absence of a clear product and service proposition. The outcome is invariably that the service provider’s cost to serve is higher than estimated, and the value delivered to the Client is lower than it should be, leaving the relationship vulnerable. Why does this come about and how can we build value into sales that achieves better outcomes for both parties?
Read past the idealism of the first few pages and this book develops a powerful and optimistic vision of how free enterprise capitalism ought to and can operate to achieve an optimal balance of interests between all of the stakeholders in a company; rather than focusing on returns for some at the expense of others.
Increases in turnover and profitability are often thought of as growth in business terms. Of course, this is true to a point. That point being that these and similar increases are outcomes that flow from growth in the capability, accountability (including the culture that supports it) and then the capacity of an individual, team or business. If these issues are the roots of sustainable growth, how do we prioritise between them and determine where to start?
In a world of smart speakers, to find out virtually anything we need only ask it out loud and Alexa, Google or Siri will come back with the answer. Information, and increasingly mis-information, is ubiquitous. Finding out about potential suppliers or business partners is no different.
A highly readable and practical guide to the complex topic of innovation and the challenge of how to develop a coherent and effective innovation strategy in a highly disruptive age.