The First Key to Exponential Growth

If you want exponential growth, you need to have a very clear picture of the business you want to have in the future: What will you be providing? Who will be the customers? How big will the company be? What will be your role? It’s called ‘having a vision.’ It’s not enough to be obsessed with more revenue, fewer problems and more profits. That’s being stuck in the day-to-day. You must think bigger.

Some leaders don’t have such a vision, and that’s a problem. But it’s nearly as bad when the leader does have a vision, but only shares it with key people and the vision never gets communicated to people who sell to customers, make the products, deliver the services, and make things happen on the frontline. If they don’t know where you want to take your company, how can they help make it happen?

If you want growth, you must have a vision, and you also do three other things: First, articulate it simply. Second, communicate throughout your organization as well as to your board, investors, customers, vendors, and any other key stakeholders. Get everyone on the same page. Third, reinforce it with rewards for your people.

This is not as easy as it may sound, particularly for your own business. It can be extremely helpful to have an advisor who can work with you to develop the vision and make it simple and effective.

How clearly have you developed and communicated your vision?

Copyright 2017 Bob Legge
___________________________
Bob Legge has an unmatched ability to help clients achieve competitive advantage, leaving competitors in their dust. He has worked with companies across industries and geographies to align critical elements, dominate their markets, and achieve dramatic results, such as 600% revenue increase in three years. Personally, he enjoys sailing where both his strategic abilities and tactical skills help him see interesting places while having a fabulous time with friends and family.
Contact him at: bob.legge@leggecompany.com.

 

Is Your Strategy Sustainable?

Business strategy is all about having a distinctive position in your market, and making that distinctiveness sustainable.

A distinctiveness that can be easily replicated is not a good strategy. Companies build sustainable strategies by bundling organizational competencies around their distinctiveness. K-Mart tried hard to copy what WalMart does and several airlines have tried and failed to replicate Southwest Airlines’ success. It’s not that the strategies are difficult, but implementing and executing those strategies requires alignment of organizational capabilities, people skills, culture, workflows and the way they manage people and use technology.

In short, a sustainable strategy is reflected in the entire way the company does business, not just product or service offerings. A key competitive advantage is how well a company performs as a whole – and that can be exceedingly difficult to copy, and very profitable.

How are you making your strategy and its execution sustainable and difficult to replicate?

Copyright 2017 Bob Legge
___________________________
Bob Legge has an unmatched ability to help clients achieve competitive advantage, leaving competitors in their dust. He has worked with companies across industries and geographies to align critical elements, dominate their markets, and achieve dramatic results, such as 600% revenue increase in three years. Personally, he enjoys sailing where both his strategic abilities and tactical skills help him see interesting places while having a fabulous time with friends and family.
Contact him at: bob.legge@leggecompany.com.

What’s Your Niche?

To grow your business and improve profits stop thinking of your company as one of many competitors in a broad market, and define a narrower market niche to focus on. Pick a niche that you can dominate as one of the top competitors. Panera has done this using technology to provide choice and rapid response with good food. Sydor Optics has done this by concentrating on flat optics. Burton Snowboards have achieved a dominant position in their niche.

Choose a niche – one you can dominate. What is your niche?

Copyright 2017 Bob Legge
___________________________
Bob Legge has an unmatched ability to help clients achieve competitive advantage, leaving competitors in their dust. He has worked with companies across industries and geographies to align critical elements, dominate their markets, and achieve dramatic results, such as 600% revenue increase in three years. Personally, he enjoys sailing where both his strategic abilities and tactical skills help him see interesting places while having a fabulous time with friends and family.
Contact him at: bob.legge@leggecompany.com.

Operating at the CEO Level

The CEO has the responsibility to think strategically about the company and its business. This is a two-fold challenge: The first part is to extricate yourself from day-to-day tactics, problems and tasks. This is often a difficult challenge for CEOs. The second part is to learn how to think strategically about your company. This includes its position in the market, what makes it distinctive, what the business must focus on, and equally as important, what it must not be doing.

This is what’s meant by ‘working on the business, instead of in the business.’

Many CEOs I’ve worked with find this a real challenge because they are used to solving problems, fire-fighting, and being the person with all the answers. But to be a CEO, you must stop doing those things and operate at the level of a CEO.

Are you fully operating at the level your position calls for? If not, what would it take for you to get there?

Copyright 2017 Bob Legge
___________________________
Bob Legge has an unmatched ability to help clients achieve competitive advantage, leaving competitors in their dust. He has worked with companies across industries and geographies to align critical elements, dominate their markets, and achieve dramatic results, such as 600% revenue increase in three years. Personally, he enjoys sailing where both his strategic abilities and tactical skills help him see interesting places while having a fabulous time with friends and family.
Contact him at: bob.legge@leggecompany.com.

Why You Need to “Think Different”

Exactly 20 years ago, Apple came up with a “Think Different” marketing theme. In part it was a rejoinder to IBM’s “Think,” but it resonated widely with businesses. It’s still a poignant message for CEOs. To take your business to the next level, you need to think differently about it. Change the way you look at your business, develop a new mindset. You cannot get to the next level by thinking the same way and doing the same things.

Examples:
• From making products to fabricating assemblies
• From local distribution to regional, national, and international
• From producing products to offering high-value services
• From a product to a product line, to multiple product lines to ‘category killers’
• And from storefront to online retailing

Think not just bigger, but broader. To do this, you must let go of ‘today’ and let your mind explore into future possibilities. This is what strategy is all about. It is also the work of the CEO, and it must be the work of the CEO because only you have the responsibility to make these decisions, no matter how many others are involved.

In what ways are you thinking differently about your business?

Copyright 2017 Bob Legge
___________________________
Bob Legge has an unmatched ability to help clients achieve competitive advantage, leaving competitors in their dust. He has worked with companies across industries and geographies to align critical elements, dominate their markets, and achieve dramatic results, such as 600% revenue increase in three years. Personally, he enjoys sailing where both his strategic abilities and tactical skills help him see interesting places while having a fabulous time with friends and family.
Contact him at: bob.legge@leggecompany.com.

Top 7 Obstacles Getting in the Way of Your Strategy

Over the past 30 years, I’ve worked on strategy and strategy execution with the senior management of Fortune 1000 companies, mid-market companies, and Inc 5000 companies.  In all that time, and across all industries and size of companies, these eight obstacles to achieving strategic goals stand out as the ones I most often work with senior management to overcome.  (Not in any particular order.)

  1. Lack of Accountability.  You need people who know the ongoing results expected of them and who can be relied on to get those results all the time.  It is a cultural problem and an individual person problem to begin with.  If it continues, it is a management problem.
  2. Employees who don’t act like owners.  You need people who are focused on results; common values, and who reflect both in their everyday behaviors.  I can understand why a particular employee may not want to do that, but I do not understand leaders who allow it to continue.  Some of the solution is on leaders to provide the right environment, treat people respectfully, and weed out those who don’t fully contribute.  The rest of the solution is on individuals and the volition to be involved.
  3. The business strategy is unclear (or non-existent.)  Having an action plan is not the same as having a strategy.  High performers need to know where you’re taking the company, not just what actions and results are expected of them everyday.
  4. The organization structure gets in the way.  In general, your organization should be designed around the few processes that drive the most value, not functions or fiefdoms.  The worst is when an organization structure decision, or “work-around” is made to accommodate a weak player.
  5. Key competencies are weak or missing.  Skills, capabilities, and talent drives value.  That includes leadership.  You cannot overcome deficiencies in this area by ignoring them.
  6. Plans and metrics are not aligned with the strategy.  You need an organization that is sharply-focused on driving the strategic objectives in a collaborative and aligned way.  There is no such thing as independent functions; if you have them, get rid of them.
  7. A sub-optimal mindset.  A success mindset, especially at the top, is imperative.  Every one of your key players, in management and throughout the organization, needs to have a confident, optimistic, determined mindset.  Anything else is an energy-sapper and time-waster.

How many of these are you experiencing?

Copyright 2017  Bob Legge

___________________________

Bob Legge has an unmatched ability to help clients achieve competitive advantage, leaving competitors in their dust.  He has worked with companies across industries and geographies to align critical elements, dominate their markets, and achieve dramatic results, such as 600% revenue increase in three years.  Personally, he enjoys sailing where both his strategic abilities and tactical skills help him see interesting places while having a fabulous time with friends and family. .

Contact him at:   bob.legge@leggecompany.com.

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

Professional race car drivers have their eyes well down the track in anticipation and readiness.  So do the very best equestrians who immediately upon completing one jump will be looking at the next jump even though it’s not where their horse is currently headed.   And, of course, the quote attributed to Wayne Gretzky is that he skates where the puck will be, not where it is.

The same is true of senior leaders — you need to be focused largely on where you are taking your company.  If you’re consuming your time on today’s needs and challenges, you need to change your perspective, use of time, and skills.  Those are three important competencies I work with senior leaders to improve.  You have managers and skilled talent to execute operating plans and handle problems; your focus needs to be on where your enterprise is heading, the obstacles to get there, and how the organization will need to adapt.

On a scale of 1-10, where 10 means full attention to the organization’s strategic destination, how would you rate yourself?  What do you need to do to improve your future focus?

Copyright 2017  Bob Legge

___________________________

Bob Legge has an unmatched ability to help clients achieve competitive advantage, leaving competitors in their dust.  He has worked with companies across industries and geographies to align critical elements, dominate their markets, and achieve dramatic results, such as 600% revenue increase in three years.  Personally, he enjoys sailing where both his strategic abilities and tactical skills help him see interesting places while having a fabulous time with friends and family. .

Contact him at:   bob.legge@leggecompany.com.