Chris Zook and Jimmy Allen have just written a book called Repeatability that discusses how to maintain profit growth in the face of great turbulence. Their conclusions around strategy are as important for small and medium-sized businesses as they are for large businesses.
The book resonates well as it has many similarities to work in which I was involved while at Braxton Associates, under the leadership of Tom Doorley III, where we developed “The Growth System”. This was a system designed to help organisations grow – and it was based on research into organisations that had successfully grown consistently over an extended period of time – something that very few (probably less than 15%) manage to do. It is nice to see that Repeatability shows the concept has stood the test of time – which adds another more-ironic meaning to the book name.
The main similarity between the books (Tom also published) is that of having an incredibly in-depth insight into one’s success formula (core competency, basis of competitive advantage, … call it what you will) and ensuring one gets better and better at it. Further, the entire organisation is in support of this formula and the underlying principles are “hard wired” into the enterprise – from back-office to front-line operations.
The Repeatability book commenses with the challenge of complexity and that 85% of executives questioned, named complexity (broadly) as the number one barrier to them in achieving their goals. This is compounded by the speed with which the world is moving, making strategic decision making more important, more urgent and more difficult!
Bringing these two ideas together, the way to grow consistently even in the face of this complexity and uncertainty is to have a clear strategy – and the essence of this strategy is to have a crystal clear understanding of your point of differentiation or competitive advantage – and then consistently optimising its usage in applying it. This is done through hard wiring it into your organisations processes and system; and understanding how it ultimately adds value to your customers .- which is what will define your market.
The experience of Genesis and many other top strategy consultancies around the world is that a surprisingly large number of companies do not understand the basis to their competitive advantage – or at least lose sight of it as they scramble into new markets and products to hit profit targets and flagging revenues.
The Genesis Strategy Genie is designed to assist organisations to help them work through the exercise of clarifying and optimally using their point of differentiation. Please drop us a line or call us if you would like to have a no-obligation conversation about this topic – and do not miss our Genie launch special offer: details at 110% money back offer.
For further reading:
The Repeatability web.site has a few podcasts and videos.
Genesis Management Consulting, our parent organisation, published a great slideshow on managing complexity through visualisation:
The 3rd habit: using visualisation to combat complexity
The book Value Creating Growth is still for sale as well.