Business performance is ultimately delivered by the quality of thinking that takes place in an organisation. Leaders and managers bring their non-conscious mental obstacles into their work. These create obstacles that fall into the four categories of limited beliefs, mental barriers, blocks and blindspots, and self-image will determine the commercial success of your company.
Businesses who accept external facts for poor performance do not believe they are able to offer innovations that grow the market, if they did they would not accept defeat and instead start investing in creativity and excellence. Unfortunately, what is more typical, is reactivity based on assumptions from external influences. Decisions start with cut-backs and end in a spiral of activities that put the business on the back foot, or even bust. Lower targets, less staff, lower budgets result in a slow, painful, and somewhat blind withdrawal from the market.
A redirection to the true needs of the customer and employees demands an immediate change in leadership attitude. Considering the market as a collective of humans facilitates the movement towards broadening perspective. Change occurs in all ecosystems all the time and is occurring with your customers. Practicing the examination of what has changed rather than what has stayed the same is the starting point to what will become a stream of new market awareness.
Contrary to popular belief, this is not opening a digital store nor introducing an app. Technology is a facilitator to a need, not the need itself. Customers want products and services that deliver something that attempts to meet their emerging new needs.
Creative ideas require an acceptable appetite for risk and free thinking. The word free, in this context, means free from constraint, stress and control. Allowing your most ambitious people to dream is going to be the most rewarding way to gain the most inspirational market ideas. Invest in methods to generate new thinking in your people and trust them to apply their wisdom for the good of all stakeholders including themselves and the customers. While this philosophy may fill you with fear and dread, especially if you are one of those leaders who want a guaranteed, tried and tested, result. Remember that tried and tested means someone has done it before. Even if that someone is you, it is a follower company position and will not provide you with growth.
Tap into customer ambition and get everyone in the organisation on board with an inspiring, challenging and engaging vision. Companies who invest during tough times, rebound at a faster and higher value gain when the cycle swings back. Consider what you can gain from competitors cut-backs and identify areas that customers will be underserved. This is a long-term strategic game of growth and not the market reactions that many companies are currently succumbing to.
Go public with your purpose and vision. Don't hold back to customers or staff. If your vision is robust and benefits the greater good, external downward market trends will have a minimal impact on your growth. Again, your vision needs to be robust and beneficial for everyone. If it's not, you'll come across as another gimmicky company trying half-hearted attempts to get customers to spend. Customers are wise to it and have been exposed to these strategies before, so now is the perfect time to reinvent your market with a genuine progressive concept. Be the fresh breath of air!
You will need to quit all negativity in all levels of the company to implement your vision and get your teams delivering. From the Board and through the senior leadership teams, culture cascades from the top down. Once you have defined and determined your destination, then all minds within the business need to be functioning to get you there. This requires a positive focus at all times. That means removing all chance of distraction, politics, and poor performance. Yours and everyone else's.
Analyse how everyone in the business is spending their time, consider how effective your organisation is managed. Wastage of resource - be it time, effort or money - is leakage. Precision is one of the most underestimated executive leadership skills.
Senior leaders tend to be big picture thinkers, great at strategies and ideas. Patterns tend to be that as a leader, you read or see something and it inspires you so you get your team on the case. Then over time, the idea peters out. If you are in that trend and find that you, typically, have to micromanage the execution, or your teams struggle to get anything going, then you are suffering from a lack of precision. Precision is not about giving lots of detail. Precision is about giving clarity, structure, process and focus on performance.
Adopting a growth position means reframing your perspective on your market. It's an immediate pattern-break that you can apply today and stop your market decline. Entire markets do not disappear overnight, while major brands and businesses do. Markets shrink, adapt, and reinvent themselves. The only constant in outperforming a declining market or a growing market is the customer. Start investing in delivering genuine value to your customer and you will immediately be part of the market re-invention rather than market loss.