Every successful business venture needs a plan and we often call those plans business strategies. Our various strategies can lead us down the road of success or damnation. It all depends on how good the plan is.
The importance of being able to breed a culture of innovative and capable leaders is more important than many organisations realise. Having a great executive team, head of any department, or other significant cannot be denied. If the company’s future profitability depends on that individual, what happens when they pass away, leave for other opportunities, or otherwise stop to fulfill that role within your organisation?
That is why top companies like Google have made the important task of innovation the responsibility of all employees, going so far as to go without any sort of Chief Innovations Officer. They want everyone to have a hand in the business’ continued growth and success. They know great ideas come from all sorts of avenues and they breed a corporate culture that encourages thinking outside the box. It starts with hiring the right people. It carries on through their tenure with the company and is mirrored through several key activities at the company. Diversity has become a huge part of the business world and isn’t one of the key reasons for that being able to leverage the skills and thoughts of every team member?
It is important to develop a culture of business leaders that work well together as a team. Do away with inter-departmental debate and a hierarchy that stifles ability in the name of tradition. By being able to decentralise the most important facets of your organisation, you will see rising stars from unexpected places. You will also have the ability to change leadership as business needs dictate without stumbling when a great leader is no longer available or part of the organisation. You will reap the benefits of innovation in areas you may have never thought to innovate.
Branding Internally as Well as Externally
Any successful business has to have a team comprised of people who truly believe in the company, where the group is headed, and what the business stands for. It is important that you work to build your brand within your company as well as part of your constant outward marketing. This internal marketing is a little bit easier. You have the demographic information readily at your fingertips. You have a captive audience that has an existing business relationship and at least should bear you some semblance of brand loyalty already—hey, you’re their employer, paying them to be there and do what they do, right?
It isn’t always as cut and dry as that, though. Brand loyalty isn’t about the best price, but the best value. The same is true with your internal customers. You need to get them to fully buy into your brand. If they do, they will be able to represent your company better than anyone else. Studies have already shown that the top businesses in the world work hard to integrate their core values and guiding principles into every aspect of corporate culture. It is very important to nail this down and do it right. This isn’t just about signage within the offices or the annual company get together. This is about daily activities, policies, and procedures that really show what your business is about and let you and your people shine.
Major retailers have learned that consumers want convenience, to be able to buy everything or at least have the option to buy everything in as few trips to the store as possible. Apple completely turned itself around when it decided to shed its computer manufacturer cocoon for their lifestyle butterfly wings. Look how far Google has come from being a simple, text-based search engine. Meanwhile, other companies have learned that it pays off to do one thing and do it well.
In the scramble for market share, many organisations stretch themselves too thin in an effort to widen their offerings, capture more dollars. Top firms like Salesforce and Google have certainly expanded their offerings, but they did so slowly, over time. More importantly, they didn’t do it alone. They teamed up with other firms that were doing something similar, but different. In some cases, they bought those companies. Other times, they formed lasting partnerships that would serve to carry their profitability upward.
Look at the different ways your business can grow. What offerings from other companies align nicely with those of your company? Which of these companies could benefit from partnering with you? Which of them help to strengthen the brand and extend reach? We often learn and improve based upon competition. It doesn’t always have to be about direct competition, though. There is often more than enough to go around for those successful businesses who know how to properly manage strategic partnerships. Take development funds and spend it on investigating partnerships. Rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, find partners to work with who have already laid the groundwork and are looking to grow just like you.
Adaptability is Key
No business or strategy is complete without adaptability at its heart. Successful businesses need to be able to see strengths as well as weaknesses. They need to be able to keep with the times and change with shifting economic climates. The ability to adapt should be at the heart of any business strategy. Dig in too deep, and it’ll be difficult to change gears when the landscape shifts. Instead, always have contingency plans and keep a close eye on what is happening around you as well as where things are going. Be able to constantly review and modify plans for your business and you will achieve much more than those who are forced to rigorously adhere to failing business strategies.