12 Most Transformational Business Insights From The Last 11 Months
In my work, I talk in depth with hundreds of business executives and thought leaders about how they’ve grown their businesses, even in a down turn economy. Here are some of the best insights I’ve gleaned. Some of these are wise adages from veterans with years of experience who consult for a living. Others are from the front lines of those in the thick of it, learning the hard way. Some are tough lessons I learned on my own. Either way, these are great points to ponder that are certain to transform the way I do business in the coming year.
1.Storytellers Rule The World
Know the facts, but if you can form them into a good story you will have the world in the palm of your hand. Learn to tell stories that help people comprehend and recall your ideas. Learn to tell stories that people relate to, that they love to hear, that they will share with their friends. Storytelling gives legs to great ideas.
2. Stop Pitching Product – Co-Create Value With Customers Instead
Customers don’t come to you because they want to hear about your products. They come to you because they have a problem to solve and they want your help solving it. Stand beside them and look at the problem or together. Be a partner in value creation that helps them grow more successful. Products will sell themselves.
3. Listen To Your Customers
Sounds simple right? So why are so many companies just not doing it? In the words of the Kinks: “Give the people what they want.” You can’t do this unless you know what that is. By understanding your customer’s business and letting their needs drive your development, you will be in the business of what they want and that is a very good thing.
4. Everybody Is In Sales
Some would disagree, but if you think about it, every day we all must get buy-in for ideas or decisions we care about. The business world could learn a lot from each person in a business thinking of themselves as being in sales. Get good at understanding the other person’s goals and building win-win situations.
5. There’s Always Room For One More
Gather as many different points of view as you can before making a decision. If you surround yourself with people that think just like you, you will limit your discernment and miss opportunities for growth.
6. Strike a Balance Between Quantity and Quality
Business activity is a good thing, but only if it leads to revenue growth. Avoid busy work. Think about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Learn to walk away from opportunities that don’t make sense. Focus on deeper engagement with clients who really care about what you’re doing with them.
7. Love Is Not a Business Model
Just because you really like something, doesn’t mean everybody else will. Keep your desires in check. Solid business necessarily needs passion but it needs to be tempered with common sense and a reasonable business case.
8. If You Don’t Measure It, It Must Not Matter
Successful businesses run by the numbers. They know what, how much, when and to whom. They take the time to calculate the value of every resource and maximize its use toward business goals.
9. Execution Is The Hardest Part
There’s no shortage of great ideas in business. It’s putting them into practice day after day that separates very successful businesses from the rest. Execution is hard work and it often means growing more comfortable with change.
10. Everybody Needs Some Help Sometime
If you look at the lives of any of the great people throughout history, you will find them pointing to others who have helped them do great things. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Many are glad to give it. We all want to be on the side that’s winning.
11. Being a Bridge Is Way Better Than Being a Tower
If you are all about getting ahead in life, you may find that once you get there you are very lonely. Go ahead and be driven, but build relationships that go deep as well. Learn to connect those around you to each other so that they succeed. We were made for community, not crystal towers.
12. Everyone Has a Story – Learn What That Is
The best way to ensure you know how to provide value in a relationship is to understand who they are and what’s important to them. Everything makes a lot more sense when you are able to put it in context. History, culture, influential people, events, etc. all play a part in shaping how we think and what we’re about.
What other transformational business insights have you realized this year? It’s interesting that once you start to employ some of these principles, other ones naturally arise from the process as well. Let’s keep the conversation going!
Photo courtesy of gnuckx, used under creative commons license. Some rights reserved.