You Can’t Be Good at Everything (“Talk” #4)

Not words that many of us want to hear – but seriously, if you’ve had enough life experience, you know that it’s true.  And the ground-breaking research done over the past 40 years by the folks at Gallup backs it up.

As human beings (and managers) we each have talents, behaviors and thought processes that come to us easily, with little to no effort, what some would say are “second nature”.  There are others, however, at which we will never excel, no matter how much we practice and work to improve.

The same can be said of companies.  Companies can’t be great at providing everything to their customers.  It’s just not possible. Making trade-offs (the right strategic trade-offs) is critical, as Frances Frei and Anne Morriss share in their book, “Uncommon Service”. The winning strategy is to be really, really good at the things your customers really care about AND let the less important areas slide.

There’s a number of examples in business from IKEA which sells stylish furniture at a low-cost but trades off on their help-yourself warehouse and the five hours that it takes to put some of their items together to In-N-Out Burger which provides outstanding “fast” food and great service but makes you spend up to 15 minutes waiting in the drive thru line – no problem at all for their die-hard fans – but it probably drivers the rest of us who are in a hurry crazy.

Frei and Morriss share more about their #1 Truth – you can’t be good at everything.  Take three minutes to check out their website here.

Then, schedule time and meet with your team to figure out the attributes that will help you to outperform your competition AND decide what you’ll give up to get there.  There’s some great resources at the Uncommon Service website  like the Service Design Tool that can be downloaded.

BTW if you’d like to get up close and personal with a Founder and former CEO who successfully scaled and eventually sold by being very deliberate in his Strategy and approach with customers, come to our 10th Annual Growth Strategies Breakfast on April 1st!

John Ratliff, Founder and former CEO of 650 employee Appletree Answers will be joining us as our Keynote at our 10th Annual Growth Strategies Breakfast.

Or just take a minute to reach out and connect to learn more about how you can become more strategic too!

 

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