planning posts

Taming the Elephant in 2011

2010 has been the year of the great stall. The world marketplace has shifted dramatically, and our society can’t stop talking, reading, and writing about it. Yet many of us haven’t gone much further than talk. We haven’t done anything yet. The decisions, changes, and actions needed to actually deal with the new marketplace have been missing in action.

Why doesn’t anything seem to be happening? Fear — that insidious feeling that grips the gut with unrelenting tenacity has been ruling the day.

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The Cost of Chaos – Part III

Imagine that you have a huge digital billboard in your office. It’s something like the national debt clock, and it’s tracking something that is just as critical to your company’s future. It’s the money your organization wastes while trying to generate revenue: the cost of failed products, excess sales salaries, sales support, ads, promotions, campaigns, demos, travel, unhappy customers, re-makes, lost deals, incorrect pricing, channel support, training, and more.

We have a name for these losses — the Cost of Chaos — and your new “chaos meter” would track every minute and dollar lost from uncontrolled revenue generation. And while nothing can match the national debt clock, we can guarantee that you won’t like the numbers you see on the version that hangs in your office.

This topic is so important that we’ve covered it in a three-part series. Today we’re providing examples of specific actions you can take to reduce these costs.

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The Cost of Chaos – Part II

Maintaining a healthy weight isn’t a mystery. We know what to do and we know what we shouldn’t do. And even with all the science and evidence to the contrary, we keep trying the latest fads, buying the books and pills and programs that promise the silver bullet.

The same concept applies to fixing what we call the Cost of Chaos — the penalty for not aligning a principle-based revenue strategy throughout your organization. Companies try this new marketing program. Hire that hotshot sales rep. Add a new twist to the customer offer. Design a new logo and attend the big name trade show. In other words, companies are constantly searching for a silver bullet and, while conducting that search, pour money down the drain at an alarming rate.

This is such a critical concept in the generation of revenue that we’ve divided this article into three sections.

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The World Isn’t Flat: Planning for a New 2011

Can you imagine being alive in the late 1400s when Christopher Columbus *didn’t* sail off the edge of the world? After a lifetime of believing the world was flat, would you readily accept that it was round? Or is it possible that you might react as many others do when faced with a new reality [...]

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You know the saying about assumptions. Why are you still making them?

Assumption testing has always been important in organizations. Right now, however, it’s more critical than ever. Markets are evolving so fast that the wrong assumptions can be fatal.

Worse yet, an organization’s inability to routinely identify and test assumptions is a cultural defect that can be very difficult to correct.

Rick and I often see this problem when we participate in leadership meetings held by our clients. During these meetings, we frequently hear executives mistakenly state assumptions as if they were facts.

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