Singles and Doubles

Profitable Growth is Everyone’s Business, a great book written by Ram Charan, has a key section that gives a fitting name to the best business building strategy I know. It has become a mantra we continually preach to our clients and is at the core of what DIG is all about. Certainly worthy of a Brickyard brick I would say.

“Focus on Hitting Singles and Doubles”

The .com age and the stories that continue to get media coverage continuoulsy push the business community to focus way too much on the home run. Business owners will put their businesses in peril trying to find the Million/Billion dollar idea. Enormous time, energy and money is spent on this misdirected focus. Big, BIG mistake. How can you enjoy the every day of running your business if your success rests on the rare occurrence of “hitting the home run?”

As Mr. Charan so perfectly puts it…

“Home runs don’t happen every day or even every decade…

A surer and more consistent path – one that does not exclude home runs – is what I call going for “singles and doubles,” growth based on improvements or natural extensions of the strategy, business model, customer needs, or technology of a business….Singles and doubles come from disciplined, creative and innovative in-depth analyses of all the fundamentals of a business, including new ways of identifying undermet or unmet customer needs and meeting them through improved internal alignment of the company…

Singles and doubles do not come from a look in the rearview mirror. Rather, they are a result of looking at the business from the outside-in, from customer needs backward into the company. In fact, they form the foundation for the home run.”

As we always say here … we aim to utterly eliminate whatever it is that hinders your right as a business owner to enjoy your position properly. Life is short.

Having the patience to hit “Singles & Doubles” dramatically changes your ability to enjoy the ride. One of them may turn into a home run, but if it doesn’t you are still safely in the lead. (yes..I know, too many sports metaphors)

Lose Your Nemesis

I have been fiddling around with something I call my “Nemesis Theory” for a few years now. The more business owners I work with, the more it seems to be a key impediment to getting to their unique truths, creativity and power.

I believe that every business has at least 1 “Nemesis.” An arch-rival competitor, the company that stole a big client, stole a key member of your staff (or vice versa) or otherwise just consistently pisses you off in some way or another.

I think this phenomena dates back to our earliest days in school. We all had a nemesis in school, friends who seem to have more while working less, etc… and those comparisons consumed a lot of time and always made us nuts!

While there are countless books written about competition, defeating your business enemy, david and goliath theories, sales techniques, etc…. The conclusion I keep coming back to… it is all a HUGE WASTE OF TIME AND ENERGY.

Obsessing about your competitors,trying to match/best their offerings and/or measuring your company against them has no great really has no winning outcome. Instead, it simply prohibits your company from finding its PERSONAL way to be meaningful to your clients, staff and prospects. i.e. It blocks a company from finding its own identity.

This is not “focus on your customers” theory disguised in different clothes… The focus for me is to try to find a more permanent path to help business owners get comfortable with a new way to break out of this fundamentally bad habit.

“Lose Your Nemesis”

Certainly more to come… But would certainly appreciate input and feedback.