Sunday, September 20, 2009

#711 It's not about Luck

Business Plan Execution "We need to get some engineers..." I could not stop myself. I had to interrupt the gentleman explaining one possible approach for entering a new market segment when he suggested that they might hire some engineers to explore the possibilities. Okay, maybe I could have shown a little more restraint, however, it was a brief meeting over lunch and time was a factor. Besides the weather was perfect and I was looking forward to the ride home now that the temperature was more reasonable. It was only 62 degrees when I left home an hour earlier; now it was upwards of seventy. That is one of the great focusing tools I use that I have not made clear: the motorcycle as basic transportation. Caution: Motorcycling is a dangerous activity. Do not attempt without proper instruction. Meetings almost always last too long. Way too long. So, the other day when I decided to ride the Kaw Nomad to a meet & greet, it was with intent. There was also talk of a plant visit. If you have seen 100+ plants, you have seen them all. Okay, there are exceptions. But the initial meeting is rarely the right venue for a visit to the owner's base of operations. (See Purple Curve Effect for more insight.) Things get off-track in a hurry like that, besides, this was more about connecting people of similar interests than any sort of consulting assignment. Hence my bluejeans and "Save the Black Rhino" t-shirt insured no plant visit. But I digress... In Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan's book, Execution, they talk of getting the right people on board. As does Jim Collins (myself) and others. But the best approach is employed by Cisco Systems, Inc. Acquisition! If your business is number one or two in your market segment and the future looks even better than the past, then stop reading. However, if margins aren't what they used to be and competition is bearing down on you from numerous vantage points, consider Cisco's business model. Yes, it will take a little effort to learn the proper approach for successful acquisitions, but once mastered, your business can weather any storm. Given the right business plan. In fact, you will then be in a position to inflict storms on your competition. A la John Boyd's OODA Loop. Need some help applying today's message? I am as close as your local Country Club Golf course. Besides, if you are serious about leaving the thin margins of Status Quo to your competition, you could use the break. Working 60+ hours a week only makes for one dull instrument. Give me a shout. Before its too late. Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey (c)2009, Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey. All rights reserved.
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