Simplify Your Strategy, and Then Simplify It Some More

This week I’m on Prince Edward Island enjoying a week of fun with my family. We’re enjoying an incredible bounty of fresh seafood.

Last night we had amazingly fresh lobster and oysters – here's a picture of my daughters being silly who I’m incredibly proud of for enjoying copious amounts of lobster, mussels, and oysters.

Here's something I learned on this trip…  The "secret" to the best tasting lobster I've ever eaten has nothing to do with cooking methods.  It's all about using the seawater from where you caught the lobster to boil them in.  

No matter what else I do in cooking lobster, I've never been able to replicate this quality, because never before have I had the local seawater to boil them in.

It reminded me a lot of the work I do with clients.

I often work with companies who have spent a lot of money and intellectual firepower on answering the wrong questions. 

Here’s an example, one company I worked with a few years ago spent over $200,000 on their business intelligence systems, but had no process in place for tracking when their most profitable clients were leaving.

If they had spent that $200,000 on hiring and training full-time client service representatives, they likely would have saved millions of dollars

There is a huge misconception about simplicity in the business world. 

Often I talk to senior executives who tell me: “I don’t want to hear any of that back to basics stuff, I’m paying a lot of money, give me something advanced.” 

The irony is that their companies aren’t doing the basics. They want to skip ahead without doing the simple, high-value work. Much of the work I do is around ensuring businesses that are already doing well, have the basics in place to do even better.

My co-author Shawn Veltman and I have often written about the “knowing/doing gap,” the difference between what you know you should do and what you are doing.

Here are some of the most common examples:

You know you should have a sales process in place. Do you?

You know you should have an onboarding process in place for new clients. Do you?

You know you should be getting in touch with every client shortly after they stop doing business with you to find out why. Are you?

You know you should be proactively asking for referrals. Are you?

You know you could have better measures in place for sales activity. Do you?

You know you could be doing more to give your clients a meaningful, memorable, and personal experience. Are you?

Let’s find a time to talk about the basics. Feel free to reach out any time.


P.S. I'll be back next week with more videos.  The last few weeks of travel has taken me off the video track.