In a famous speech, first published in 1890, Russell Conwell’s “Acres Of Diamonds” suggested that most people look everywhere for new opportunity, increased happiness, new sources of business/customers, etc. except right in front of them, where they are most likely to find it. (You can find the speech here)
Why is it companies are so focused on finding “greener pastures” when many are already sitting on “acres of diamonds?”
In my upcoming (late 2014) book, Evergreen, I argue that the “new customer addiction” has become a massive problem of epidemic proportions costing organizations billions of dollars, and massive amounts of time and energy. Each day there’s some new method, tool, or platform allowing us to poke, pin, jab, or tweet, with the hopes that we might just poke someone in the eye hard enough to get their attention!
Consider adapting this goal for 2014. Look inward. Recognize that you’re most likely already sitting on all the customer value and profits you need, it’s just a matter of shifting your focus. Don’t throw away everything you’ve got because of the possibility of success, instead of putting in the (sometimes boring) work of actually being successful. Don’t get sucked into the madness of the mythical and fabled mass of new customers.
Make it a goal to relentless exploit every opportunity that already exists within your organization. Make yourself a promise to harvest all the existing diamonds before you go looking for a new mine.