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Leading On The Edge Of Chaos

1490 words - 6 pages

The Big Idea

A timely book for today's chaotic economy, the Murphy's suggest 10 key strategies for business leaders. If you fail to deliver, a volatile market can be terribly unforgiving. How you handle uncertainty will determine your company's success.


Rule 1: Resist the lure of “ready, fire, aim”

Managers may feel the need to spring into action and hit targets before properly thinking about the direction the company is taking.

Some practical strategies for making haste slowly would be to watch the clock. This means you must treat time as a resource and performance metric just like money is. IBM accelerated the way it did business by way ...view middle of the document...

Individual gratification and greed brought the company down and in the end there was absolutely no credibility left to hold it together.


What exactly does partnering with customers mean? There are 3 models of customer partnership: the egoist, bureaucrat, and CAP or customer-as-partner model. The egoist only thinks of business in terms of a one-way communication. The bureaucracy has so much going on internally to the point it excludes (and frustrates) its own customers. The Customer-as-partner model allows for a two-way dialogue. Customer partnership is a shared journey to create a future for both parties that is better than either could have developed alone.

It is important to note that acquiring new customers is costlier than retaining current ones. Customer retention and satisfaction drives profits.

CAP checklist: • Does staff regularly involve customers in the R&D process? • Does R&D seek feedback from other departments during a product development cycle? • Does the sales staff feed information to other departments regarding changing customer needs? • Does marketing continually identify new areas of buyer need? • Do they constantly suggest new offerings for existing customer segments? • Do billing and collections strategies strain or build customer relations? • Do your people understand the profitability of various customers? • Do you continually strive to improve quality, speed, and cost of the service? • Do people understand how the end-user benefits from your product/service?

Partner with your potential customers. High performing leaders recognize that potential customers are a great opportunity, and shouldn't be ignored during the good times. Find out where your potential customers are hiding, whether you conduct free trials or give out gift certificates. What's important is you discover them. Don't wait until times get tough to tap in to their wallets.

Partner with your lost customers as well. Always conduct some sort of exit interview to find out what went wrong and why you couldn't serve their needs well. Often, customers threaten to walk away to test your commitment to them.

Effectively increase wallet share through customer partnerships. This means that you don't just give them what they want. You also give them what they didn't know they needed. Nike didn't just supply running shoes to its customers, it also gave them apparel, heart rate monitors, MP3 players, and sports watches.

Let go of “poor fit” customers. In times of high volatility, “firing” unprofitable customers is a great cost-saving device. Take a “gut check”. If you feel you are compromising your own integrity, then it's time to quit. Customers who are a poor

fit to your organization's values will be unprofitable in the long-term even if they seem profitable in the short-term.

Practical strategies for customer partnership:

It's important to remember your customers always have...

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