"…keeping you great" Ten Minutes with the Growth Guy
HEADLINES: (highlights from Australian Growth Summit)
Best "quick tip" -- Alex Lopez, principal with Sydney-based Quantify Corp www.quantify.com.au, recently started color coding the items on his to-do list -- red for non-income producing activities; green for income producing activities. Notes Alex "when I first started, I found a 2 to 1 ratio of red activities to green activities; however, today, it's just the opposite." He showed me his list -- nothing fancy. Just a single sheet of paper listing his to-do's and then he uses a red or green highlighter to colorize each item. I did the same with my to-do list yesterday -- very insightful (and visual)!
Best "quote" -- "Use hands less, brain more" -- Diana Williams, Founder and Executive Chair of 3000 employee Fernwood Fitness and previous Australian Woman of the Year as she described the importance of delegating and getting others to "do" so she has more time to think. Carve out more time to think!
Best statistic -- Bill Evans, Chief Economist for Westpac bank, noted that the world's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was split 50/50 between the developed countries and the developing countries. And whereas the developed countries (U.S., UK, Australia, etc) had a combined growth rate of just 2% last year the developing countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, etc) had a combined growth rate over 8% giving the world an average growth rate between 4% and 5% -- and this is expected to be the case for the next decade. Seems obvious, if you want to go where you have the wind to your back, is head to the developing part of the world. It was also noted that China has grown 8% per year for 55 years!!!
Best example of strategic activities -- Kaihan Krippendorf, author of The Art of the Advantage, describes how Kola Real has competed successfully against Coca-Cola in Latin America -- they partner with rural bottlers; re-use old beer bottles; distribute through beer companies; stop advertising; and sell huge sizes. These are all ACTIVITIES that would almost be impossible for Coca-Cola to do. As the famous strategist Michael Porter emphasizes in his classic HBR article What is Strategy? (Read the article at "mygazelles.com" login or quick registration required), the key to strategy is doing different ACTIVITIES than your competition. What are the ways you go about doing business -- the activities -- that are different from the way your competition does business? Don't confuse this with your Brand Promise. Again, it's differentiating your activities and picking activities that are difficult, if not impossible, for your competition to do.
Best book recommendation -- for those of you doing business with other cultures (or plan to) get the book Riding the Waves of Culture by Charles Hampden-Turner and Fons Trompenaars. They studied 51 national cultures and found 7 major differences that I found were practical and useful like Universal vs. Particular. For instance, they asked what you would do if you were with a friend and he hit a pedestrian while speeding in his car and you could spare him some serious consequences if you simply testified that he wasn't speeding. What would you do? In Universal cultures, like the U.S., the focus is on rules more than relationships (with an emphasis on contracts); in Particular Cultures, like Mexico, the focus is on relationships more than rules (and a belief that legal contracts can be modified).
Best list -- Phil Ruthven, Founder and Chairman of IBISWorld Business Information, is one of the more entertaining CEOs I've heard speak. His firm is one of the top business intelligence firms in the world and he was kind enough to provide each attendee at the Growth Summit a $1500 set of reports on their respective industry. Through this research he's distilled 12 keys to operating a great company. This list is under DETAILS below.
New Jersey Rockefeller Habits workshop -- March 12-13 -- Only three weeks away. Sign up today!
Here is Phil's list for operating an industry dominating business:
- Stick to one business and one business only
- Aim to dominate
- Forever innovate -- product, process, marketing, sales, etc.
- Outsource non-core aspects of the business
- Don't own hard assets
- Have good and professional financial management
- Think and plan outside-in -- have great external intelligence
- Anticipate industry life-cycle changes
- Build strategic alliances
- Learn and implement world best practices
- Strong unique cultures
- Leadership is first; management is second