We have been on some management courses over the last few months and having let the dust settle (thus avoiding the immediate post course evangelicalism which irks even the most tolerant mind) we have come to the conclusion that we have actually learnt a great deal and that it is relevant. And useful. And in some cases actually surprising!
1. Niche is good, no matter what your niche is. So long as there is a market.
Progressive Corp is an insurance company which focusses on all the types of people the other firms avoid like the plague.
So, know your market. REALLY know your market and show that you know it through market analysis tools. Such as Porters Five Forces or PEST.
2. Synergies are not always actually a good idea. Most companies have traditionally thought they are, but the world has changed.
It is more demanding and quite simply it is a tough market out there; focus on what you are good at, world class at, and do it.
This means that backwards or reverse integration is not the answer. Outsourcing is. Unless you are world class at it. (You get the gist). Japanese car manufacturers realised very early on that they were not as good as the electronic companies at making stereos, so they did not try and complete, they just struck up a deal. Get good at finding who in the market can deliver what you need for you, via procurement channels. Or have a look here.
3. IGNORE your customer. Yep, you read that right. Ignore them. Not on everything, of course, answer the phone, respond to e-mail and help them.
But think what would have happened if Steve Jobs had asked the mobile phone using public what they wanted from a phone and then given it to them? It would not have been anywhere near the i-phone by a long, long way. He didn’t ask, he gave them something they hadn’t even dreamed of yet.
4. Customise your output in what ever you do. Make it fit the needs of what you are doing not the other way around.
These are the highlights, there was a lot more!
If anything has struck you, contact us. If point 4 has struck a chord and you want to talk about how our content could be modified to fit your needs, PLEASE contact us. We shan’t follow our own advice concerning point 3!