Recommended reading: Blue Ocean Strategy

One of my favorite books:

W. Chan Kim and Renee Maubergne provide readers with a powerful way to look at your business, your competitors, and the marketplace to identify opportunities for differentiation and innovation. Their strategy canvas is the best strategic tool of the book, in my opinion, although their 4 Actions Framework is also a useful version of a familiar innovation process.

Lots of business books spend too much time talking about theory and not enough time offering practical guidance. But Blue Ocean Strategy was very actionable. I ended up with a HUGE list of opportunities that I’m implementing.

[UPDATE FROM 37 MONTHS LATER: I can report that the actionable ideas I uncovered using Kim and Maubergne’s book played a significant role in my business’ success. In the past 3 years, I have seen a dramatic improvement in business positioning, client quality, revenue, and profit.]

Business Diamond Framework: A new way of looking at business

The Business Diamond Framework™ is a new way of looking at a business.

There are many different kinds of businesses but all of those businesses perform the same four functions to achieve their unique ends. Those four functions can be depicted like this:

bdf-w-words-full

Leadership” represents the vision-casting and management of decision-makers. “Value-Add” represents the input-side of the business’ supply chain, which might include information or raw materials. “To-Market” represents the output-side of the supply chain, which includes marketing, sales, distribution, and other steps to bring a completed product or service to market. And “Support” represents the critical but non-revenue-generating functions of the business, which usually includes payroll, reception, HR, and other departments.

Introduction to the Business Diamond Framework

The Business Diamond Framework&trade is a tool I’ve created in the past couple of years to help businesses achieve profitable growth. From time to time, you’ll read about the Framework and how you can apply it to your business.

The Business Diamond Framework™ started life as a way for me to quickly understand my clients’ marketplace, goals, and needs so that I could write for them more effectively. But later, it became a tool that helped businesses to learn more about themselves, to develop competitor-defying innovation, and to implement strategy effectively.

Here’s why it’s relevant: Businesses want to grow but a growth path is not clearly laid out for them. They need to create strategy but which strategy to choose? There are a multitude of strategic development tools out there, but which ones are the right ones?

That’s what the Business Diamond Framework™ solves. The Framework combines two things:

  • A new way to think about a business
  • A methodology

Favorite commercials: The most interesting man in the world

My favorite commercials right now are for Dos Equiis. “The Most Interesting Man in the World” is a brilliant series and have done what plenty of other marketing has failed to do: Entice me to buy their product. The beer is decent (I’ve tasted better, I’ve tasted worse) and I have no illusions about actually becoming interesting, but the commercials entertain and — more importantly — the stick. When I’m at the beer store I see Dos Equis, I laugh at the memory of the commercial, and I buy the product.