Leadership Lessons ezine by Mark Sanborn
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book & presentation: Up, Down, or Sideways
Clients often ask me about best practices and what I tell them is that I don’t really believe in best practices. Sure, the concept sounds worthwhile but it really needs a qualifier. It should refer to best practicesfor now. For today’s best practices will be second best next week and obsolete next month.
To really be engaged in best practices we need to continuously innovate. After all, if our competitors are always getting better, we must do the same, or even more. We can ask, “How can we do what everyone else is doing but better?” That’s Better Practices. Or we can ask, “How can we change the game so that everyone’s looking to us for ‘best practices?'” That’s Next Practices.
Consider the rapidly evolving home video market. For years, Blockbuster dominated the market with a model based on brick-and-mortar stores and per-use rental fees (including considerable late fees). Blockbuster was the model of best practices in that market for some time. However, at the height of Blockbuster’s profitability, Reed Hastings and some fellow entrepreneurs launched Netflix.
Hastings was inspired to start the company after being charged a late fee for a video rental. Consumer dissatisfaction with late fees was high. Not surprisingly, Netflix’s first pitch was “No Late Fees.” Netflix also took advantage of an Internet ordering system that offered a wider selection, doorstep delivery, and a pay-one-price, all-you-can-eat fee structure. By the middle of the last decade, Blockbuster’s practices were no longer “best.” Netflix’s were.
Netflix’s rise was meteoric. They discovered next practices. They changed the game. Before long, Blockbuster had abolished late fees and offered Internet ordering. Despite the advantage of also having brick-and-mortar stores, it was too late. By 2010, Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy.
Netflix, on the other hand, continued to innovate. They added a streaming video service that attracted many new customers. Before long, streaming video became best practices in the home video market. Other major players like Apple and Amazon have become competitors. In fact, this month, Blockbuster, now owned by Dish Network, is being re-launched as an Internet video streaming service.
Also this month, Netflix has announced they will no longer offer DVDs ordered over the Internet and delivered by mail. What were hailed as Netflix’s “best practices” just a few years ago are now obsolete. Netflix is spinning off its DVD business as a separate entity, Qwikster, in order to remain competitive in the future of streaming video. The new “best practices” in DVD rental are now the Redbox kiosks outside of storefronts across the country.
Netflix’s move has earned mixed reviews, at best, but if it failed to act, it risked shackling a successful business (streaming video) to a dying one (DVD rental by mail), just as Blockbuster did a few years ago. Netflix will have to innovate even more if it hopes to survive in the long run, perhaps linking itself with content providers or hardware makers or both.
Whether Netflix’s latest move works or not, the lesson of the home video market is that you must be able to deliver value and to anticipate what value is going to be in the future. You have to look at nextpractices. That will distinguish you from those who are simply focusing on “best” practices.
Up, Down, or Sideways: How to Succeed When Times are Good Bad or In Between. Click here https://www.marksanborn.com/up-down-or-sideways/ to download a free excerpt and to order.
Featured Blog: There is no “new normal.” Blog at https://www.marksanborn.com/there-is-no-new-normal/
New Book/ New Presentation:
Up, Down, or Sideways: How to Succeed When Times are Good, Bad or In Between
Can You “Crush” an Economic Curve Ball?
There is global instability in the financial markets, the U.S. faces the threat of another recession, unemployment is high and consumer confidence is low.
How are you doing in your business?
Mark Sanborn has insights that will help you keep hitting it out of the park despite the wicked curves balls you’re being thrown.
In just one year, Mark simultaneously faced a life-threatening shockwave, business challenges and his investments took a serious hit.
Yet, Mark remains convinced this perfect storm of setbacks was the flashpoint of a lifetime. After decades of great success, he was acutely staged to deploy his ‘mastery of the unpredictable.’
Maybe life has pushed your face in the mud while others around you were building monuments. Maybe you’ve said, “I’m doing everything right. I don’t deserve this. Why are they successful…and I’m not?”
The answer is elegant in its simplicity. Your competitors are leveraging ‘the unpredictable.’
Vigilant managers expect unpredictability to pounce from behind every bend. So, they vigorously apply what Mark found to be the six (often malnourished) principles that always insure victory.
Mark’s epiphany was, “setbacks can actually fuel your survival and prosperity”…in economic conditions that go Up, Down, and Sideways.
That’s why you need this presentation.
Sanborn shows your team how to prepare for unpredictability. He coaches you on how to inspire sane leadership during insane times.
Despite the cheerful claim that “we choose not to participate in the recession,” the reality is that your business and customers are affected by such an economic downturn. Mark can show you how to succeed in spite of such challenging conditions.
Up, Down, or Sideways is bursting with actionable ideas.
1. Why “Best Practices” Are a Ticking Time Bomb. Learn how to find “Better Practices” and “Next Practices.”
2. Focusing on the Only Two Ways Any Organization Can Grow. How to determine when your leaders (and their people) have stopped growing. If they aren’t growing, your business has no chance of growing either.
3. Don’t Overthink “Metrics.” Only two interconnected metrics matter: (A) great people and (B) great results. You’ll learn how to consistently inspire both people and profits.
4. How Customer/Client Loyalty Tactics Differ Between Vendors and Partners. You’ll learn what is necessary to build relationships that transition you from “vendor” to “partner.”
5. How to Identify if Employees are WastingYour Money…and Their Time. You’ll leave this program knowing how to get your people to focus on their MVP (most valuable and profitable) activities.
6. Learn The Economic Advantages of Practicing Gratitude. It doesn’t do much good to be grateful if you aren’t demonstrating the most crucial behaviors. You’ll learn the precise values great leaders always “model” to their employees, colleagues and customers.
PROGRAM NOTE: Mark can present this program to a mixed audience of managers and employees – or tailor it specifically to managers and top tier leaders. Please contact his new business manager, Michelle Joyce, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (703) 757-1204 with any questions or to book Mark for your clients’ upcoming events.
Sanborn & Associates, Inc.