In this day and age where technology is continuously offering new ways of doing things, the competitive landscape has never been greater. So, how can organizations not only survive, but also thrive. I believe there are many answers to that question, but there is one that I would say belongs near the top and that is, “FOCUS”.
It is impossible to be an organization that tries to be all things to all people. You don’t have enough manpower, or financial resources to pursue excellence on several different fronts at the same time.
With that in mind, I think it would be wise for organizational leaders to heed the advice from Jack Welch, former CEO of GE.
“When I became CEO [of GE] in 1981, we launched a highly publicised initiative: Be number one or number two in every market, and fix, sell or close to get there. This was not our strategy, although I’ve often heard it described that way. It was a galvanising mantra to describe how we were going to do business going forward [. . .] Our strategy was much more directional. GE was going to move away from businesses that were being commoditised toward businesses that manufactured high-value technology products or sold services instead of things.”
Leaders, when is the last time you audited your product lines or divisions in view of the competitive landscape? Is your focus as crystal clear as Jack Welch’s to pursue being number 1 or number 2 in your industry? and if you can’t be number 1 or number 2, do you have the courage to acknowledge the reality of your situation and make the difficult decisions necessary to make the needed changes ?