Do you admire business leaders like Henry Ford, Steve Jobs or Jeff Bezos? Why… because they were great at financial reviews or quarterly investor calls? Great leaders march to a different beat, and so must you. Consider these practical leadership tips to build your own legacy as a great business leader.
Benchmark your growth capabilities, and chart a multi-year improvement plan with our free B2B Growth Diagnostic.
The vitality index—percent of sales from new products—is a metric you should keep using. But it’s not predictive, prescriptive or precise. Consider 2 leading-indicator metrics from The AIM Institute: The Commercial Confidence Index (CCI), and the Growth Driver Index (GDI)… both quite easy to run.
Use this free diagnostic to find out your CCI and GDI, and benchmark your growth capabilities.
You’ll continue seeing innovations for how we innovate… but you should critically assess them with a “B2B filter.” Take Lean Startup. It offers some good ideas, but it can encourage you to develop and show prototypes to B2B customers before having an intelligent conversation with them. Now that’s just silly.
More in white paper, Lean Startup: Expanding the Build-Measure-Learn Cycle
A sales force is fine, but why not add a “learning force”? You don’t have this today if you’re hiring, training and rewarding your sales force to sell for today, not learn for tomorrow. But you could turn them into an “early warning system” that allows you to pursue market innovation at just the right time.
More in white paper, Timing is Everything: Exposing Deep Flaws in B2B Innovation Today
Ignoring your future is a bad idea for 3 reasons. First, foresight wins battles… so compete for industry foresight, capability-building and then market share. Second, see why the future is more knowable than most realize. Third, you want to be the disruptor, not disruptee. Consider Amazon, Uber, and Apple.
Get your set of Future Scenes Trend Sheets now.
Successful companies reap huge financial reward from bold, transformation projects. They probably approach them differently than you do today. Consider this 5-step process to safely and rationally process all the potential “landmines” that could otherwise blow up budgets, schedules, and reputations.
Learn more about project de-risking.
Don’t let the Ansoff matrix cause you to fear unfamiliar markets and technologies. Start by treating “risk” and “uncertainty” as different beasts. You’ll be bolder and more successful in driving from uncertainty to certainty when you plan with the FAQS map (Facts, Assumptions, Questions, Surprises).
More in article, Innovating in Unfamiliar Markets: How to De-risk Transformational Projects
Treat technology development and product development differently. The former is science-facing and turns money into knowledge. The latter is market-facing and turns knowledge back into money. This “separation thinking” applies to voice-of-customer: You should “test silently” any technology you have.
More in article, Should you develop new products like Steve Jobs?
A stage-and-gate process is helpful in managing the interface between your company and project teams. But by itself it leads to internal focus and a checklist mentality. Build another interface on top… between these teams and the customers they hope to satisfy. This interface is called customer insight skills.
More in article, Should Your Stage-Gate® Get a No-Go?
Most B2B companies are far too “relaxed” about their product launches. Here’s a good roadmap: The Right Product delivered to the Right Market using the Right Message through the Right Media. This especially helps you make market-specific choices from 9 traditional and 9 online promotional media.
More in ebook, 12 New Rules of B2B Product Launch