AstraZeneca or Moderna, The Emotion Wheel, Renting or buying, cost leader and differentiator & Jiffy Lube
11th April 2021 Evolution Partners Newsletter
“When an organizational bias for action drives doing, often thinking falls by the wayside.” – Roger Martin
Hope you’re Thriving!
AstraZeneca or Moderna?
This week I was on a global Zoom call and one of the conversation topics was vaccination. Several people were proclaiming that they were vaccinated, and the question was which vaccine did you receive, and what were the side effects. There was great interest and debate about the different types of COVID vaccine and the pros and cons of each. One person said they were told to take extra Vitamin D before their vaccination, and claimed they didn’t even have a sore arm. All this was quite strange for me because I don’t know anyone who has been vaccinated and hadn’t heard any of these conversations before.
You might not know this about me, but my uncle is one of the very few Australians to have won a Grammy award when he was in the band Asleep at the Wheel.
And that’s what I’m thinking about when it comes to vaccinations in Australia. That someone who is leading the country is asleep at the wheel.
The Emotion Wheel
Onto another wheel, this week I’ve come across the emotion wheel a few times and thought it would be worth sharing with you. Many of you are either YPO, EO or TEC / Vistage members and meet regularly with peer entrepreneurs or leaders in a Mastermind group style setting. In my experience attending these meetings as both a member and guest, one of the key things is the opener. Often a one-word open that sets the tone and describes how you’re feeling, which gives others an immediate insight into your state of mind today.
This is great if you’re a wordsmith, but most people aren’t. That’s where this emotion wheel can be useful. Start at the middle and work your way outward till you decide on one word that best describes your emotion right now as a check in to your forum.
It can also be useful for leadership team meeting icebreakers.
Are you renting or buying?
Imagine you’re looking to buy a house with your partner.
Two houses catch your eye. They’re both the right size in the right neighbourhood. One has had the same owner for the past twenty years. The other has been a rental property for twenty years with fifteen tenants during that time. Now I’m sure one can mount a case that sometimes investment properties are better maintained than owner-occupied homes, but bear with me.
If you’re going to own a home for twenty years, you think differently compared to a person who is a tenant for 6 months or a year.
The analogy of course is how you operate your business or investments.
Long-term thinking is both a requirement and an outcome of true ownership. Owners are different from tenants: many investors are effectively short-term tenants, turning their portfolios so quickly that they are really just renting the stocks that they temporarily “own.”
Equally, many business owners are effectively short-term tenants, effectively thinking only about the short term, and not embracing true ownership. The thought of a 10 to 30-year BHAG is completely foreign to them.
True ownership requires one to principally plan for the long term.
Jeff Bezos and Tim Cook on long term leadership
This week I found comments from Jeff Bezos and Tim Cook about the difference between short term and long term thinking that was almost identical.
Here’s Jeff Bezos: “When Amazon has a good quarter, people congratulate me, and I thank them. But what I’m really thinking is that quarter was baked three years ago. Right now I’m working on a quarter that’s going to reveal itself in 2023. That’s what you need to be doing.”
And here’s Tim Cook: “We run Apple for the long term. It’s always struck me as bizarre that there’s a fixation on how many units are sold in a ninety-day period because we’re making decisions that are multiyear decisions.”
Of course, that requires disciple through strategic planning and execution. And the absence of discipline that we so often see was best captured in this meme I saw this week.
Can you be both cost leader and differentiator?
In his book Playing to Win, Roger Martin details the “transformation” of P&G under co-author A.G. Lafley and the approach to strategy that informed it.
Too often CEO’s allow the urgent to cloud out the important. “When an organizational bias for action drives doing, often thinking falls by the wayside.”
Rather than develop strategies, many leaders tend to approach strategy in one of the following ineffective ways:
- they define strategy as a vision;
- they define strategy as a plan;
- they deny that long-term strategy is possible;
- they define strategy as the optimization of the status quo; and
- they define strategy as following best practices.
“These ineffective approaches,” Lafley and Martin argue, “are driven by a misconception of what strategy really is and a reluctance to make truly hard choices.”
While everyone wants to keep options open as long as possible, only making and acting on choices allow you “to win.” Great organization choose to win — tough choices force your hand but, if you let them, they also focus your organization.”
“In our terms, a strategy is a coordinated and integrated set of five choices: a winning aspiration, where to play, how to win, core capabilities, and management systems. … The five choices make up the strategic choice cascade, the foundation of our strategy work and the core of the book.”
Specifically, Martin says, strategy is the answer to these five interrelated questions:
1. What is your winning aspiration? The purpose of your enterprise, its motivating aspiration.
2. Where will you play? A playing field where you can achieve that aspiration.
3. How will you win? The way you will win on the chosen playing field.
4. What capabilities must be in place? The set and configuration of capabilities required to win in the chosen way.
5. What management systems are required? The systems and measures that enable the capabilities and support the choices.
You can see the authors talking about this in this 5-minute video with the P&G example of Olay.
This week Roger Martin posted an excellent article about the question he is most often asked from readers of the book “why can’t we be both a cost leader and a differentiator?”
From the article:
“In the face of competition, it is unrealistic to be both because cost leadership and differentiation take very different disciplines. A cost leader will choose standardization and will sacrifice non-conforming customers in order to maintain its meaningfully lower costs.
Southwest Airlines co-founder and longtime CEO Herb Kelleher was famous for responding to letters from customers complaining that Southwest didn’t provide features that other carriers did (e.g., business class; advanced seat selection) by encouraging the customer to use the other carriers, happily sacrificing the non-conforming customer in order to protect the standardization of his model.
Differentiators will pursue deep, holistic understanding of customers so that they can build the next increment of value into their product or service. They are always innovating and building the unique value and strength of their brand. Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has spent the past sixty years deepening its understanding of guests in order to customize the guest experience and build the strongest brand in the luxury hotel space.”
I hope you enjoy the article here Can you be both cost leader and differentiator?
This week on The Growth Whisperers podcast
This week on The Growth Whispers it’s our one-year anniversary and we challenge the conventional wisdom about building your business to sell it. When you’re starting your business some people say you need to know your exit strategy, and that you should always know your exit and be planning to sell your business.
But there’s another view: when you start your business, you should expect to run it for 50 years, or 100 years, or generations. That’s the alternative we want you to consider, and building your business so you keep enjoying your business for many years into the future.
Why you should build your business like you’re never going to sell it
Listen to The Growth Whisperers
From the vault
Differentiating activities – Jiffy Lube example
Founded in 1972 Jiffy Lube is a franchised drive-through oil change shop that changes your oil & filters, tops up your other oils and vacuums your car’s interior in less than 10 minutes and without an appointment. Unlike other motor mechanics and vehicle repair shops, Jiffy Lube is only focused on fast oil changes at a low price and doesn’t claim to repair all problems with your car. However the items they do work on, they claim to know very well, use quality materials and provide a low price.
In particular, Jiffy Lube has 3 main differentiating activities;
Only provides lubrication services – not other car repair services
Retail high traffic locations – not industrial estates
10-minute turnaround no appointments required
Patrick Lencioni event
In partnership with The Growth Faculty, Evolution Partners is delighted to offer you $100 discount to see Patrick Lencioni in a live virtual event this April: Patrick Lencioni: 4 Pillars of High-Performance Cultures.
New York Times best-selling author of The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team (plus 11 others), Patrick Lencioni is the global pioneer of the organisational health movement.
McKinsey research shows a healthy organisation delivers roughly 3x the returns to stakeholders than less healthy companies. And, companies that institute initiatives to improve health see tangible performance increases in as little as six months.
Named “one of the most in demand speakers in America” by the Wall Street Journal, Patrick Lencioni will deliver a fast-paced, highly practical event teaching business leaders and their teams how to create a healthy organisation and high-performing culture that takes advantage of the talent within their teams.
YOU WILL LEARN:
Practical and highly entertaining, over 2.5 hours you’ll learn:
• The 4 Disciplines Model of organisational health
• The 5 Essential Behaviours required to build a cohesive and high performing team
• The Ideal Team Player framework for identifying, hiring and developing ideal team players
• The 6 Types of Geniuses – Identify your areas of working genius that allow you to thrive at and enjoy work
• PLUS, interactive Q&A with Patrick
You will leave with immediately actionable frameworks and tools that have transformed thousands of businesses globally.
2021 Agile Leadership Summit event
I invite you (and your leadership team) to join me at the April 2021 Agile Leadership Summit.
This virtual summit is going to be a high-value event with concrete, actionable takeaways.
The three featured Keynote speakers are;
Michael Bungay Stanier
Easy Change vs Hard Change“Easy Change” is likely something you’ve already mastered. But “Hard Change” … well, that thing you find difficult to make progress on.
In this practical session, we’ll dig into:
• the difference between Easy Change and Hard Change, and why it matters
• the most common mistake made in trying to “crack” Hard Change
• the hidden force that’s most likely stopping you make progress on Hard Change
What’s Next?! How to Navigate Customer and Employee Interactions in a Pandemic (and Post-Pandemic) EraAs the pandemic continues to shape the world, businesses face new challenges on a daily basis. Smart organisations recognize that the “old way of doing business” doesn’t work anymore and that waiting and hoping for things to “get back to normal” isn’t a viable strategy. In this practical session, we’ll discover: “what’s next” in order to acknowledge the new reality, adapt to a shifting landscape, and thrive in this new environment
Radical Alignment to a Core Strategy
What are the symptoms of a lack of Core Strategy in a company? What struggles do companies face when they aren’t radically aligned around their BHAG? What strategies and tools will this monograph cover (high-level) that will allow you to address these issues and form a Core Strategy for your company to align divisional strategy around?
Building atop highly-rated North American Summits, the first Australia/Asia Agile Leadership is an opportunity for you and your leadership team to come together for a premium learning experience via a half-day series of keynotes and practical, interactive breakout sessions. You’ll learn in three key areas: how to become a highly-skilled coach CEO for your teams, how to build vision through abundance, and how to implement practical tools that create award-winning companies.
Join us for this half-day of learning on April 29, 2021, from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm AEST for only: $325 AUD.
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