Employee Promise, Connectom, All Blacks, Oura Smart Ring, Robot Dog & Cullman Liquidation
21st June 2020 Evolution Partners Newsletter
“We don’t get paid for time, we get paid by value” Jim Rohn
Hope you’re Thriving!
It’s been a busy week ‘round these parts!
This week I was a keynote speaker at the Gravitas Leadership summit presenting via Zoom the key concepts from Made to Thrive, and digging deeper into one of the subjects, the Employee Promise. And here’s the key – it’s got to align with your strategy, and be like a magnet for your ideal employees. It was both an honour and humbling to share these concepts with 130 CEOs and 80 coaches, but presenting from 3 am till 5 am my time was a little challenging! More than that, it’s also the end of financial year here in Australia, and as such, 2-day annual strategic planning time for many leadership teams, and with the pandemic a lot of deep strategic thinking has been required.
Interestingly with markets in flux recently, with leaders thinking about how to achieve growth, in the past week twice I’ve had to talk about the cost of discounting with leaders. Understandably they were considering discounting, often at the request of struggling and demanding customers who have their own budgets cut. But discounting comes at a real cost that’s like a hangover. More sales and less gross profit to cover costs.
Together we went through the table below which shows the amount that sales need to increase in order to maintain the total gross profit dollars from this blog post which can be a little confronting, especially when you are thinking about having the discount rescue sales.
The point beyond just being confronting and understanding the impact of the discount is that unless you have built a strategy, a way to be unique and different from your competition that your customers both need and value, you have only one lever to pull which is the price. And that is a very expensive lever to pull.
In order to build a strategy, it’s important to both understand both the internal analysis, external analysis and most importantly understand the broader and narrow context on how to build a strategy, which is where the value of an external advisor or coach comes in. This week I came across this interesting quote from Elon Musk related to this.“It is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree — make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to.”
Then I came across a book called ‘Connectom’ about first principles and how, in order to undertake critical thinking, in order to see the all the ‘dots’, to look for patterns and understand how they intersect, it’s important to understand all the critical components, and how they intersect. From that book, I found the image below interesting.
So in these most challenging times, where a winning strategy is becoming ever more important, if you, your team, your coach or advisor don’t understand the business, the market or importantly how to build a winning strategy to the point that you can look beyond memorising, beyond understanding and actually analyse interconnected patterns it may be worth investing or learning more in this area. Most leadership teams spend most of their time together on operations, and almost no time on strategy.
Those who know me know that I know nothing about rugby. Where I live in Perth Australian Rules Football is the only game in town, and understandably so. I do know one thing about rugby, however, and that’s the New Zealand All Blacks are very successful and have an enduring legacy of greatness. This week I came across the list of 15 All Black principles which I thought you might be interested in. More than Core Values, which describe who you are, they are more akin to a SMaC recipe something I build with leadership teams that help people understand what to do and not do. It’s easy to see how greatness is born from a culture that is nurtured by these principles.
Speaking of winning sports teams, there’s no doubt that the Netflix series The Last Dance about Michael Jordan and ‘arguably’ the most successful NBA basketball franchise ever, the Chicago Bulls is a great insight into the culture of a truly successful team. If you haven’t already seen it, it’s a really good behind the scenes look at what happened and how the team were ruthless to achieve greatness. My favourite quote “Winning has a Price. Leadership has a Price. Are you willing to pay that Price?” A few days ago, the NBA produced a fascinating plan to restart the game in a ‘bubble’ at Disney World in Orlando and protect their players that is both interesting and may provide ideas if you need to bring your team back to work safely. According to CNBC, each player is to wear an Oura smart ring a smart device that is worn on the finger as a ring, that monitors body temperature, respiratory functions and heart rate, and tracks the earliest indicators of COVID-19 with specific patterns of onset, progression and recovery from the virus, being able to predict symptoms up to three days in advance with 90% accuracy.
Of course, the question then is that if you are faced with safely bringing people back to work, are smart wearable devices an option?
Thinking about technology and how it can help us move through the pandemic smart wearables are great, but at the other end, the end which is just a little bit worrying is Boston Dynamics putting their robot dog Spot® for commercial sale this past week for $74,500. This isn’t a friendly robot dog who cares for you, this is the robot we all watched getting kicked and bouncing back time and time again. Its first commercial use? Patrolling a park in Singapore to enforce social distancing.
Last, but definitely not least comes Cullman Liquidation from Cullman Alabama with a very interesting take on marketing. Their particular line of business, selling trailer park homes to folks in rural Alabama USA is perhaps a business which requires a certain finesse to deal with customers. Like any business, they need to align with the needs of their customers and deliver the right thing at the right time at the right price. It’s not going to win a Clio award for the best TV advert, but the Cullman Liquidation TV advert is a masterstroke in appealing to your core customer.
Watch the 1 minute TV advert here
Watch the 6 minute how they made the TV advert here
This week on The Growth Whisperers podcast
On episode 10 of The Growth Whisperers, Kevin Lawrence and I talk about the following.
We’re all human
In these tough times, some employees have been finding it more challenging than others, in normal times they were A players, but recently they have struggled. Kevin and Brad talk about how to deal with these situations, and why it might be an idea to give out a free pass.
Some leaders say the ideal business has no employees and just makes money. The Growth Whisperers discuss how the real joy of leadership comes not from more deals, but helping people grow to become the best version of themselves.
Effective planning for leadership teams
Brad and Kevin talk about how to effectively plan in this environment, and how leadership teams should look for different perspectives and different ways to assess their strategy and situation.
Listen to The Growth Whisperers
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