Posted by: ebcbroadcast | October 3, 2012

How To Make Your Business Stand Out

Article re-posted from

Tim O’Connor of My  wrote a great blog titled “Why you should pick a fight” that really got me thinking. He explained that it’s getting harder and harder to stand out. Increased competition and globalization have created a multitude of players in every industry, each vying for the attention of buyers. Add to that advances in technology and communications which inundate your buyers with a constant flood of marketing messages. How do you get your marketing messages to cut through?

Tim explained that the only way to break through the noise is to be remarkable, be different, and, in some cases, be on the edge of outrageous to get the market’s attention. Another way of being remarkable is by strategically picking a fight, either with a competitor (often the industry leader) or some other element of the industry that is an annoyance or roadblock for the entire sector.

3 great strategic questions.

Tim suggested you ask the following three questions. I decided to put our Business Execution Software through this process as an illustrative example (note: these answers below are my personal opinions):

1. How is our firm different from the industry leader (or nearest competitor), and how could we leverage that difference to create some remarkable, conspicuous conflict within the industry?

For most of our 16 year history has been a consulting firm that helps our clients to create One Page Strategic Plans, and then implement our disciplined business execution methodology into their business to make sure those plans get implemented. More recently, we developed software to measure results and support our clients to achieve their goals even faster.

Peter Drucker said “The best way to predict the future is to create it”. As the functionality of our software evolved, it suddenly dawned on us that we were creating the future of the business consulting industry – something we now call Business Execution Software.

This new innovation caused immediate industry conflict. Not only is this new technology disruptive to our competitors – but it even created internal conflict with some of our team members who were reluctant to let go of the past.

2. What major sticking point exists for all players in our industry, which – if it could be resolved – would provide one company with a significant strategic advantage?

We observed many business leaders developing variations of excel spreadsheets or Google docs to track their key performance indicators and manage their projects. There was a need in the market that was not being solved, so business leaders were doing their best to create an in-house solution to measure performance, make performance visible, and to hold people accountable for achieving their goals.

Their goal was to engage everyone in the company to play their part to implement the company strategy, but the lack of a simple, easy to use solution that every employee in the company would adopt was the big sticking point.

3. Who’s looking to pick a fight with us?

I think of software as being like “a consultant at the push of a button”. It’s a tool that provides ideas, answers, and a process to help you make good strategic decisions in real time. Not only that – the software then “kicks your ass” to make sure you and your team execute those decisions.

We transformed from being a consulting firm that uses software to support our consultants, to being a software firm that uses consultants to support our software. The entire consulting industry has just woken up to the fact that this technology replicates many of the functions that traditional consultants perform for their clients. The industry is gunning for us now, (or contacting us wanting to be resellers). Let’s get ready to rumble !!

How about you?

Who are you picking a fight with? Remember, it does not have to be with a competitor firm. You can pick a fight against the traditional way of doing things – where you can see a better way.

At your next management meeting – try asking your team these 3 Great Strategic Questions and see what you come up with.

I dare you to pick a fight!

Stephen Lynch
Chief Operating Officer – Global Operations –


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