For leaders, winning is not a one-off exercise, it is a consistent lifestyle. There are certain basic questions that are strategic to your identity as a business:
- Who are we?
- What is our Unique Selling Point (USP)?
- What is our Competitive Advantage over others?
- What value are we adding and to whom?
Some companies do not have clear answers to these questions even though they form the bedrock of every enterprise.
Executives from fourteen companies including Apple and Ikea, were profiled using an online tool called “The Strategy That Works Profiler”. This tool was used to find out how they are matching their identity to their business strategy, and determine if they are producing the expected results. It was discovered that only 57% presented a distinctive picture of their brand in relation to their strategy. Others executed a sales drive to ensure growth by creating product after product, in a bid to align the company with existing market opportunities rather than attempt to carve a niche.
It is not that those executives who were unable to provide answers to the ‘Profiler’ lacked managerial or leadership skills. They were knowledgeable about solving problems and also passionate about moving their companies forward by focusing on sales growth. The challenge was that they simply drove sales without applying strategy or capitalizing on the company’s uniqueness or identity. Leaders with ambiguous company identities need to learn the five acts of unconventional leadership as follows:
- Decide and define your identity and stick with it. Don’t follow sporadic market opportunities that do not align with what your brand is or the value you are meant to create and what you are known for. Be clear on what you want to do best and follow build strategies in line with your strengths.
- Convert your company identity strategy into clear lines of actions adoptable by employees for the overall achievement of the company vision and mission.
- Develop a culture that is reflective of your company’s identity. Let it be seen from the least to the greatest hierarchy of staff and let the attitude, drive and approach be uniform. Examples include excellent customer service or rapid turn around time (T.A.T). Reward and empower members of staff that abide by it as an incentive and encouragement to others.
- Let your budget reflect your objectives. Don’t spend much on resources that do not add to the overall goal. Let focus be placed more on projects that help the company move forward and further portray your ideals. Invest in your strengths and cut off irrelevancies.
- Strive to improve by creating more advanced methods and technologies that make you stand out. Invest in research and better ways of offering your services. Create your future; don’t wait to react to market fluxes. Be ahead of the pack in your niche. Be irresistible to your clients and win their loyalty through consistency and excellence.
These steps, though all-encompassing, are not the only routes to enterprise success but each guarantees a long-term sustainable result that would ensure company growth.