Believing in Better
There is no doubt that how business is being done around the world is imploding with transformational change. And yet many business leaders still believe that the secret to growing their business is more about being better than it is about being different.
Oh, they talk the innovation talk but they walk the continuous improvement walk. What other explanation could there be for the fact that the continuous improvement movement has managed to become a multi-billion-dollar industry?
Every morning your toughest competitors wake up determined to get better too. And since there are only so many ways to get better at something, there you all are. Treading water in a sea of sameness. Same products, same services, same marketing, same business models.
Does anybody see the ‘same’ problem that I do?
Better isn’t good enough anymore
Let me repeat that. Better isn’t good enough anymore.
Getting better isn’t a competitive advantage. It’s what our customers have every right to expect us to do. It’s the price that we pay for the privilege of continuing to play in the sandbox that we call business.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that getting better isn’t important. What I am saying is that better isn’t enough to differentiate you from your competition anymore.
Because when the best (that would include you) are competing with the best, being better doesn’t make you different. It makes the you the same.
And being the same, means you don’t stand out.
And not standing out, means you don’t get noticed.
And if you can’t get noticed, you can’t get heard, and if you can’t get heard, you can’t get the job done. Whatever getting the job done means for you.
And not getting the job done can be very bad for business.
Think about it. What does ‘better’ really mean?
Better means looking at something that already exists and assuming the basic premise of that something is sound. And if something is fundamentally sound, then all we really need to do is tweak it, right?
Not to mention the fact that tweaking is easy, tweaking is safe and what’s really exciting about tweaking is that there is probably a tweaking consultant right around the corner that you can hire to ensure the success of your tweaking project. Small tweaks, big tweaks, single tweaks or tweaks galore – a tweak is still a tweak.
And a tweak does not a competitive advantage make!
Different is the New Better
The reality is that the only viable and sustainable competitive advantage that any of us have left in today’s unpredictable and unforgiving marketplace is not just to be better. It’s to be better and different.
Not different for the sake of being different.
Different in a way that will help you stand out in the marketplace.
Different in a way that will help you sell on value instead of price.
Different in a way that will help you to drive more customers, more revenue and more growth in your business.
Better is what is takes for your business to survive.
Different is what is takes for your business to thrive.
Better keeps you in the game.
Different helps you win the game.
Better is the way things are.
Different is the way things need to be.
Better is doing what is expected.
Different is daring to do the unexpected.
Better is about incremental improvement.
Different is about transformational change.
Better begins with some basic assumptions.
Different assumes that there are no assumptions.
Better rearranges the pieces of a pre-existing puzzle.
Different redefines the word puzzle completely.
Better is what your competitors are trying to do.
Different is what your competitors would never have the courage to do.
Better is important.
Different is essential.
Different is the new better.
How will you perform in the eye of the storm?
What role will you play in our battle to stay relevant?
What charges will you lead in these times of revolution?
What contribution will you make to the evolution of this noble institution that we call ‘business’?
So here is what you need to ask yourself.
Are you better or are you different or are you both?
Because if all that you are is one or the other
then it’s time to get working on being one and the other.
And when push comes to shove,
no-one knows better than you
that the only real question
is what are you going to do…
To take your business from where it is to where you have always believed it could be.
What if the only thing standing between where you are today and where you have always believed you could be is the courage to let go of where you have already been.
Imagine the Possibilities!