Instantly Sexier, Smarter & Richer:

The math of having it all…

Recipe for Organizational Wealth

Ingredients: Carefully mix the following:

  • A 23,000 line spreadsheet documenting the savings earned from instituting a ban on business travel, eliminating pay raises and implementing a hiring freeze
  • An unnecessarily long, unnecessarily complex strategic plan
  • A PowerPoint deck with enough slides to ensure the owner of the local print shop can maintain his country club membership, and
  • A jargon filled conference call/town hall combo meeting to give the troops their marching orders that for many, if not most, won’t connect to what they do/should do every day.

Mix well, cross fingers and if the numbers don’t hit, hope for some limiting market factor that will justify your sub-par performance…

Maybe…but doesn’t it sound like the playbook for too many organizations?

Just as focusing on transactions limits the developmental speed and depth of relationships, focusing on the transaction components of business operations may get you over the financial hump this month or this quarter, the strategy is a long-term loser that alienates your customers, discourages employees and focuses precious resources on the wrong things.

I’ve spent my career writing about and researching great companies and I’ve learned that truly great organizations keep the math simple and keep the processes human.  I get the conservative appeal of cost cutting; austerity policies make us look large and in change, like we don’t need adult supervision but, in my experience, shutting down the economic engine of an organization makes little long-term sense to anyone but those that view shareholder value at a this-quarter-at-all-costs proposition and those whose performance bonuses are time bound to now. I’ve seen more organizations save their way into bankruptcy; or worse, irrelevance, than save themselves to prosperity.

If you want your company to succeed, the math is really very simple:

  1. Keep Your Base Solid: The vast majority of your business, the 90% or so of customers/donors/constituents, the ones that that aren’t your biggest or most profitable clients; provide the foundations for operational scale and the revenue you need hunt for big game.

For this group, focus on:

  • Deepening relationships with key contacts
  • Broadening relationships across the client organizations, and
  • Continuously adding value.
  1. Pick Six: No matter the size of the organization, whether for profit or not-for-profit; regardless the industry, geography, or ownership structure, one thing generally holds true. Six or fewer deals will make or break your year– and the fewer the number the greater the risk!!! Win your ‘Pick Six’ and you’ll win the performance period lotto; everyone in your organization will become instantly sexier, smarter and richer. Lose the ‘Pick Six’ and in your mirror will appear a group of people that are not as sexy, as smart or as rich as they should be.

So, with Q4 planning season just around the corner, consider something new. This year, set yourself free from analysis paralysis, prohibit death by PowerPoint and focus on gassing your economic engine by investing in the ‘Pick Six’ deals that will make your year. Done well, this recipe is better than any diet or workout plan and is the surest way to making you and all your coworkers sexier, smarter and richer.

Now if I could just figure out how to lose 10 pounds by 5 o’clock tonight…

Until next week, this is Jeff Kaplan saying, “Stay Connected“….