The problem we have here at Wordplay, is that we don’t always agree with all the experts.
It’s not that we haven’t read their books, watched their Ted Talks and tuned-in to their podcasts – enthusiastically and with an open mind.
It’s just that when the Emperors stroll around in their new outfits, we sometimes struggle to go along with the pretence. We just see a bunch of bods in the buff.
I guess it stems from the fact that over our combined 70 years at the top of world sport and aviation and from within multi-national groups with iconic global brands, our experience has often been different.
We’ve found that there’s more to business growth than disemboweling competitors, screwing suppliers into the ground and smashing staff into compliance.
We’ve sat in countless presentations from esteemed gurus and watched sceptical managers whisper to each other afterwards in private what they feared to express publicly – and then go off to practice what was preached often to their own detriment.
Take Harvard’s intellectually gifted business school Professor Porter, for example. His Five Forces doctrine has ‘influenced more executives than any other business professor on Earth,’ according to Fortune Magazine. A clear, simple and globally renowned Competitive Strategy. Power leads to profits. The wider the moat, the bigger the market share and the more able a company is to squeeze profits from competitors, suppliers, and customers.
And what about the University of California’s Professor Joe Bain, who developed the Structure, Conduct, and Performance theory. Bain believed that profits followed from power, and that power could be measured by market share. If one company controlled 70 percent of a market, that company could use its power to generate higher margins than a weaker company that controlled only 30 percent.
Shrewd stuff. Of course successful businesses must forensically analyse their competition, erect barriers to market entry, manage costs, optimise their supply chain and the like.
But any organisation that thinks it can flourish today while being tone-deaf to the human element and failing to communicate in a manner that engages people and their passion, is dreaming.
Talk to our coaches. They’re not dreamers.
Here’s a handful of the areas where we spend most of our time and energy.