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Profit from Adding the Right Allies to Prosper from Important Trends

Mar 12, 2008
A good way to narrow your search for allies is to consider the combinations of allies who could be most effective in working with the irresistible forces facing your enterprise.

Who are the allies that will make you and your enterprise most effective in working with the irresistible forces?

To answer this question, you need to start with a perspective on the whole range of activities that your company does and should be doing. Then, considering that broader perspective, overlay your understanding of where irresistible forces will make a difference. The intersection of the two perspectives should be the top priority for where allies are needed.

For example, if you have innovative designs but even more innovative competitors, what skills are needed to overcome the irresistible force of ever more innovative competition?

If you are a manufacturer, the answer to this question will probably include new ways of producing the goods, new ways of providing error-free performance for customers, more customer-friendly ways to work with your company, and faster availability of future innovations. Internal allies in manufacturing innovation, market research, service innovation, and new product design will be helpful at a minimum. Some of the best practices for what you do reside in other parts of your own company, and you do not even know they exist.

But don't stop there. Now look for external allies who can further extend your effectiveness in these areas. Such external allies could include people in organizations that monitor best practices in manufacturing and customer preferences in your industry, custom designers of systems to improve service, and those who study how to streamline innovation processes.

How can you attract these potential allies?

You'll have to get to know them or know them better before you can answer this question. The key point of creating an alliance is for potential allies to see you and your enterprise as an ally who they cannot be without. This may sound paradoxical, but you have to have something that you can do for potential allies that will either make them much more effective, save them a lot of time, or improve the quality of how they operate.

The ideal ally, then, is one for whom you can provide this assistance with very little effort on your part. A good way to start is to ask the people involved what issues they are facing that you may be a good resource for. A corporate planner once held a conference of operating executives and found that business planning was taking up too much time.

The corporate planner then worked with the executives to design a new process that both produced better plans and actions, and reduced the time involved. The changes were possible because of the desire of all involved to spend more time on the important challenges of new irresistible forces among rapidly changing consumers of the company's products. The executives earned much higher bonuses as a result, and were eager to work with the corporate planner in the future when he posed areas of possible mutual interest.

How can you make your ally and you both more effective? To have time and resources to work with you, you will need to help your ally. The sooner you provide this help, the better.

For example, if your ally is having a profit problem that is taking up enormous amounts of time due to weak sales because of a changing irresistible force, you could independently search out solutions that you are better equipped to locate for your ally before being asked. If the market research department works for you, you could commission a small study to find out what responses will work best in the ally's market place and share those ideas with your ally. You might also have the market research people do a best practice study to find out how others have best adapted to what you uncover.
About the Author
Donald Mitchell is an author of seven books including Adventures of an Optimist, The 2,000 Percent Squared Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution Workbook, The Irresistible Growth Enterprise, and The Ultimate Competitive Advantage. Read about creating breakthroughs through 2,000 percent solutions and receive tips by e-mail by registering for free at

http://www.2000percentsolution.com .
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