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Use Measurements to Check Your Perceptions of Irresistible Forces and Powerful Trends

Mar 26, 2008
First, you need an inventory of your irresistible forces and powerful trends. Then, you need to measure those forces and trends.

Because you probably haven't spent much time thinking about and studying many of the irresistible forces listed in your inventory before now, you'll probably find that your perceptions of the irresistible forces are often inaccurate or out-of-date. A critical step in your application of irresistible force management is to use measurements to refine your understanding of the irresistible forces affecting your enterprise. For example, until you have measurements, you will probably mistake the relative importance of the various irresistible forces you should be using to your advantage.

How can you measure or assess the nature, strength, direction, and impact of each irresistible force?

At this point, you will do well to find more measurements than you may actually need. It's important that you not miss important clues about these irresistible forces, and a low level of knowledge now could cause you to miss those clues if you stop measuring too soon.

These measurements should include as many dimensions as possible. For example, how does each irresistible force affect users, customers, distributors, partners, employees, suppliers, competitors, government, and communities? How is the influence different for your various products and services?

You'll need to use both external and internal measurements to get a complete perspective. For example, government data may give you a handle on what is happening to a certain group of customer (such as those defined by an SIC code) that is of interest to you. Industry data may be helpful for perspectives on competitors, customers, and users. Your own market research may be very valuable for adding business- and productive-specific perspectives concerning competitors, customers, and users as well. Be sure to gather data on users of competitors' products, also, as a point of comparison.

You may be surprised by how many valuable measurements are available. Most businesses capture very few measurements about their irresistible forces. Even the irresistible force measurements that are captured may be stashed inaccessibly in different parts of the organization so that they may have never been seen together. Make sure that effective communication of the measurements and their meanings is part of your measurement program.

How do the irresistible forces differ from your and your company's initial perceptions of these forces?

If you are like most people, you'll find that many of your perceptions about irresistible forces are off-target to some degree or another. In addition to analyzing how perceptions differ from the actuality, it's important to understand why those misperceptions have occurred.

Were your perceptions once accurate, but circumstances have since changed? Are your perceptions based on interaction with your largest customers, who are not typical of everyone who uses your products and services?

By answering these kinds of questions, you'll learn a lot about strengths and weaknesses you and your business have in developing information about your enterprise's environment.
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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