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What One Thing Can Most Improve a Company's Growth and Profits?

Apr 17, 2008
"You must become an ignorant man again
And see the sun again with an ignorant eye
And see it clearly in the idea of it."
-Wallace Stevens

My investigation shows that having the best process in your industry for continuing business model innovation will make the most difference in growth, profits, and long-term success.

How did I learn this? I measured what the leaders of the fastest growing companies did for a decade. In the course of that investigation, I found that those who kept improving business models every 3-5 years were the biggest winners.

Centuries pass from the time an important idea is first expressed to its widespread implementation. For example, universal literacy and education were advocated after the printing press was invented. Their widespread application did not begin, however, in many countries until the latter half of the nineteenth century. Even today, these basics are not observed in all countries.

Businesses didn't begin to study how to systematically improve until the twentieth century. Today, most ways to improve are ignored in more businesses than they are used. That's because a business can focus on only a few things. You need simpler, more effective ways to improve.

The most fundamental concept of progress is that of continual learning. Yet businesses have been slow to pick up on that concept and apply it sporadically and only to parts of what a company does.

Most organizations focus on learning to do better what they did poorly yesterday, activities that usually aren't very important for tomorrow. For example, endless studies will go into fine tuning a mass production line, when the company really needs to learn how to make better, customized products inexpensively. That's like stooping to pick up a penny while a hundred dollar bill wafts by unnoticed.

Instead, you need to work on what will help you and your stakeholders (including but not limited to customers, end users, employees, partners, suppliers, distributors, lenders, shareholders, the communities in which you operate, and the parts of society that you impact) the most.

The tasks are continually performing business model innovation, finding better ways to prepare for unexpected future events, and enhancing your highest potential performances that supply the most valued benefits. Most companies totally ignore one of these three areas. Many ignore all three.

It's no wonder that so many companies briefly prosper before withering. Yet you can learn how to do all three tasks superbly. When you do, you'll have the ultimate competitive advantage.
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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