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Don't Be Blinded by Spreadsheet Illusions of a Golden Future

Apr 26, 2008
Blinded by misleadingly reassuring memories of past successes that are buttressed by spreadsheet promises of prosperity, company leaders often grope their way into unseen danger and disaster. At best, they just waste their time and some money. Meanwhile, the company executives overlook vast, reliable paths to future success all around them.

One secret of advancing toward the ultimate competitive advantage is to do more of what works and less of what does not. And the one thing I've found that works most often is continual business model innovation developed through an effective process.

Such innovations almost always lower the enterprise's needless costs for stakeholders, and, more importantly, they deliver more customer benefits at the same time.

Work on improving the performance of existing business models often does the opposite because such performance-improving plans generally call for cutting resources while attempting to keep customer benefits unchanged. In this pursuit, customer benefits usually decline due to disruptions from the change and the reduced resource level.

How does providing a successful business model innovation create multiplied benefits for all concerned? For one thing, customers like the new model better. Fewer go to a competitor. They tell their friends, which makes it easier to get more customers.

Employees enjoy their work more and aren't as inclined to leave you. Partners see you as a source of valuable ideas that they have a hard time successfully generally for themselves. Your innovations draw their attention and support.

Suppliers gain more business and find you more open to new ideas. They bring you their best innovations first.

Shareholders like the more rapid growth in revenues and earnings. They will hold their stock and may buy more when prices dip. Potential shareholders will be intrigued and buy in also. Your stock-price multiple will rise.

You can use that stock rise to reward employees better through prior grants of lower-priced stock options, and you can also sell stock to raise capital less expensively to grow your business and to acquire other businesses. You can also sell high-priced shares to retire debt and raise cash to help you weather bad times.

The communities you serve will prosper and be proud of you. When you need cooperation for an improvement such as enhancing local public education to ensure a better workforce, citizens will seek to speed up the change process because they are in partnership with you. With each successful innovation, these connections and mutual support increase.
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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