Are You Doing Business as Usual

Business as usualAt a recent annual meeting with one of my EOS clients, the leadership team, as part of the process, challenged their entire strategic plan. In EOS terminology, they examined the answers to the eight questions in their Vision/Traction Organizer (V/TO). You can download a copy here.

For now I will focus on just one question – What is our Target Market? This client had several market segments within their target market definition. To stimulate discussion, I asked them if they were they going to enter this next fiscal year doing business as usual? “What do you mean?”, they asked. “Have you challenged your assumptions about any, or all, of these markets in the past few years or are you just going there because that is where you always go?”, I responded. After a few more questions and answers they decided to create a description of each of these markets using several variables – based initially on the groups’ gut instincts, to see if any warranted further analysis.

With their markets listed down the left side of a white board, they created a set of columns with the following headings,-

  • Revenue – Two Years Ago
  • Revenue – Last Year
  • Revenue Projected Next Year
  • Market Revenue Opportunity (Large, Medium, or Small)
  • Market Share (Large, Medium, or Small)
  • Market Dynamics (Growing, Stagnent, Shrinking)
  • Competition (Big, Some, None)
This exercise helped bring focus to the question of ”should the company make some different investment decisions in terms of people, channels, R&D, engineering, etc for these markets or even stay in them?”. Their CFO said that she had always had a feeling for each market but had never seen them all together like this. It presented a cohesive view of all their markets and a great indication of where additional research might be needed. Your column headings might be different, but if you haven’t done an exercise like this lately, you might find it very useful.

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