The 5 Pillars of Strategy & Talent
It probably isn’t a surprise to you that your chances of success DOUBLE when you have a business plan in place. But what’s the difference in having an effective plan versus an ineffective plan? The difference is selling vanilla ice cream or selling mint-chocolate chip ice cream.
After completing the Stop Selling Vanilla Ice Cream process over a hundred of times, I’ve boiled down what makes an effective business plan into 5 pillars. If you implement these 5 pillars into your organization, you will achieve what you want.
“With an effective business plan, you will achieve your vision, reach your goals and accomplish what you set out to accomplish.”
The 5 Pillars of Strategy and Talent are:
(Click any of the above pillars to jump to that section)
Differentiation (Define the Why)
What differentiates your business, products and services? A clearly defined competence.
This pillar birthed the Stop Selling Vanilla Ice Cream process. I would be working with leadership teams discussing how to differentiate and I would say, “You have to stop selling vanilla ice cream! You have to sell your mint-chocolate chip ice cream.” Your mint-chocolate chip is why a customer will do business with you vs a competitor.
Fundamentally, every day we do this as consumers when buying shoes, coffee or even getting gas. 77% of consumers make purchases based on a brand name. It’s because we value their competence, consciously or subconsciously, and want what only they can provide.
“It’s the difference between struggling to grow and add new customers versus having more business than you know what to do with.”
How do you define your competence?
Defining your competence and becoming the best at it is built on what we call your foundational strengths. These are the strengths of your organization, what you do best, that become the foundation for your competence.
The difference of selling and delivering in a vanilla ice cream business versus a business that is clearly differentiated, is night and day. Most important, you’ll experience an increase in profits. It’s the difference between struggling to grow and add new customers versus having more business than you know what to do with.
Tangible Value (Prove you’re the best)
A lot of companies talk about how they have the best product or the most effective service, but only few are willing to prove it. How do you prove you’re the best without being a blowhard? Create measurements that show the tangible value your competence brings to current and potential customers. Show them, don’t tell them.
With your current customers, you prove it through business reviews, social media evangelism or even testimonials. For your potential customer, you prove through your marketing and sales process the tangible value they will receive as a customer of yours.
Once you define your competence and put measurements in place to see the tangible value it brings, the next step is pushing the needle and strengthening your competence.
Department Plans (Work ON the business)
Many of the businesses I work with focus too much time working “IN” their business and not enough time creating and executing department plans to work “ON” the business.
An example of this could be creating a process for onboarding new customers in the next 6 months. When the process for onboarding is completed, the execution of it is working “IN” the business.
When you go about creating department plans, they can be every six months or what we like to do at Stop The Vanilla is 4 month sprints. As each department starts knocking off its action plans, the success of your organization will accelerate like a flywheel.
What areas of your business could you work “ON” that would make your competence more tangible and enticing to potential customers?
Plan Execution (Ensuring the work gets done)
The value in department planning only comes when the action plans in each department get executed. Typically, in my experience implementation and execution are often the most difficult things for an organization.
To help you execute your department plans and accelerate the growth and profitability of your organization, make sure all action plans contain:
- A due date
- An owner
- A scheduled time (monthly) for all team members and specific departments to meet to ensure execution of action plans and implementation of new action plans
Meeting to go over the action plans that are due monthly speeds up the growth of your company and creates accountability. And high-performance teams desire and expect accountability.
Talent Management (Identify, select and retain the right talent)
Investing in your talent is no longer an option, it’s a necessity. You can have your competence defined and department plans in place but with the wrong talent, your strategy won’t get executed.
Implementing a talent management system into your organization gives you the ability to identify, select, develop and retain the talent needed to execute your competence. This will not just happen by chance.
After implementing talent management systems into many of our clients, we have found a best practice that helps ensure the greatest ROI when implementing. That is having a Shepherd of the Talent guide and take charge of this initiative.
You can learn more about becoming a Shepherd of the Talent HERE.
Our talent management system (TMS) includes:
- Behavioral Science
- Team Development/Communication
- Leadership/Individual Development
- Proven Selection and Hiring Process
- Job benchmarking
- Customized interviewing
- Company-wide Talent Plan
- Succession Planning
This looks like a lot but once in place, your collective talent will improve year after year making it easier to maintain your TMS. But if we can assist you in implementing a talent management system and building the team to achieve your dream, let us know!
Start increasing profits with the Right Plan and Right Talent
If you implement these 5 pillars into your organization, I am confident you will experience top and bottom line growth. That is because companies choose to do business with companies that know what they’re good at, that continually strive to be the best at it, and have the talent to deliver it.
If you have any questions on how to implement any of these 5 pillars into your business, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our resources tab and all of the stop selling vanilla ice cream templates and processes are available for download.