By Chuck Thomas / in Blog, NPOutlook, VALCORT DNA / February 25, 2013
One of the most difficult tasks in leadership is pointing the ship and keeping it focused every day, week, month and year, upon reaching a critical destination.
To review: Having a clear understanding the values and vision of the organization (V of VALCORT) is essential for creating trust and getting others to join in the quest. Without clarity of this, people can’t understand your direction, buy-in, and invest their own passion, time and energy in accomplishing the vision. Without clarity, its just a job for your employees and low engagement, lackluster energy results.
Knowing the tools in your toolbox, or the assets you have to work with is fundamental (the A of VALCORT). If you don’t know what you have to work with, you’re constantly reinventing, overlapping, creating confusion in the organization as you begin to shift your focus outward. People are not able to use and leverage the advantage of previous investments. Your organization is stuck and ROI is low.
Every CEO must translate their values, vision and marketing assets into meaningful customer value in the market.
Does the CEO and 60/40 vision?
Every CEO asks, “where do we focus? What resources do we invest in what activities? Where will we see the ROI we need to continue to grow?”
My son recently decided to pursue a career flying for the Air Force. As a result, he needed to make sure his eyesight acuity was perfect and engaged the services of Chicago’s top eye surgeon to correct his vision and help him see with perfection. This is an absolute requirement of Air Force pilots as they need to be able to see their destination, and discern the threat of far objects quickly to maneuver around them.
CEOs must have similar acuity of the market. They must be able to focus on the destination and see distractions, obstacles and threats far enough in advance to overcome them.
This is where a lens of the Market (L of VALCORT) helps filter these inputs, provides clarity and focus, and creates a clear path to point the ship to the final destination.
While the leadership of the organization can control the values, vision and build up of assets for going to market, they cannot control the market. It’s a crazy world out there.
The market is filled with unpredictable, ever-changing, fickle customers. These customers are people who are driven by influences, pressures, and personal values that you don’t see and rarely can understand.
And every organization has crafty and brilliant competitors who are working to capture more and more of your customers than you are. They’re trying to stay ahead of you, trying to out-smart, out-execute, out-deliver, and out perform you and your organization.
The fundamental success of any organization pivots on their ability to know, create and manage their unique value to the market. If they have a unique position and a unique value, they can out-perform and out-grow their competitors day after day. They will attract customers and retain them. Their customers understand that no other organization can serve them like they can. Commoditization and selling based on price is replaced with loyal customers, high margin and selling to high value.
How does a CEO gain this insight?
A clear understanding of the Lens of the Market informs the CEO of the opportunity and the path for investment and focus. As the CEO sees the path, he or she begins to point the ship and navigate to the destination. The CEO then can bring all facets ( V and A- values, vision, assets and associations) of the organization into harmony, and, like the facets of a diamond, provide a unique, one of a kind, crystal clear value to the customer.
But let’s face it, the sales team has their perspective, the marketing team has theirs, customer service team thinks they know, and operations is frustrated that the teams can’t get on the same page! Where is the truth in all of this?
Unbiased, outside help is essential.