Adopt a Lean Approach to Strategy

By creating an agile strategy, your company should be able to drive actionable insight and develop an informed plan. When executed effectively, a lean framework approach to strategy should focus on three interrelated steps. These steps will design an informed road map, which should achieve results quickly.

  1. Investigation 

Understanding the current marketplace trends will help to access the competitive landscape facing your organization. An understanding of customer personas and their engagement journey, as well as stakeholder and market interviews will prioritize key criteria of the value, which should be aligned with the objectives of the business.

  1. Formulation 

This involves exploration of the existing and future strategic plans while harnessing market trends, a customer experience audit, and a competitive analysis that identifies unconsidered opportunities.

  1. Activation 

The final step is to combine all initiatives that have passed the internal strategic audit and aligns with the overall business strategy and opportunities. These opportunities should then be evaluated through the value to your target audience and to your business. Ultimately, your organization must have the ability to execute the strategy effectively and consistently.

The prioritized opportunities with the highest value will form the basis for your lean activation plan. Lastly, your lean strategic plan should have a properly crafted business case, which includes a cost-benefit analysis, technological assessment, projected ROI, and a multi-phase road map for ongoing innovation.

Adopting lean principles for strategy ensures that complexity, rigidity, and friction are replaced with simplicity, adaptability, and speed. Accelerating market demands can only be combated through accelerated road-mapping developed through actionable insights and informed planning.

6 Steps for a Valuable Business Idea

You have finally thought of an innovative concept and now you’re challenged with translating this idea into something useful and practical. Also, how do you make sure a successful and profitable business results from your idea? Most new business ideas are never completed or implemented since people often don’t understand the process of converting their ideas into a real business. Small businesses often have the chance to provide some practical and smart innovations since smaller organizations typically foster increased creativity. The larger an organization, the more chance a great idea will just get ‘lost’ in translation, or office meeting. But how do you translate your idea into a business? Here are 6 steps to help you navigate the way.

1. Take your Time

Don’t jump the gun. Take time to think about your idea, but you start advertising your game changing idea! The more you think about it, the more concrete the idea will become and the easier it will be for you to communicate it. This is vital to getting acceptance and implementation. Discussing your idea with close colleagues and friends can also help flush out the concept and the practical ways of implementing. They will often become your greatest supporters when you promote the idea.

2. Evaluate the Idea

This is critical for success. Many businesses have an assessment or evaluation process for new ideas. Making sure that there is a need or that your idea provides a solution is important. Be objective in your evaluation(s) and it will pay off in the future.

3. Know the Benefits

All businesses are interested in increasing their profit line, but your idea may also provide other benefits. Other examples include raising employee morale or the public image of the company. You should prepare a list of potential benefits that can arise from the implementing your idea.

4. Know How to Implement

You need to realistically and practically consider how your idea can be implemented into the company’s processes or procedures. Knowing how to best ease companies and the market into accepting change can be a challenge. Making this transition as easy and as positive as possible will greatly increase your chances for success. Be sure to discuss the idea with the people who will actually be implementing and using your idea. Remember to compile feedback on the impact of the idea and if they have any helpful suggestions.

5. Find and Keep Support

Discussing your idea with your colleagues, acquaintances, family, friends, business contacts, etc. will help to you find support for your idea. Remember to give credit where credit is due and acknowledge those who have given you suggestions to make your idea a practical reality. This will also increase credibility. Sharing your idea with several people in various industries before you formally launch and sell the idea should help increase acceptance. It also allows you to prepare you for your initial launch and sale. Keeping support by providing updates and asking for feedback or advise will also keep you idea top of mind.

6. Sell It

Be sure to focus on your idea’s unique value proposition, what benefits it will provide and what marketplace need it will fill or solve. Sell your idea in a positive way that reflects what is most important. Conducting market research can greatly increase success in step 6.

Lastly, don’t waste a great idea! Creativity and innovative solutions can give careers, businesses, markets and economies successful boosts.  Good luck on creating the next big thing! 

The Truth About Startups & 5 Helpful Tips



It’s simple; startups are a lot of hard work.

No one is going to argue that fact, or try debating it. While they may be a lot of hard work, startups are still fun and vastly fulfilling.

They require loyal commitment and also take up an exuberant amount of time and typically rely upon a centered small, lean team who work long hours. Hopefully, these teams are innovating and creating products and services that stand out from the crowd. It is guaranteed that your company will battle against tight market competition eventually and it’s best to be prepared. Innovation and strategic is a must if you want to stay ahead of the proverbial game. If you aren’t innovating and keeping ahead of your competitors then you are falling behind or closing your doors. If you are successful at being innovative, remember to protect it. Even if it is time consuming or expensive, it is worth it.

Being innovative isn’t simply enough anymore and protecting your innovation is important not only for your business to succeed, but also to establish and receive investment.

The more barriers against competition that your startup can provide will help increase your credibility and longevity. That and investors will inevitably have more interest in your company.

5 Helpful Tips for Startups

1. Sell the promise: There are two ideal times to raise money for a startup: before your launch and when you start experiencing your growth curve. Before you launch you’re ultimately selling the guarantee of your vision (which is unquantified).

2. Ask for advice – the money comes later: Tell people you’re not raising money because when you ask for money you get advice. If you go out and ask for advice you’ll get money (and advice). That being said all startups are raising money, but it’s about how you approaching finding investors. The key is finding the right advice, money and investor for your company.

3. Write down all that advice: Take detailed notes during and after meetings with smart people. Ask short questions and record the answers. (e.g. ‘what do you think?,’ ‘what your favorite part?,’ ‘would you use it? how?,’ ‘who do you think would have feedback on this?’)

4. Take your time: Get it right the first time. Take your time and prepare and test everything. Create a solid product and a structured company that can support its success.

5. Market and plan for a big launch: If your launch isn’t generating buzz or being picked up by some media outlets, you’ve done something wrong. You only get one launch so take your time and make it worth the wait. Emails, tweets and social media interaction generally acceptable before going to the press about a beta test and product launch. Most importantly, ask for help when it comes to commercializing new products.