A Common Thread to Exceptional Performance

A Common Thread to Exceptional Performance

By: Christine Hollinden

Today’s business environment is a blurred reflection of what we experienced in the 90’s. Despite all the economic, technological, competitive, and financial challenges, thousands of organizations have continued to achieve long-term success. A study of 25,000 companies, recently released by Deloitte, revealed what business leaders have sought for years - there are indeed common threads to achieve exceptional success. The findings were surprisingly simple.  

The common thread to exceptional performance could be traced back to three guiding principles: 

  1. Build Differentiators. The study clearly shows that outstanding performance is a result of focus on greater value creation. You must have a clear picture of your firm's competitive positioning and profitability formula. Then, focus on your firm’s true differentiators - expertise, service, innovation, knowledge leadership - and allocate resources to those initiatives that contribute the most to enhancing your firm's differentiation.
  2. Focus on Revenues. Prioritize increasing revenue over decreasing cost. We’ve all heard that common phrase, “you have to spend money to make money.” That old saying is now quantified. Just remember to invest in the right places and consistently evaluate where you are spending to ensure you’re getting an adequate return. 
  3. Embrace Change. Exceptional organizations embrace change to maintain differentiation and revenue generation. Team development, operational excellence, leadership, culture, and reward systems are all important IF Rules 1 and 2 precede them. 

It’s difficult not to get wrapped up in the complexities of the day-to-day, but this is an excellent reminder that when we drill down to the basics and narrow our focus, the probability of success increases. What does this mean to your firm? As you begin your strategic planning for 2014, consider how your firm will achieve exceptional success. You must have a workable strategy that is both creative and flexible enough to stay within these three guiding principles.