What is it that your organization does? Sure there are lots of things. But, what’s the core product or service that brings the most value to customers AND generates the lion’s share of the profit?
That’s the core . . . the roots of the enterprise . . . the cornerstone or foundation of the business.
While over the years we’ve branched out to serve customers around the world with parts, service, engineering and training support, our core business is rooted in the imaging equipment trade. Everything we do is built upon and around the framework of buying and selling radiology equipment.
New ideas and opportunities begin to be viewed through the lens of “how can this serve our current customers, provide value to others in the imaging community AND support the already existing businesses?”
Over the last several months, I’ve been reminded of this quote again and again…
But we love new. Like a largemouth bass, we love things that shine and shimmer. So often we have a natural propensity to chase after things that we see flickering out of the corner of our eye. We tend to spend 20% of our time, energy and dollars investing in what generates 80% of the resources and the other 80% trying to grow the secondary opportunity or troublesome yet launch 3-4 sidebar initiatives in hopes that one will pop. After all, diversification’s the ticket right?
Often times the disciplined decision to “stay the course”, “build on what we have” or say “no” or “not now” is easily painted into the naysayer corner and discredited with:
“Oh come on John, you’re always down on the new ideas.”
“Sally, you just don’t understand the upside.”
“If we waited for Joe to be ready, we’d never do anything.”
“Kris is so averse to risk that we’re gonna do same old until the industry forces us to change.”
No doubt, every organization is comprised of different personalities, styles and people with greater or lesser tolerance for risk. In each business there are different seasons, opportunities and challenges and so by no means is this a salute to the status quo. After all, people were born to innovate and shape organizations and the world around us.
That being said, the highlighted question of the day is “how can we innovate within and around our core business?” How can we say “no” to the shiny, sexy distraction to provide added focus, capacity and resources to chase ideas and opportunities that tie to an already existing technology or bring value to an existing customer base? What would it look like if our new (ad)ventures were one or two lily pads away versus moving to an entirely different pond?
As we progress together with shiny things waved in front at every turn, we’re finding together that the more we’re able to say “no thanks” to the good, the more we’re able to say “yes” to the great.