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Winning In Business

The only alternative to winning in business is...Losing

Our Mission to Help Clients Win

DeltaNet delivers training and coaching services that help good, solid businesses become winning businesses. We help our clients identify their winning causes, unite around those causes, learn more and learn faster about their customers and competitors, and compete to win, one contest at a time.

We fully expect our clients to become leaders if they aren't, or to strengthen their position if they are already leaders.

Peter Drucker's Definition of Winning

These quotes are from page 61 in Peter Drucker's 1974 book, Management. On that single page in his 838 page book, Dr. Drucker asserted the three conclusions below. We believe they are elemental and vital to any business:

Number 1 "To know what a business is we have to start with its purpose. Its purpose must lie outside of the business itself. In fact, it must lie in society since a business enterprise is an organ of society. There is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a customer."

Number 2 "It is the customer who determines what a business is. It is the customer alone whose willingness to pay for a good or for a service converts economic resources into wealth, things into goods. What the business thinks it produces is not of first importance."

Number 3 "Because its purpose is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two - and only these two - basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are 'costs'."

Defining Winning

Billie Jean King's Definition of Winning

We agree 100% with Billie Jean King's definition of winning. She was indeed a winner. She won the Wimbledon championship 6 times and the US Open championship 4 times in her 15 year professional tennis career! She must know something about winning.

Attitude counts! When we have seen that rare startup that takes off to become the leader in its industry, we see a business run by people who not only want to win, they are afraid they will lose. They aggressively take every opportunity they see to win customers from their competitors.

Applied to Startups

When we analyze the startups that didn't take off, we see business run by people who were afraid to win. They shied away from the vital actions required to win because they seemed too risky. They focused on what they already knew how to do, what seemed to be the safe path, because the they were confident in their core competencies.

But focusing on what we already know how to do is the polar opposite of planning for new businesses adopting new technologies, new products, and new ways to do things. Fearing to create the new paradigms within every new technology adoption cycle is simply fear of the unknown. And in this case, it is the fear of winning.

Applied to Industry Leaders

When we review the failure patterns of industry-leading companies, we see a similar pattern. Industry leaders tend to devolve around their high market share businesses — their Cash Cows in the parlance of the famous BCG study. The people in the failed companies were afraid to invest in new technologies, new businesses, and new kinds of customers because that seemed too risky. They focused more and more on what they already knew how to do, what seemed to be the safe path because the they were confident in their core competencies.

But the sure thing that they unwittingly committed to is those Cash Cows would die one day. Their fear of winning in new businesses ensured they would fail as their high market share businesses matured, declined, and died.

Peter Drucker's Definition of Winning

And we agree 100% with Dr. Drucker's definition of winning in business (above). It is powerful in its simplicity. It is concise, fundamentally sound, and crystal clear. Our view of Dr. Drucker's definition is depicted below:

Peter Drucker's Business Model

You can see Dr. Drucker's three elements boiled down to short phrases. You can see the fundamental business transaction - the exchange of products and services for money.

You can see a simplified system containing just two components - the business and the customer. You can plainly see that the purpose of the business must lie outside the business. In the same way, the purpose of this simple system must lie outside the system.

It seems glaringly simple that the definition of winning must be a measure of how well the business serves its purpose: to create a customer. We believe that measure is the degree to which your business is creating customers compared with your competitors. If your business is creating customers faster or better than your competitors, you win.

That decision is owned by the customers.

Winning in Business

We believe that winning businesses requires a simple, but vital, process similar to this:

Graphical representation of the process of learning, uniting, winning

We like the military analogy. In business, your competitor is your enemy. The battlefield is the collective mind of the customers. Winning begins with learning more about your top competitors than they learn about you, and understanding better how to influence customers to choose your company and your products instead of those of your competitors.

Importance of Winning

Consider these questions carefully.

The alternative to winning is ... losing! Maintaining the status quo, keeping things the same, and maintaining your core competencies are not winning options.

Your business climate is not static. Your customers and competitors are not static. Change is inevitable. If your business is not driving change, it will be the victim of change. If your business is not driving change, it's losing to those who are.

Who's Responsible for Winning in Business?

There is no department in your company responsible for winning.

The responsibility for winning in business is divided at the level immediately below the CEO. This classical organizational feature can be very easily exploited by your business competitors.

Winning requires a more coordinated effort and commitment of everyone in the company than your business competitors have achieved. Winning requires doing a lot of things well enough, rather than a few things exceptionally well.

Hierarchies are just not good at those things. Business executives are just not good at those things. Neither are middle managers or engineers or sales people or any other functional departments or individuals in a business.

How to Win in Business

Winning requires cross-functional, cross-cultural teams and workgroups operating each of the 7 networks impacting business success. The teams and workgroups can mount a coordinated effort across all of the conventional boundaries, the way many successful startups work.

The teams and workgroups can represent the entire business in the eyes of the customers and create a sense of commitment to winning that is simply not possible in the hierarchy.

Contact us to learn more about our beliefs about winning or to explore how we may help you put these fundamental principles to work in your business.