As a Business Transformation Architect, I’ve worked on several business transformation projects and learnt a great deal over the years. Along this journey I’ve seen the issues and challenges companies have, in order to be successful in this challenging business environment.
These are unusual times of great competition, rapid change, disruption and shifting employee and consumer expectations.
Quite frankly, this is the new normal and calls for a radical shift in the way companies are being run. The old ways of running a company are just not relevant anymore.
This spurred me on and pushed me to think and work on creating a holistic business success formula, that would stack the odds for success for businesses and help them effectively navigate these turbulent times.
Was there a new model that would empower every business to be super successful and create the dream business every business leader, founder or owner aspires to have?
By garnering deep insights from my consulting work with startups, SME’s as well as MNC’s, and studying and understanding the macro and micro trends driving and also stifling business success today, I believe I have finally cracked it!
The AHA moment came to me on a recent holiday trip to the Northern tip of Thailand, that included a visit to the Golden Triangle, the infamous border between Thailand, Laos and Myanmar.
This confluence of three countries at one unique place somehow led me to think about combining three powerful and essential elements of business that will stack theodds of great success in every business’ favour.
I call it TheGolden Triangle of Massive Business Success. This power business trifectaformula when done right will deliver holistic business transformation and empowers every business to reach its full potential and rise to greatness.
At its core, it's about connecting three vital aspects of a business; CULTURE, BRAND and CUSTOMER.
Understanding and strategically building up thesethree vital elements of your business will build a solid foundation for a massively successful company and guarantees long-term financial success.
Let’s look at each of these three in a more detail…
A strong culture is at the heart of every successful company we know of today. Jim Collins in his book “Good to Great” highlights culture as an essential ingredient for long term financial success.
A strong culture attracts top talent, retains them and aligns people around the company’s strategic vision. The company functions like a well-oiled engine, powering along with innovation driven by passionate and highly engaged employees.
Unfortunately, most companies have weak and toxic cultures today that drag the business down. Building a strong culture should be a top priority for the leadership team of any business today.
Here's a few common reasons I typically hear from leadership for not focusing on their company culture:
1. “I don’t see the impact of culture on the bottom line,”
2. “Culture isn’t my priority now, I have fires to put out”
3. “I don’t quite know how to build a strong culture”
4. “We have a foosball table along with bean bags in our office and free coffee in the pantry, that’s our culture.”
Unfortunately, creating a winning company culture goes well beyond these perks, although I might add, these are nice to have.
Ignoring and leaving culture to chance is perhaps the biggest mistake companies make. Culture is the heart and the machinery on which the company runs on. It’s your business ‘operating system’ like Windows to a PC or IOS to a Mac.
For a company culture to work, a company needs to meticulously create their very own company culture playbook. This involves setting the strategic vision based on your DNA and company purpose, creating unique and meaningful company values, writing down your product and customer codes and ‘living’ your culture every day so it becomes your company religion.
It does take some thought, time and effort to do. In my book, I have given the business world a novel framework, The ADCOE Culture Transformation Blueprint, that helps build a strong company culture.
I’m sure you will agree that a strong brand is vital for great company success. Having a strong brand differentiates you from your competition and answers the fundamental question in people’s mind; “Why should I buy from you and how are you different from everyone else?”
Today’s smart and savvy customers are looking to transact with businesses that stand for something and whose values align with and are compatible with theirs.
Unfortunately, most companies are not effectively communicating what they stand for in their brand messages and are not telling their brand story. They are simply ‘selling’ products and services and missing a huge opportunity to build a powerful emotional connection with their customers.
A strong and well-differentiated brand separates you from competitors and uniquely positions you in a crowded market. Telling a compelling brand story about your company (beyond your products and services) enables customers to align with your brand values and ‘buy into’ your business.
Your customers bond with your brand philosophyand become your brand advocates. This adds tremendous value to your business.
Quite simply, without customers, you don’t have a business! Connecting with and retaining today’s smart and very savvy customer is extremely hard. People aren’t just buying stuff like they used to. They are hyper-researching everything and will make up their own minds. Welcome to the information age! Research from around the globe indicates that word-of-mouth and referrals are what is influencing purchase decisions.
In fact, over 90% of consumers buy products and services based on word-of-mouth or referrals. Consumers today are reverting to their trusted sources and not believing advertising and are not swayed and convinced by conventional hype marketing.
Reviews can make or break a business today. The power has shifted from businesses to consumers. Every business needs to realize that they are no longer in control, it’s your customer who is in control of your business.
This is where having a great customer experience strategy that delivers positive word-of-mouth is key. Unfortunately, most businesses don’t have a word-of-mouth generation strategy! Most businesses treat customers as a one-off transaction and are not leveraging the power of converting customers into your brand fans and brand evangelists. This is about moving your customer experience from ‘required’ to ‘remarkable’ at every brand touchpoint.
A great brand experience at every touchpoint compels your customer to speak about you and spread precious word-of-mouth for your business.
Beyond just customers, this creates passionate and ultra-loyal brand fans who will keep coming back and fuel your business success. You need to understand that your customers are now part your marketing team and so they need to be empowered to do the marketing for you!
Hence, this is why ‘CUSTOMER’ is the third vital component of the Golden Triangle of Massive Business Success.
So there you have it, the three business success essentials that comprise the Golden Triangle Business Success formula. Having your culture, brand and customer pieces figured out, puts your business in overdrive and positions it for great success.
These three key elements if done right, are also what your competitors can’t steal from you.
Everything else quite frankly, including your product, your price, your ideas and processes are up for grabs and will be eventually copied.
Firstly, a strong culture will be very hard for competitors to duplicate.
Next, a powerful brand with a compelling brand story is uniquely yours. No one else can possibly have that.
Lastly, when you build deep relationships with your customers, it’s going to be very hard for your competitors to steal them away.
You now know the secret formula to building a massively successful company with long-term financial success. If you need help on how to achieve this for your business, I’d be more than delighted to have a chat with you. I’ve focused my consulting, speaking and training around these three key areas to empower every business to be supersuccessful and rise to greatness.
I’m also delighted to announce that The Golden Triangle of Massive Business Success is the title of my new book, which will be published later this year. More on this soon.
Ashok is a much sought-after consultant, professional speaker and trainer and has helped businesses (startups, SME's and MNC's) reach their full potential and rise to greatness.
He has also transformed the mindset of thousands of businesses professionals across the region.
Ashok is driven by his passion and purpose to architect a better business world. He is on a mission to help companies be massively successful in these turbulent times by building winning company cultures that foster happy and engaged employees. Building strong and emotionally resonant customer-centric brands and designing transformative customer experiences that create ultra-loyal customers and true brand fans.