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Defending and Extending Leads to Doom

Adam Hartung, Manny Teran
Defend and extend, mba, innovation, trends, business as usual

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If you have a formal business education – like a BBA or MBA – you were taught how to do more, better, faster and cheaper.  You were taught to assume the customer will not change – in fact almost nothing will change.  Your job is to defend the business as it exists, and hopefully extend it just a bit.  

Only, that is a path to ruin. Because the world is constantly changing. You have to know your customers, and know WHY they value  you.  It’s not enough to focus on HOW you deliver products or services, you have to know WHY people want them. You have to know what pain you relieve, what good you provide, so you can keep delivering that value over time.  Your delivery system will become obsolete, but you can be long-lived if you know your value and keep updating- even replacing your value delivery system.

Opportunities develop by better understanding customer needs, and finding new and better ways to meet those needs.  The path of constantly improving what you do without a really keen grasp on customer needs, wants and desires will eventually lead to obsolescence.

Thinking points:
• Do you know why customers buy from you?  Do you know your customer value proposition?
• Do you challenge the value of your delivery system, and whether it could be possible to deliver value in whole different ways?
• Are you prepared to radically change your value delivery system in order to keep giving customers value?
• Do you hire people that look outside your company for new opportunities, or do you hire people primarily to improve what you already have?