One of our Maxims here is:
Play to Win. Don’t Play NOT to Lose.
The concept is simple, but for a business is fundamental to their success. This precise, strategic view is a game changer if applied correctly.
We recently watched Aardman’s film: Early Man. And it’s this I want to share with you (strategy should never be stuffy or boring). Please read on because I REVEAL the 5 STEPS you need to take to get a WINNING STRATEGY.
Anyway, back to the film…
It was set at the dawn of time and Early Man tells the story of Dug, along with sidekick Hognob (a wart hog) as they unite his tribe against a mighty enemy Lord Nooth and his Bronze Age City to save their home. The twist is that to win their home back, Dug and his friends have to beat the Bronze age equivalent of Real Madrid in the winner takes all prize at a single football match.
As any good plot dictates, Dug and his Stone Age friends have no idea what a football is, let alone how to play the game. However, in a few weeks, they have to win so as to not end their days in the bronze mines.
So how do they set up to Play to Win, knowing that their counterparts are far superior in every department than they are?
Most small businesses are more focused on survival and getting the sale in. Until this becomes a routine in the business, this is the sole focus. Like our Dug – it was all about learning the basic skills and just doing them over and over again.
At some point in the business journey, they realise that they are achieving the basics and are losing the odd sale to their nearest competitor. As time goes on and the company gets bigger, this becomes the number one threat. Every move that the company does, one or more of their competitors respond with their own move, and suddenly a new business paradigm is apparent.
In most businesses, the obvious stuff like pricing, advertising, customer service, sales, marketing etc. all become much of a muchness, and survival gets harder and harder.
Like Dug, the playing field is the same; the players have the same knowledge and it just comes down to the individual skills of the main players on who wins the game.
Or does it…?
It does if you are playing NOT to lose. But if you are playing to win then you adopt a different strategy.