Where to Focus for Growth

Quick Insight

We should focus on our target customers and our employees. If we focus on those things, then the market share will come. Keep your focus.

“When a transition occurs, you focus on the transition, not your competitor. If you focus on competitors, you’re looking backward.” – John Chambers, former CEO of Cisco

Competitor analysis is very common in strategic planning. I’ve prepared dozens of peer analyses in my career. To be honest, many times it creates arrogance for where the company does better than competitors and creates excuses for the metrics where the company lags peers.

John Chambers points out the greatest danger of fixating on competitors. What we see them doing is the outcome of plans they made a year ago. Some are already ahead of us, and some are stuck in the past.

What we want to accomplish is to build a strategy that provides the most value in tomorrow’s business environment. We should focus on our target customers and our employees. If we focus on those things, then the market share will come.

I was at a conference where the speaker won a bronze medal for swimming at the Olympics. He was in fourth place with half of a lap to go, but the third-place swimmer briefly looked up near the finish at the other swimmers. It created a tiny pause that allowed the speaker to get the medal by fractions of a second. The other swimmer walked away empty.

- Rob Stephens
Founder of CFO Perspective and the Finance and Strategy Toolkit (FAST)

Further Insight

CFO Perspective Resources

  • Video: How Do You Create Value? Watch the video.Business success comes from creating value for owners, customers, and employees. In this video, I explain how to discover and increase what each group values. I’ll also reveal the “Three D’s” and “Three P’s” that each group wants. Once you know all this, you can provide more value to customers and employees, which leads to more value for your company.

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