Six Questions for Transformational Thinkers

Six questions for transformational thinkers

by Randall Craig If you are a  leader, you probably got to where you are by virtue of your business acumen, drive, and clear-headed thinking. But while your thinking may have been  transformative in the past, is it still transformative... today?  Are you worried that you might be following a strategy of incremental improvement, when a completely new approach might be what is really called for?  If so, you’re not alone.  But why? It is much easier - and far less risky - to look for marginal gains using the paradigm you know and love. And it is far harder to question the conventional wisdom that has delivered success in the first place.
Consider the following marketing initiatives vs an alternative – and perhaps transformational – approach.  Which do you feel more comfortable with?
  • Improve conversion from 5% to 6%.  Instead, why not figure out a way to target the “other 95%”?
  • Spend time asking for referrals.  Instead, why not figure out a way to help referral sources build their business?  They’ll eventually reward you for it.
  • Spend more money on pay-per-click ads on Google and Facebook.  Instead, why not develop content that your prospects actually care about?
  • Update part of the website for a new service launch.  Instead, skip the website as an archival file cabinet, and re-charter the website in the context of lead generation and a tight connection to social, marketing automation, and CRM?
  • Refresh the logo.  Instead, why not refresh the brand by building a high-performance culture?
  • Enforce CRM data entry by staff.  Instead, why not figure out how to expose the CRM’s data using custom dashboards for leadership, middle-management, and front-line staff? Or maybe think about how Machine Learning and AI might be used with the data you already have?
In your organization, how much energy is spent on incremental projects, vs more transformational ones?  This week, use this energy on substantive “re-think” projects that can make a significant difference.  And on a personal level, when someone makes an incremental suggestion, before answering aloud, think "Instead, why not figure out..." Marketing insight #1:  When there is an inflection point – new year, new strategy, new staff in the role, new senior leadership, etc – it is a shame to squander the opportunity to make substantive, and possibly transformational, improvements.  
Marketing insight #2:  The major difference between leaders and managers is their focus.  There is nothing wrong with managers focusing on incremental improvement.  But Leaders need to think about transformation. And then do something about it. Randall Craig


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