Thursday, June 24, 2010

The 50% Solution

Do you want to follow the status quo of your category? Keep fighting for the same customers with similar products to your competition? That's what most businesses goals set us up to do.

"We want to grow sales 5% this year."
"We want to increase our margin to 15%."
"We want to grow our market share by 3%."

Those are the kind of goals that are typically written into annual plans. They're rarely met because they don't inspire innovative thinking. Most people figure they can achieve those goals by doing things a little better. Selling a little harder. Shaving pennies here or there.

If you want to break out from the pack and do things differently, set goals like this:

"We will beat Adidas." 

That was Nike's goal when they were a fledgling company and Adidas was the global gorilla. Everyone thought they were crazy.

Sometimes crazy works. Don't ask for a 5% improvement. Ask for 50%.

Setting unreasonable goals creates unreasonable thinking. And that's what you need to generate transformational ideas. You throw out the "rules" of the category and change the way business is done. 

So before you start your next planning session, ask yourself. What goal could I set that would be so outrageous, yet so inspiring that if we were to achieve it, would completely revolutionize the category.

Just a little something for you to chew on this morning.

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