The same friend that sent me the Harvard Business Review article from A.G. Lafley recommended I read The Breakthrough Imperative by Mark Gottfredson and Steve Schaubert.
I’m glad I did. I recommend it to the business minded or anyone heading up any type of organization. This book will give you ideas on how to make it the best it can be. It’s a steal right now on Amazon.com for $7.99!
The authors work for Bain & Company, but don’t hold that against them. While at times consultantspeak bleeds through, you can tell the authors benefit from the experience of Bain Capital, which invests in companies it helps manage to make money by increasing the value of those companies.
In other words, they draw on real world experience influencing a true measure: shareholder value. This results in very practical insights like:
From a company’s point of view, one of the most significant factors shifting [customer] behavior is simple customer dissatisfaction.
…a management team must understand which customer segments are most attractive in terms of size, profitability, and growth. They must also make an honest assessment of their company’s capabilities to meet each segment’s needs relative to the competition.
…in fast changing markets…customers often have trouble articulating or even recognizing there own needs.
To the last quote, I’d expand that to include any market. Customers often only have vague understanding of why they buy what they buy and aren’t often able to say everything that went into their decisions.