Achieving Business Excellence with John Spence


resort-pool-sunriseI was having breakfast this morning at Hawks Cay Resort in the Florida Keys and sitting at the table next to me was a “strategy” consultant talking to his customer (obviously here for a retreat with his company) and they were in deep discussion about what would be covered during the day. I have been leading strategy retreats for nearly 20 years, I teach strategy at Wharton, and for the life of me I could not understand a word the consultant was saying. Here is exactly what I heard him say to his client…

“You need to understand the threat-wave in your battle space and then we’ll build you a cockpit with full instrumentation to achieve maximum action-saturation of your salesforce in the competitive arena.”

Seriously, he really said that…with a straight face. It was all I could do not to lose my breakfast. Insanity man, pure insanity.

Let me make this awesomely simple…all effective strategy is just:

Valued Differentiation x Disciplined Execution

In other words, be so good at delivering REAL and unique value that your customer can not ignore you, treat your employees and customer with thoughtfulness, respect and love, and do that every day.

Trust me, that will put a significant threat-wave on your competition!!!!!

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  1. So funny! And well corrected! You’ve built me a surf board for the wisdom wave of insight we all need.

  2. Military speak! I agree John, own the voice of the customer and hear what they say, deliver what they need consistently….. The rest will be obvious.

  3. When you don’t know what you are talking about, use as many adjectives, analogies, and metaphors as possible….and maybe no one will notice that you really haven’t said anything! Keep it Awesomely Simple and see the results. Nice post John!

  4. Thank God it was not a classroom discussion John; I guess you’d have raised your hand to give the ‘teacher” an Awesomely Simple version of his thought. You can’t teach a ‘General’ how to hold gun you know… Thank you so much for sharing.

  5. John, congrats on keeping a straight face!

  6. Fantastic advice… from you of course… but there must be something we can do with the phrase “maximum action-saturation.” Seat cushions come to mind… seat yourself with maximum action-saturation.