Take A Good Hard Look at Yourself

By Judith M. Guido

Most of us have heard the expression: sit back and take a good, hard look at yourself. Doing so can be a daunting and rewarding exercise. When extended to our organizations it can also be a daunting, eye-opening and valuable experience.

As I wrote in my last column, we have heard [ad nauseam] about supply chain, people and inflation challenges as a few of the primary reasons that so many companies and people are not performing optimally. Yet, many are doing incredibly well. Why? Because they have taken a good, hard look at themselves and have made changes because of what they have observed and heard.

Regardless of the reasons or drivers behind their change, successful teams and organizations know that in order to be leaders they must constantly reinvent themselves. Reinvention is not necessary because of outlier situations like a pandemic or global supply chain bottlenecks or movements like the great resignation, but because that is what is needed to be unique and distinct. Better yet, reinvention differentiates these leading organizations from the competition, which attracts the attention and business of new customers, talent, media and key stakeholders.

The market changes so quickly that in the blink of an eye there’s new competition from start-ups which come from outside the industry, along with strategic alliances, mergers and acquisitions and consolidations inside the industry. All of which drastically change the landscape and playing field on which you compete. If you are coming to the game [market] with the same old playbook, team and moves you might be in for a shocking surprise or shellacking.

For many reasons, it is getting more difficult to compete on innovative technology, pricing, services and products alone. Therefore, we need to take a good hard look at ourselves and dig deeper. Can you recall the last time you did this? We need to take a hard look at existing business models, and see how incorporating changing customer needs, trends and technologies into the mix will create superior business models that are difficult to duplicate. Then, we can fully leverage and optimize market opportunities and leave our competitors in the dust.

I know, easier said than done. Creating, designing and testing a unique business model will likely take more than one attempt before launching. It also takes patience and may require seeking help outside of your leadership team to gain objective feedback and insights.
You also want to look outside the boundaries and comfort zone of your industry for inspiration, ideas and business model patterns and trends of other successful companies. My colleague, Jeff Hoffman, co-founder of Priceline amongst other incredibly successful enterprises, calls it “info-sponging.”

Once built, tested and executed, a unique business model is an incredibly valuable tool and game-changer. Go ahead, take a good hard look at yourself, and then watch as incredible things begin happening. 

Judith M. Guido is the chairwoman and founder of Guido & Associates, a business management consulting firm in the erosion control and green industry. Guido can be reached at 818.800.0135 or judy@guidoassoc.com.