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When Playing it Safe is Risky Business

President & CEO, HNI

The game today is determining how you can CHANGE THE GAME.

Competing head-to-head on products and services will commoditize your business. If you continue to play the old game— someone is coming up with a new approach that will overthrow the established way of doing business.

Turning your business model upside down

How do you do it?  Start by analyzing the status quo.Status Quo

What’s the industry standard today? When you pull it apart, how does it work? What are the assumptions that it’s based on? How and why has it become the industry standard? Take a look at it from the point of view of the customer. Exactly what is the customer paying for?

After you’ve analyzed the standard business model, take a look inside your own company. Is your culture one that defends the status quo or does it challenge the status quo? One easy way to test for this is by asking the WHY question. Why are we doing it this way? If the answer is that’s the way we always did it or that’s what I’ve been told, you may be stuck defending the status quo.

What's at stake with sticking to the status quo

Have you convinced yourself that you are different or deserve a higher price than your competition, but can’t articulate a true differentiator?

A quick look in the mirror can reveal that you may need to challenge the status quo and stop wishing for the good old days. By challenging "business as usual," you will unlock new ideas and true differentiators allowing you to crush your competition.

There are a lot of ways to reinvent your business model. But most established companies are unwilling to do it because it would mean they too would have to change, which is risky.

What’s more risky -- changing or staying the same? Playing the old game is SAFE, and SAFE is RISKY BUSINESS.

Topics: Construction Transportation Manufacturing