Book Review by Andy Ghillyer
When planning the growth strategy of any business, your first stop is usually a system. After all, optimum efficiency comes from controlling as many variables as possible through policies, procedures, and the close monitoring of key performance indicators.
In his new book Know What You’re FOR: A Growth Strategy for Work, An Even Better Strategy for Life, author Jeff Henderson, argues that such an approach is taking us in the wrong direction. You may have a highly technical dashboard of data points that can give you performance reports in near real-time, but could you answer this question: what is our company known FOR? Or, since you should always be looking forward, what do we want to be known FOR? To arrive at answers that have any real meaning and that will help you launch a powerful growth strategy, Henderson argues that you have to start with real human value.
Four for FOR
The author makes a refreshing choice not to turn the term FOR into an acronym for a catchy headline or mantra. He uses it as a clear and simple positioning statement: To achieve exponential growth, you have to be FOR four distinct groups:
1. The Customer
If you engage with your customers instead of selling to them, they will sell your business for free with word-of-mouth referrals and social media posts. That engagement can be something as simple as following your social media followers rather than just posting content on your pages and hoping for the best.
Henderson cites the example of men’s shorts company Chubbies that has over 400,000 Instagram followers and annual revenues of around $10 million. By comparison, multi-billion-dollar home improvement company Lowe’s has only around 600,000 followers. The difference? Lowe’s posts product features. Chubbies posts customer stories that generate significantly higher likes and comments.
2. The Team
The author’s argument is equally simple here: How the team is treated is eventually how the customer is treated. If your policies and procedures create a culture that puts you at odds with your team, you will deny yourself any hope of being in favor with your customers.
3. The Community
If you want to be known for community involvement, you have to think on a larger scale than just sponsoring a local little league team. In June 2018, for example, Domino’s Pizza launched its Paving for Pizza community initiative. Instead of ads promoting quality ingredients and fresh taste, the company launched a website where towns and cities could submit requests for Domino’s to pave potholes in their communities for free. In the first two weeks, the campaign had generated 100,000 visits to the website, 31,000 zip code registrations from all 50 states, and over 700 media stories.
If you aspire to be the change agent in your organization, the best contribution you can make to your customers, your team, and your community is: an inspired, rejuvenated, fully alive you. Make sure you have a clear sense of what you are known for as well as a plan for what you want to be known for.
Know What You’re FOR presents a simple but powerful growth strategy. Focus on creating real human value for every person your company touches.
Andy Ghillyer is a Contributing Writer at Soundview. He lives in Tampa, FL where he specializes in writing for the B2B and academic markets while raising a growing menagerie of cats and dogs. His other reviews are here.
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