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5 Big Ideas:

Powering Your
Business

by Verne Harnish Growth Guy


www.gazelles.com
5 Big Ideas: Powering Your Business
www.gazelles.com

5 Big Ideas:
Powering Your Business
Your team is probably fired up about grabbing more market share
this year. But if you want to achieve that goal, its time to look at
your operation through a fresh lens. There are some great ideas
brewing in the global community that will help you outdistance
your competitors.

One of the most important business concepts of the century is


return on luck (ROL) which I discussed in my last column.
As Jim Collins explains in Great by Choice, all business leaders
are being bombarded with both great luck and bad breaks.
The smartest CEOs learn not to squander sudden opportunities
and figure out how to turn dismal news to their advantagemul-
For the first time, even tiplying the benefits of whatever hand theyre dealt.
tiny companies can search
Maximizing your ROL should be top of your list, every day.
the vast information on But your ROL is just part of the picture. Here are some vital ideas
the web that corporate that will help you achieve great results in 2013 and beyond.
giants use to uncover
brand-new opportunities,
Big data
using inexpensive cloud- Theres no excuse anymore for not having the latest information
about your market at your fingertips. For the first time, even tiny
based technology. companies can search the vast information on the web that corporate
giants use to uncover brand-new opportunities, using inexpensive
cloud-based technology.

Copyright 2013 Verne Harnish. All Rights Reserved.


vharnish@gazelles.com. 2
5 Big Ideas: Powering Your Business
www.gazelles.com

To feel the power of what big data can do immediately for your
business, try SizeUp (http://www.sizeup.com/). Within seconds,
this free site will tell you how many competitors exist in a specific
locale, how your revenues stack up against theirs, and where to
hunt for new business.

Reverse innovation
Its time to forget the days when innovation flowed one way
from rich nations to poor ones. Theres a lot we can all learn from
entrepreneurs and organizations working with scarce resources,
For instance, while a says Dartmouth professor Vijay Govindarajan. He points to a
general hospital typically hospital in India that specializes in heart surgeries, achieving bet-
ter outcomes with its $2,000 procedures than U.S. hospitals that
needs to buy a vast array
charge $20,000 or more.
of equipment to perform
How does the hospital get such amazing results? By specializing in
every operation under a niche, it runs more efficiently. For instance, while a general hospital
the sun, this hospital typically needs to buy a vast array of equipment to perform every
operation under the sun, this hospital needs equipment only for
needs equipment only for
cardiac operations. And it gets a great return on its investment in
cardiac operations. the equipment it does buy, because it puts these tools into service
all day long.

Expect to see this idea coming soon to the shores of the U.S.
Meanwhile, we all need to comb the globe for other ideas from
the worlds most resourceful innovators in our industries.

Newsjacking
In todays teeming marketplaces, you need a savvy approach to
public relations to stand out from the crowd. As marketer David
Meerman Scott points out in his book Newsjacking, you dont
have to bankroll a massive PR campaign to propel your company
into big news stories.

Copyright 2013 Verne Harnish. All Rights Reserved.


vharnish@gazelles.com. 3
5 Big Ideas: Powering Your Business
www.gazelles.com

By offering journalists a fresh, interesting perspective on big de-


velopments in your industry, you may be able to hijack media
reports that are in progress and turn their focus to your company.
For instance, a reporter who is looking for a colorful way to illus-
By offering journalists a trate a particular trend might welcome an anecdote about your
fresh, interesting perspec- company to put in the lead of his story.
tive on big developments Of course, youve got to know what stories reporters are covering
in your industry, you may at any given moment to do this. To connect with journalists
about stories theyve working on, sign up for Help a Reporter Out
be able to hijack media
(helpareporter.com), a free crowdsourcing tool. Reporters from
reports that are in pro- major publications send out alerts each day seeking sources for
gress and turn their focus their stories. I recommend that you monitor HARO daily to see
if there are any stories where you can lend your perspectiveand
to your company. get your name into the headlines.

Robots per capita


Im fascinated by the ability of this simple metric to predict the
prosperity of a country (and a company). Its a great indicator of a
nations economic efficiency and potential future growth. Thus, it
didnt surprise me to learn recently from the Institute of Electrical
and Electronics Engineers that Germany, with its thriving econo-
my, has double the robots per capita of the U.S.Germany has
163 robots for every 10,000 workers, while the U.S. has only 86,
just above Spain.
However, I was surprised that Japan, which has suffered a slow
economy for decades, has double the robots per capita of every
other country. This may indicate that the country is likely to
experience a resurgence. And countries like Singapore and South
Korea are showing sustained economic growth from their already
high robot per capita ratios.

Its a key performance indicator worth considering when looking


at your own company. Are you leading the rest of the competition
in dramatically automating your business?

Copyright 2013 Verne Harnish. All Rights Reserved.


vharnish@gazelles.com. 4