You remember the slogan from Avis. It's brilliant marketing, but have you thought about what it means on a day to day basis? Do you really want to spend the rest of your life working harder to achieve only the same as, or less than, your competitors? The fact is, the poor folk at Avis have been trying harder for as long as anyone can remember, and they're still only number 2.
There has to be a better way. There is.
That's for you to judge. Do everything the competition does, but try to do it better (while they try hard to outdo you). If you like this as a recipe for market leadership, stop reading now. If on the other hand it strikes you more as a recipe for being average, mediocre or an also-ran, read on for an alternative.
You could brainstorm. You could swim towards the Blue Oceans, if you like that book. You could try to learn from Google. The problem is, though, you don't start with a clean sheet of paper. You have an established business, a position in the industry, a set of products or services, a team with specific skills.
You need an approach to change which is rooted in reality.
Visible creativity - new products, new services, new ways of selling - is very valuable, but it's not the whole story. It suffers from disadvantages. It can be risky. It's very visible, so if it succeeds, it can be easy for your competitors to copy.
Invisible creativity is not about what you do, but how you do it. Most decisions we make in business are based on what we've always done, rules of thumb, or "the way people do that." This is perfectly correct, in fact necessary. There are far too many decisions for us to work each one out from first principles. ButÉ.
From time to time our world changes so that the way we've always done things, or the way everyone does it, is no longer a good guide. This is the secret of invisible creativity - identifying the moment to break the rules, and find the better rule.
If you are still reading at this point, you'll be starting to wonder how we would apply this to your business.
In outline, this is the process:
We will ask questions like:
If you're bored of working harder to stay number 2, or are number 1 and want to keep getting better, book a Strategy Session. This is a free one hour consultation to help you identify the opportunities, and the areas where conventional wisdom is holding you back.
Contact Alastair Dryburgh on +44 20 7812 9674 to book your session.
You are an online information supplier. Your biggest customer asks you to build a bespoke user interface. It's twelve days work. What do you charge?
Click here to find out what they did.
In one client, an engineering group, the UK company operated a very popular pricing model which capped its margin at 30%.
Its Italian sister company was more creative and made 70% margins on similar projects, in a tougher market.
"I want to spend £1,000 on a zero-risk advertisement for our software product, which will make at least £4,000 cash in a month."
"You can't do that - we've spent the marketing budget for the year."
-True story from an accounting firm. What similar beliefs are holding you back?
A software company had a chronic problem with cash collection. One simple change of policy about who was responsible resolved it for good, and produced £1m cash in three months.