Is there a “cookbook” that can help one organization succeed while another might fail? Can “market success” be reduced to numbers? Some of this, and some of that?
The answer to this question is “yes” and “no.”
I think the strategy development part of the organizational success equation is an art. But, it involves numbers. It’s about what you decide to do after you look at the market data and your own performance. It’s about that “feel” for the market place (some call it intuition) and it’s about seizing the moment when it is the right time (and taking a pass when the time isn’t right).
But the greater challenge to developing competitive advantage in the market place isn’t about the strategy development – it’s about execution of the strategy and “performing” in a way that achieves competitive advantage. It’s all about hitting the numbers – regardless of the impediments. And, if you want, that can be called a “by the numbers” cookbook for organizational success.
What numbers? The numbers are all related to the shifting “value equation” in health and human services – the combination of outcomes and benefits and costs that every organizations brings to its customers. Performance metrics are a key to that value equation “cookbook.” How much “outcome” or how much “service” compared to how much “cost” – a crude statement that represents how our imperfect health and human service market works right now (and probably for the foreseeable future).
For most organizations, the answer to the question about the value equation elements is clear. There are only three strategic questions that are shaping current strategy discussions. How much “value” will competitors offer, raising the bar for our organization? Hhow fast will that happen? Do we have the resources (and the time) to get there?
In my closing at last week’s 2013 OPEN MINDS Performance Management Institute, The Performance Measures That Matter: Keys To Competitive Advantage In A Market Focused On A Cost Curve , I discussed the relationship between market metrics, strategy, performance, and competitive advantage. How organizations perform shapes the advantage they have in attracting both payer and consumer customers.
Across our 23 sessions at the institute, the OPEN MINDS team presented the many building blocks of performance in creating strategic advantage – essentially presenting the “cookbook” to competitive advantage. The question is whether your team, armed with the cookbook, has the makings of an average cook or a great chef. I was thinking of that analogy and consulted my well-worn copy of Julia Child’s cookbook. Her take, “What makes a great chef? Well…training and technique of course, plus a great love of food, a generous personality, and the ability to invent Hot Chocolate Truffles.” Other than the truffles, she probably wasn’t far off.
For another free resource, see: When Does Performance Not Matter? all members