Are your strategic planning activities done from the inside out, pilule or outside in? How often do you rely on client feedback and interaction to refine your plan? And why does it matter?
It matters alot.
In these challenging times, store it's easy to focus intently on improving your internal processes. When that happens at the expense of your clients, more about you will miss out on obvious growth opportunities. Your strategic growth plan becomes little more than an academic exercise.
My meeting with Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh (see videos below) reinforced my belief that it is possible to balance your internal planning activities with your client-focused marketing and selling initiatives.
As I mentioned in last week's EnergizeNews, Zappos has created a shoe and clothing juggernaut generating $1B in sales in 2008. And their methods of creating a customer-obsessed culture are downright unconventional and refreshing.
To hear about the Zappos way of incorporating growth planning and customer service innovations, watch these short videos with Tony:
Video 1: Planning from the Outside In: Listening to the Customer
Video 2: How to foster innovation from the bottom up
Stay tuned for more great ideas in next week's issue.
P.S. Congratulations to our winners–they have won copies of my upcoming book…keep on posting and contributing! You may be next month's winner.
* Ruth Dubinsky
* Buckley Brinkman
* Arthur Lerner