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What’s your ‘value chain’?

How Clarity Over Your Value Chain Will Grow Your Business

Sit back in your chair and think for a moment.  What is it your company does that really drives profitability?  Are you measuring these things (and these things only)?  Our clients always have lots of data.  When we first start talking to them, they’re measuring an impressive array of things.  Impressive, that is, until they realise that most of this work is a waste of time.

Two revealing stories come to mind here.  The first is the drunk man, scrabbling around under a street light to find his keys.  He didn’t drop them there, but it’s where the light is. The second is the apocryphal tale of monkeys and bananas.  One of the monkeys climbs a pole and, zap.  He gets an electric shock.  Another does the same and, sure enough.  Another sore nose. Eventually, a new monkey joins the group and he’s stopped by the others from climbing the pole – classic groupthink.  This is learned behaviour and you see something similar when companies measure things for the sake of measuring them (and not really knowing why).  

Far better to look for correlations that inter-link and drive each other.  Take an example I discussed with one of our recent Melting Pot podcast guests, John Ratliff, former CEO of Apple Tree Answers.  He was measuring a CSat score in a similar way to the rest of his industry but it didn’t correlate with financial performance or staff engagement.  It was only when he introduced NPS and started measuring staff happiness that the data started to line up with financial performance. 

Finding the right metrics and honing in on the processes that drive profitability will lead you to a greater understanding of your value chain.  And this knowledge is what you need to really drive the growth of your business.

Innovating Your Business Model with Alex Osterwalder

“We bring all of the tools and methods into everything we do for the companies we work with. We call it technology-enabled services. We help large companies like MasterCard, WL Gore, Nestle, and so on, reinvent themselves.”

This is Alex Osterwalder, entrepreneur, author and co-founder of Alex believes that innovation is what your business needs for longevity and success. He also believes that successful companies are those that compete at the level of business model, not just at the level of product, service, or price. 

“Innovation is not a talent or idea problem. It’s a process and culture problem. Companies are not putting in place the right systems for the great innovators and great ideas to emerge. People on the ground know very well what could work, but we don’t give them the space to explore. And if that doesn’t change, a lot of companies are actually going to pay the price and go out of business.”

Alex knows what the challenges are in driving innovation. He knows what needs to be done in terms of structure, power and resources. And he knows how company culture fits into a business model. And in this incredibly insightful episode, he shares his thoughts and actionable processes with listeners. 

“An invincible company has three characteristics – they always reinvent themselves, they compete not just on products, technology, price and service, they compete on superior business models. And they understand transcending industry boundaries. People who see themselves in one industry, usually that’s not going to play out well in the long term.”

It’s a slightly longer episode, so make sure you’re sitting comfortably, and don’t forget to bring a pen and paper, you’ll want to take notes.

The Peter Attia Drive

Expert insight on health, performance, longevity, critical thinking, and pursuing excellence. Dr. Peter Attia (Stanford/Hopkins/NIH-trained MD) talks with leaders in their fields.

5 Reasons Your Employees Don’t Understand Your Company’s Vision

Leadership teams often spend hours wordsmithing their business’ vision, mission, and strategy, only to hear employees complain, “We don’t have a north star.” Executives are often surprised by this feedback of a lack of an aspirational vision and immediately spend more time trying to craft the perfect statement. This mistaken approach makes scant progress in clarifying their people’s perception of a clear path forward

3 Strategies for Managing Your Profit-Drain Customers

Managers today have a huge unaddressed opportunity to engage and manage their large, profit-draining customers, creating win-win relationships that rapidly increase profits and lock in these key customer relationships. As yesterday’s mass markets fragment, managers must shift from broad-based product management to highly focused management of target customer segments — and even individual customers.

Let Your Top Performers Move Around the Company

Over the many decades my company has been studying the link between people practices and performance, we’ve seen a common trait among low-performing, non-agile, slow-to-change companies: talent hoarding. This is the practice of allowing managers to keep their top performers from moving anywhere else in the company.

English Pastoral by James Rebanks

As a boy, James Rebanks’s grandfather taught him to work the land the old way. Their family farm in the Lake District hills was part of an ancient agricultural landscape: a patchwork of crops and meadows, of pastures grazed with livestock, and hedgerows teeming with wildlife. And yet, by the time James inherited the farm, it was barely recognisable. The men and women had vanished from the fields; the old stone barns had crumbled; the skies had emptied of birds and their wind-blown song. English Pastoral is the story of an inheritance: one that affects us all. It tells of how rural landscapes around the world were brought close to collapse, and the age-old rhythms of work, weather, community and wild things were lost. And yet this elegy from the northern fells is also a song of hope: of how, guided by the past, one farmer began to salvage a tiny corner of England that was now his, doing his best to restore the life that had vanished and to leave a legacy for the future. This is a book about what it means to have love and pride in a place, and how, against all the odds, it may still be possible to build a new pastoral: not a utopia, but somewhere decent for us all.

The Five Temptations Of A CEO by Patrick Lencioni

A commemorative edition of the landmark book from Patrick Lencioni When it was published ten years ago, The Five Temptations of a CEO was like no other business book that came before. Highly sought-after management consultant Patrick Lencioni deftly told the tale of a young CEO who, facing his first annual board review, knows he is failing, but doesn’t know why. Refreshingly original and utterly compelling, this razor-sharp novelette plus self-assessment (written to be read in one sitting) serves as a timeless and potent reminder that success as a leader can come down to practicing a few simple behaviors that are painfully difficult for each of us to master. Any executive can learn how to recognize the mistakes that leaders can make and how to avoid them. The lessons of The Five Temptations of a CEO, are as relevant today as ever, and this special anniversary edition celebrates ten years of inspiration and enlightenment with a brand new introduction and reflections from Lencioni on the new challenges in business and leadership that have occurred in the past ten years.


Identify your ‘rockstars’ and move them around your organisation

Here’s a tip for staff retention.  Identify who your rockstars are – those who could be the Executive Team of the future.   You’re likely to only have a handful.    Then move them around the business.  If people are learning, they’re more likely to stay with you, so this is great for retent ion.  In his book, ‘The Alliance – Managing Talent in the Networked Age’, Reid Hoffman describes these as ‘tours of duty’.  Give your rockstars this exposure – even if it means asking them to play out of position for a while.  It will increase their understanding and ensure they’re developing and not getting bored.

Upcoming Events

Scaling Up Made Simple Workshop, New Forest – 18th November

Conducted in The New Forest, away from the uproar of the everyday commercial world, the Scaling Up Made Simple Workshop is presented by Scaling Up Coach, Dominic Monkhouse to allow you the mental space to look at your business afresh – to recognise your strengths, your weaknesses and your opportunities. The workshop is your first step in the process of identifying and addressing the real challenges confronting your business. You will receive practical guidance in the essential skills that underpin manageable growth.

Quote of the week

“The most important principle that an executive must embrace is a desire to produce results”

Patrick Lencioni

Dominic Monkhouse

Dominic offers business coaching and management development, strategy planning and organisational change, using tried and tested methods to launch your organisation onto an unparalleled growth trajectory. His programme is a function of his broad experience, his deep expertise and a proven process used by over 2,700 firms worldwide.

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