How many times have we heard this as a smart front line operator expresses frustration with the attitudes of the executive suite, the redundancy of the business model, or the strategy being pursued, as  again, the “bosses” appear to fail to understand the coal face drivers of success.

    The most common cause of this cry is becoming  the rapid commoditisation of many markets, and those that see it first are usually on the front lines.  Suddenly, long term customers are turning away, a new competitor emerges, and the only tool the troops have left is price, and they are pushed to do more with less. 

    Short term responses to a fundamental change in the business model necessary to be commercially sustainable won’t get you far, at best it will put off the inevitable. You need to ask yourself a couple of key questions:

  1. How can I differentiate my commodity product to a smaller market, instead of being all things to all people?
  2. How can I solve a problem someone has with the existing commodity product and service?
  3. How do I deploy my resources to make it happen, recognising , often this will mean adding a different type of resource.