Be the Most of Something

Some interesting thinking on being the “most” from the Harvard Business Review (free registration required to read):

The most successful companies figure out how to become the most of something in their field — the most elegant, the most simple, the most exclusive, the most affordable, the most seamless global, the most intensely local. For decades, so many organizations and their leaders got comfortable with strategies and practices that kept them in the “middle of the road” — that’s, in theory, where the customers were, that’s what felt safe and secure. But today, with so much change, so much pressure, so many new ways to do just about everything, the middle of the road has become the road to nowhere.

Just to be clear, being the “most of something” doesn’t have to mean being the biggest or most dominant player in your field. It means being the most deeply committed to a one-of-a-kind strategy and a distinctive presence in a world in which most companies and their leaders are content with doing business more or less like everyone else. As Jim Hightower, the colorful Texas populist, is fond of saying, “There’s nothing in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and dead armadillos.” To which we might add companies and their leaders struggling to stand out from the crowd, even as they play by the same old rules in a crowded marketplace.

What could your firm be the most of?

One Response to Be the Most of Something
  1. Anne Roberts
    April 24, 2012 | 2:47 am

    Well, where I came from, it would fit with anything in the aforementioned list of most. But thanks to this post, it occurred to me that maybe its time to play the game differently, like staying with a distinct strategy to start with.

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