Vantage Blog


Some practical tools to ‘conquer crisis of complexity’

Simple, by Siegel and Etzkorn, tells a compelling story about the need for simplicity in business (click here).

But it is short on practical advice on what to do – how to achieve simplicity in not just your communications and product design, but in your business strategy and model.

There are a number of tools I recommend people use to gain strategic clarity. Here are my top 5:

1) Uncovering WHY you do what you do – as Simon Sinek outlines everyone knows WHAT they do, most know HOW they do it but few know WHY – and that’s where the essence of what drives you lies – sort of a guiding principle or vision.

2) A key activity for all businesses is to uncover their Competitive Advantage– being clear on what it is and how it guides your value proposition is key – a yardstick for simplicity. 

3) Developing your offer to customers from the perspective of their critical needs (rather than your features) is easier said than done.  The Product Surround Model is a good place to start.

4) In developing your content marketing strategy, communicating with current and prospective customers, you need to be able to hit your Sweet Spot of Marketing. Similar to Siegel and Etzkorn's simplicity model it focuses on making your marketing digestible, based on solving customer problems and grounded in your competitive advantage (see above!).

5) Of course theNow-Where-How framework, and the resultant One Page Planningapproach and its focus on achieving alignment and traction with execution, is in my experience the ultimate in providing clarity on where you are going and how you are going to get there.  The simplicity of approach enables it to be a living breathing document that guides and clarifies what is important and how you are going at achieving your goals.

The key here of course is to focus – deciding, in many cases, what you are NOT going to do as much as what you are.  Easy to say, difficult to achieve without some real commitment and energy to simplify your business, what it offers customers and how you work as a team.

 by James Atkins, Vantage Strategy & Marketing

This article is linked to James' Google+ profile

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