You know you are on the right track when the message you've been preaching for years is born out, at least in part, by the big consulting firms.
This past week I read a piece about brand being the reflection of your employees. After all, it is their execution (or lack thereof), that creates brand perception. I totally agree.
Then I read a research study about aligning your corporate culture to your business goals to bring your strategy to life. I mostly agree.
If you've read my prior posts about an effective strategic planning process, then you know that points two and three are ensuring your employees understand the plan, and then integrating the plan with your management system (gets to execution and culture).
But strategies are useless if they fail to incorporate market and competitive data. (That was point one.) Your brand and culture are useless too, if they fail to incorporate market and competitive data.
Unfortunately, businesses trying to help these companies don't. Why? They tend to provide research and tools the way businesses operate...in silos. As a result, execution winds up on the CEO's plate, almost exclusively, because his opinion is the anchor point.
The money is in making your customers the anchor points. Listening to the decision makers in your top accounts provides you a means to understand where and how to grow, where to invest and how to shift your brand and culture to be able to execute consistently against expectations.
When you develop a strategy based on market insight and then align your resources to the strategy in a meaningful way, you will be on your way to sustainable, predictable, profitable growth. Now, doesn't that sound sweet?