OK, there is plenty of negative chatter on the economy to go around. Now what? Time to start looking at the positive deviants. These are the companies and individuals who thrive despite the circumstances.
If you look around, they are there. Cirque du Soleil, a Blue Ocean Strategy original example, continues to grow its core business, while investing heavily in R&D and in scouting talent. And critical to their success is finding financial partners who believe in their method and in their brand so that Cirque can continue to innovate and thrive. Despite the economy, Cirque is launching new shows in new locations and is licensing their methods to new partners!
Hyundai defied the odds and conventional wisdom, first by winning a number of awards for its products. Then it was the first major auto manufacturer to offer to buy back its cars if the buyer lost his or her job. In hindsight, it looks obvious. Just figure out who the non-customers are and what stands in the way of their buying a new car: risk. Find the obstacle and knock it away.
Netflix made it easy for consumers to rent movies for a low, fixed monthly fee and no late return penalties. For itself, the subscription model provides a predictable revenue stream. In addition to DVD's, Netflix made it easy for consumers to instantly view select videos on demand. No cable needed. No satellite needed. In February, it delivered its 2 billionth DVD, while delivering much higher customer satisfaction than peers in the retail industry.
As I work with business owners and managers and as I observe other successes these days, it seems there are some consistent patterns:
- Keep a feeder tube connected to ready pools of capital
- Invest in the future
- Identify and eliminate barriers to customer delight
- Get the eyes out into the field to uncover additional opportunities
- Look forward and focus on the positive.
These are just a few examples. And these are just a few of the things that these positive deviants are doing to create their success.
What are the success stories you see? What makes it possible for these positive deviants to succeed in spite of the economy, in spite of viruses and in spite of negativity?