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Back in November our very own Tactician, James Chalmers, wrote a series on our methodology, the third pillar of which is “Strategize”. Seeing as the #WordOfTheWeek this week is “Strategy”, what a great #ThrowBackThursday to look at the post and dive further into Better vs. Different.

Being Better
If you ask James, he will be quick to say “Being better is the cost of admission”. What does this mean? In order to make a business work, even in the short term, you need to stand out and be better at something than your competitors. This can mean better pricing, a better product, better service… it could also mean all of the above. In the short term, you can have some success by being better. Most organizations focus on this concept of being “better”. In the long term, however, history shows that being better is simply not enough in an environment where innovation and change happens faster than the average organization can keep up to. Harvard Business Review recently assessed global business as a $33 trillion dollar ecosystem. Of this global ecosystem, 1/3 of the value will be generated by businesses that don’t exist yet by 2030. That is just over a decade from now. Better, allows to you play the game, but only for so long. Eventually an organization will come along and be better than you on price, product, service or whatever you were better on. Like death and taxes, there is no avoiding this.

Being Different
Being or doing things differently is the key to long term success. This is where you create your value proposition. It is not about being different for the sake of being different. It is about a willful regard to challenge the status quo and not always accept that things have always been done a certain way, so let’s continue doing them that way. When we asked James what made TACK10 different… “TACK10 is different in so many regards. From the fact that we are developing 4 business groups (divisions) at once because the learnings and experience from each combine to propel us years forward to a focus on having a tremendously positive social, environmental and economic impact in the communities in which we operate to an attention to detail in absolutely every facet of our business that is often difficult to continuously live up to, no detail is too small or unimportant.” We can certainly attest to the attention to detail. While it is challenging to set such high expectations on a team while we are actively in growth mode, it absolutely makes us all better and stronger for it.

Innovation Is Not Just For Technology
When you think of innovation, technology often comes to mind first. Just like innovation in the product space, successful organizations are constantly evolving and innovating in every facet of their business. Successful strategy for long term success will prioritize being innovative, expecting the unexpected and being concerned with the details that we once had the luxury of overlooking. Being innovative is being different. It does not always have to be huge leaps forward. Sometimes the best differences are in the little things. This can include calling a client as opposed to an over reliance on digital communications, building a culture where team members want to genuinely know what puts a smile on a client’s face outside the office or asking “what keeps them up at night?” back at the office.

The Final Bell:
“Organizations are like sharks. They need to be moving forward in order to breathe and be healthy. It is not always about having to grow. Healthy organizations can stop growing at any time and still be successful at that size. To stay healthy though, they have to innovate, adapt and be relevant with the product or service you offer. This is about being different and having a value proposition.”
–James Chalmers