DIRECTIONS - Architecture for revenue growth

December 2014

NOTE FROM THE DIRECTOR

Richard (Dick) Van BelzenMany thanks to those of you who shared this newsletter in 2014 and added colleagues to the distribution. Our readership has grown significantly as a result of your efforts.

There’s a saying, “Don’t push the river, it flows by itself.” This saying can be applied when we look at our priority list, whether it be self-created or organizationally imposed. We are all being challenged on the left, right and at every turn, in business as well as in life. So forcing a change or action that hasn’t been tried and tested is tempting. Some of the time, we “push the river” when we should be observing the flow and making changes within the context of natural momentum.

We at Northpoint are very mindful of a client’s natural momentum. The last thing we advocate is making changes that could affect positive flow. And we know that most mid-sized to large companies have well-developed processes that work for them. While many firms recommend installing entirely new programs on commercialization, lean, strategic planning, segmentation, etc., we would rather make upgrades or modifications to improve upon these existing processes. Adding and adjusting to that which works well is a better way to gain organizational buy in and achieve positive — if not dramatic — results.

Sincerely,
Signature
Richard (Dick) Van Belzen
Managing Director

Northpoint Advisors, LLC
1173 Pittsford-Victor Road, Suite 250
Pittsford, NY 14534
Phone: 585.233.6707
Email: dvanbelzen@northpointadvisors.com

INSIGHTS

Strategic Planning Inputs
The first quarter of 2015 is a great time to review your prior year processes and get recommendations on improvements. It is also a good time to collect current data and facts on the overall global marketplace and your industry ecosystem. The Northpoint team can help you develop and implement these strategic planning processes. We focus on megatrends, microtrends, market disruptors, global economics and shifts, and competitive intelligence. Then we provide you with a strong, concise, and easy to digest slide deck outlining the areas that will enhance the process and support the goal setting that often begins in Q2.

Growing Revenue
For most businesses, growing the top line is the toughest challenge. It’s always easier to look for ways to cut costs and improve processes. And it’s typically understood that those leading the sales effort are entrusted in growing the top line. This is well and good, in that most sales leaders are ready to take on this challenge.

We recommend performing a Sources of Revenue Audit/Assessment (SORA) in the first or second quarter of each year. This process will identify the current sources of revenue (and profits) and any gaps in the process. The benefits of doing this are two-fold: 1) to determine if there are any quick hits to help grow in 2015, and 2) to feed new opportunities into the 2016 strategic planning process.

Taking Risks
Leadership is often fragile like the career of a NFL quarterback. In all cases, any time spent in this spot needs to be put to good use in order to have success and move forward.

One of the challenges each leader faces is determining what level of risk is worth taking on. As we reflect on 2014, it can seem as if those that take on the least amount of risk are the ones that seem to get the promoted the most. So how do we avoid doing nothing, and instead carefully take on new challenges, that won’t hurt our career? Northpoint offers a Key Advisor Program (KAP) for leaders to help them successfully map business and careers goals. In the more than 20 years we have been providing this program, our clients have succeeded at 2-3x of their peer group.

CURRENT EVENTS

4 Steps That Will Help New CEOs Grow in Their Leadership Role
from Chief Executive Magazine, article written by Ron Carucci and Eric Hansen

In early September, Burger King made news by appointing a 34-year-old CEO, one of the youngest ever in a field where the average age is 57. Realistically, can Daniel Schwartz, or any 34-year-old, possibly be experienced enough to succeed in the top role?

In surveying leaders for our new book RISING TO POWER: The Journey of Exceptional Executives (September, 2014), 76% said that the formal development process at their company didn’t prepare them for their current leadership role. Furthermore, between 50% and 70% of executives fail within their first 18 months.

“Step back and truly assess your new reality despite pressures to act quickly.”

To ensure you are prepared for your current CEO role or a new one elsewhere, here are four phases of a successful ascent.

  1. Ascend: Acclimate to the new altitude and shed what you left behind. Don’t enter with an assumed mandate despite what the board says, and never impose past successes on a different context. Step back and truly assess your new reality despite pressures to “act quickly.” If you rose internally, resist your impulses to see the world through your former role.

  2. Adjust: Be intentional with your transition plan. Build a learning plan that first gathers disconfirming data. Synthesize insights into a shared set of “vital few” priorities. Size up talent and build your team. Expect your stakeholders to have conflicting demands and prepare to disappoint some of them. Master your need to please everyone lined up at your door with requests or advice.

  3. Assert: Effectively balance positional, relational and informational power, and carefully manage follower expectations. Never assume you’re impervious to power failure. Know that whatever proclivities you have for misuse or perversion of power will come screaming to the forefront. Take care not to deny your apprehension to use the power that accompanies your role. Accept that not everyone wants you to succeed.

  4. Affect: Groom exceptional executives who embody four consistent patterns that directly enable sustained, positive impact on performance. Establish your governance infrastructure and cadence quickly and consistently. Clarify decision rights for all governing bodies. Relentlessly focus the organization on the critical few priorities. Ensure there is a well synchronized rhythm by which you run the organization.

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FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION

Getting on the Right Bus
Photo by Allant Group
If you get on the wrong bus (decision wise), every stop is the wrong stop. As you implement for 2015, it’s never too late to stress test process approaches and deployments.

Read our Blog Post, Choosing the Right Strategy or Approach... is Getting on the Right Bus


© Can Stock Photo Inc. / tadamichi

"We recommend performing
a Sources of Revenue Audit/Assessment (SORA) in the first or second quarter of each year. This process will identify the current sources of revenue (and profits) and any gaps in the process. The benefits of doing this are two-fold: 1) to determine if there are any quick hits to help grow in 2015, and 2) to feed new opportunities into the 2016 strategic planning process."

THE LAST WORD

What is Our Digital Destiny?

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / maxkabakov

Join CEA Chief Economist Shawn DuBravac, GE Chief Economist Marco Annunziata, and Consultant and Author Larry Downes for a fresh, thoughtful conversation about the massive impending impact of digitization, sensorization and connectivity. This conversation will be held at the Churchill Club on January 13, 2015. Learn more about the event.

ENJOY THE HOLIDAYS!

Clarity by Thomas Hawk

Warmest thoughts and best wishes
for a wonderful holiday and a very happy new year.

Northpoint
Revenue Growth Experts
1173 Pittsford-Victor Road, Suite 250, Pittsford, NY 14534
Email: info@northpointadvisors.com | 585.233.6707
Visit us online at www.northpointadvisors.com
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© 2014 Northpoint Business Advisors

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