Entries in Strategy (5)
Through the years we have always prompted our readers to be unique, remarkable, disruptive, connect dots, and in your way to be BOLD.
Back in the day...way back in the day. You stepped up to the plate, made a decision, owned the decision, enjoyed the win, or endured the consequences. Today folks take out Powerpoints, tables, spreadsheets, torture data to create a multi faceted buffer replacing stepping up to the plate.
A white paper from Deloitte that resonates with what we have been saying for years.
The other day we were reading an opinion on higher education...the term "excellent sheep" cropped up. Yes...you can agree or disagree, you are entitled to your opinion.
Is the auto business especially at the retail level generating, and perpetuating a flock of excellent sheep?
Reflect on this for a moment.
We surely don't have all the answers, but when you consider benchmarks here, best practices there, the usual pedestrian knowledge being disseminated over and over.
You have to wonder!
Here is the thing, at a time of big data, curating big data, seeking the next big or small advantage.
Being an excellent sheep surely has its advantages, you quietly fall in line with the flock, and are doing the same things everyone else is doing. Following the same benchmarks, guidelines, reviewing the same data.
There is a sense of security...
Agreed...you can be an excellent sheep among the flock, and it might provide you enough of an advantage. Or what you think is an advantage...and obvious a sense of security.
Perhaps you will need to break out of the flock, be a disrupter, reconceptualise the data, and strategy. To gain an additional advantage.
You need to be keenly aware of the "guy in the back of the room" that is observing the "flock of sheep".
In the early days of the Internet the entire auto industry was myopic towards the Internet, and later towards social media. There are countless cases where the business comes up short.
If you have been around, involved with, or participated in the auto business for a while, you have the luxury of looking back, and looking ahead.
We were doing that the other day, and it hit us that in the 21st century some folks that are truly enlightened, prescient, and always very discreet. While others are myopic, with a glancing pedestrian knowledge, usually if not always making a ton of noise.
Everyone has a better mouse trap than the other guy. Everybody is trying to monetize something or other, or grab some piece of the action.
There is the "guild" for this, the association for that, the convention for something else, the event for another thing...and it goes on. Let's not forget the 20 of this, the 10 best of that, the top 5 of the other thing, and the nominated winner of something else.
Being part of a "guild", while attending these various events of like minded folks is great for networking, disseminating pedestrian knowledge, and inflating egos.
While the really smart "dude" observes from the back of the room acknowledges the myopic behavior, while crafting his strategy.
Agreed...public relations, photo ops, guilds, associations, events, networking, are an intrinsic part of any business, and create the right optics from a social, community perspective. In the auto business the PR budgets are well consumed for a myriad of activities that capture a nano second of attention.
In 2016 if you need to go to an industry event to discover a new product, new software, new concept, bolster your ego...where are you the rest of the time?
There is so much of this low level stuff going on, its has a tendency of sucking in individuals. While propagating "street knowledge" in an auto business environment where you have to be brilliant to make a difference, and stand out.
"Did you really do that (a brilliant move/strategy)?"....reply "Yes"...."How did you do that?"....reply "A bit of this, and that it worked out". Obvious no one will provide a step by step answer....certainly not to a room full of like minded folks (competitors).
Consider this simple graph from JD Power...for March 2016 in Canada.
The myopic / pedestrian comment would be "The spring market is around the corner and you can't sell new vehicles from an empty shelf."
The smart dude in the back of the room, discreetly starts to connect a few dots, seeking an advantage.
If you are an astute observer and conclude that manufacturers have applied the "sledge hammer" approach to move iron, you might be correct.
If you are a dealer and look outside, you visually see the increase in day supply, the increase in longer term loans, the additional challenge to close deals, while intimately feeling the pressure to move iron.
If you are a customer you see serious deals being offered in the immediate horizon.
Do you think that the smart / prescient individual in the back of the room will give you a step by step guide as to what he will do to move iron during the second quarter?