12 December, 2011

The power of NOT thinking

Flashback: first published 23 January, 2008

I wrote earlier that strategic thinking shouldn’t be complicated, providing simple answers to basic questions about your market offer (to customers, staff, business partners and investors):
  • What is your market offer?
  • Who is your target market?
  • Why are you making that particular offer, why that audience, and why will they accept it?
  • How will you make your offer and how will you fulfill it?
  • Where will you make your offer and where will you fulfill it?
  • When will you make your offer and when will you fulfill it?
One of the most powerful strategic thinking tools I know is NOT thinking. No, I don’t mean that you shouldn’t think. Just ask yourself the same questions, but with the word NOT inserted:
  • What is NOT your market offer?
  • Who is NOT your target market?
  • Why are you NOT making that particular offer, why NOT that audience, why will they NOT accept it?
  • How will you NOT make your offer and how will you NOT fulfill it?
  • Where will you NOT make your offer and where will you NOT fulfill it?
  • When will you NOT make your offer and when will you NOT fulfill it?
Deliberately spelling out what you won’t do helps you to better define what you will do, and importantly it helps to keep you and your team on track.

What you’re not is as important as what you are.

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