Have you noticed how so many of your work friends and colleagues use the same phrases and sound-bites?

Here’s a quick list of the top ten I (still!) hear regularly;

  1. “Touch base”
  2. “Going Forward”
  3. “Low hanging fruit”
  4. “The food chain”
  5. “Idea showers”
  6. “Problems are opportunities”
  7. “Get all our ducks in a row”
  8. “Not enough bandwidth”
  9. “Can we take that off line”
  10. “Take a look under the bonnet”

Before you jump to conclusions there’s a good chance you use some of these and more. If you ask your friends and colleagues they will gladly point out all the phrases you use!

There’s one that my good friend Graham uses very often and he applies it to nearly anything that’s measurable in his role as management consultant – “More, better, faster different”*. I must confess I have recently been found to use the phrase myself when discussing sales performance, customer service, leadership strategy and a whole host of other business areas. It’s so annoying when you pick up one of these phrases and find yourself using it!

Over the last few weeks though I have been considering is there a good, better best to these approaches and which of these would be easiest to implement in any business strategy? Here’s my conclusion and I’d be interested to hear yours…

“better and different” trumps “more and faster”

A successful business friend of mine once told me “business is easy, it’s people that make it complicated. All you need to do to make more profit is grow the gap between income and expenditure. Simple!”. Over the years I’ve come to realise he’s right. To discount your product or service to close a sale, to offer a free incentive is the simplest thing to do drive sales, but has a costly impact on our bottom line.

If you think about it, “More and Faster” is the simplest way to lose money and kill your profits. “Buy one get one free”, “while you wait services”, “next day delivery” and “50% off” are created by more/faster mindsets which is often the lazy way we all go about delivering performance. We all have competition and we all have numbers to hit so in order to get those results we often resort to doing more/faster in order to create the value that customers are looking for. It is however, self-defeating,

The more innovative route to take is to do better/different as a way of adding value but few take that path as it takes creativity, thinking and innovation to come up with answers to better and different.

A recent example of this comes from Craig Hume who leads Utopia Computersin Scotland who manufacture specialist gaming computers for those who are serious about playing (Craig also happens to be a Network Group executive member). Due to their geographic location their deliveries go through a few more courier hubs and depots than average and so the chances of damage in transit is increased. Utopia have solved the problem using better/different by shipping their equipment in well packaged timber crates.

Ah, “but that’s still costly” I hear you say! Craig confirms it’s absolutely not. On the contrary, transit damage is reduced, resolution costs have been removed and the customers are delighted. Ironically, customers rave about the quality of the packaging and quite enjoying the experience of opening their new PC when it arrives.


What are the problems you face today?

Why not try thinking better/different instead of more/faster.


Author - Phylip Morgan, Network Group MD