Home > Business and Strategy > Don’t be discrete

Don’t be discrete

That’s discrete, not discreet.  Of course you should be discreet, when the situation requires.  But I regularly see business owners and professionals being discrete, and therefore failing to think strategically or creatively.

What do I mean by that?  I mean absorbing a piece of information as a discrete issue, and not seeing linkages, risks and opportunities for themselves, their clients (communities, etc etc) that might be related to it.  For instance, one of my clients belonged to a national professional association that changed its name to a more modern version of the old one.  My client had close competitors in their city, and upon discovering this name change, we organized for them to register the same name but with their city name in front.  One of their competitors had the largest market share, and some months later announced to its customers that it was changing its name to the name my client had registered.  Of course, they were unable to do that, and when they were ready, my client began using the new name, gaining the prestige of the national linkage and building market share.  

We did not see the information about the national name change as a discrete issue.  We predicted the likely trend from that information, understood it was an opportunity and acted, stealing the march on the dominant industry player. Had we seen the information discretely, we would have simply voiced our view of how the new name sounded and left it at that, until we noticed others around the country changing their names as well. Like my client’s competitor, that may have been too late.

Whenever I am absorbing information – whether it is news or other’s opinions, whether from print media, tv or online – I am asking myself how this might link to or impact on my business, or those of my clients.  Sometimes it doesn’t, in any significant way.  Often it might do, and then I explore those ideas further.

Strategic and creative thinkers see opportunities everywhere.  Anyone can learn to do that, simply by asking a few questions of yourself about where, when and how that information might impact on your business or industry.  Don’t be discrete in your thinking.  Find the connection!


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Categories: Business and Strategy
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