Jim Collins explained in his book, “Good to Great”, why some companies become great at what they do and why others remain average or just ‘good’ at their product or service
Good revenue, good income, good market reputation, it’s all good, isn’t it? But, it’s not great. And that’s what makes it a bad thing. An average Joe is not what we want to be in life, do we? The pursuit of perfection is what we want and that’s what gives our life a purpose. Good to great digital business development is what we want.
Otherwise, it goes downhill. It’s the law of nature. Things that are not improving start to deteriorate. “Entropy” is what they call it in scientific jargon. Meaning, if it’s not good to great digital business development, it’ll become average to worse business deterioration.
So, we know that growth and development should be a constant factor for a digital business. What we want to know is why some companies manage it within decades but others stall. There must be a reason why some companies keep achieving perfection while others become stuck in a ‘good’ zone.
Indeed there are logical steps and ‘habits’ that those insanely successful companies adopt to achieve greatness. Like all startups, they start from the bottom as well. But with time, the develop techniques, culture, and strategies that set them apart. These ‘habits’ or strategies are not God-gifted or supernatural.
In this article, we’ll discuss some of those factors briefly. These ideas were presented by Jim Collins in his bestselling book, “Good to Great” and have been applied in the business world extensively. We’ll take those ideas and apply them specifically to our part of the world, that is, the digital world.
Why some companies make to the great while others remain average?
Let’s get into the details of factors that set average companies apart from great companies. Among the reasons for good to great transition are leadership, being realistic, doing what your best at, adopting discipline, use of technology at the right time and right place, and using a multiple-prong approach towards development.
Jim has named those concepts in a smart and easy to remember way and we’ll use his terminologies. But, what we’re doing today is to apply these concepts in the digital world.
So, let’s get started with our good to great digital business development journey.
Level 5 Leadership: A leader who is humble in his approach but determined for the cause
The first aspect is leadership. Jim does not want an ordinarily defined leadership. Based on his research and experience, he wants a level 5 leadership for a company to be successful. For him, that’s the first and foremost aspect that cannot be ignored at any cost.
Level 5 leadership is defined as:
“A powerful mixture of personal humility and indomitable will. They’re incredibly ambitious, but their ambition is first and foremost for the cause, for the organization and its purpose, not themselves”
Thus, a level 5 executive is someone who is determined but not a narcissist, and ambitious but purposeful. In the digital world, many entrepreneurs work on their own. But, for many tasks, they hire people from the internet or platforms like Fiverr.
What is required of them is to provide a vision for the project and an unassailable will, but they should also be open to new ideas. This is imperative for a good to great digital business development process.
First Who, Then What: Get the right people on the bus
This is an interesting analogy and one that is extremely important to understand. Many companies spend a lot of time figuring out their purpose, vision, mission, and devising strategies to achieve those aims. This is not bad in itself but there is more to it than just planning.
What’s more important than planning, is getting the right people on the team. The perfect example of this is getting the right people on the bus and getting them in the right seats. If you don’t have a great driver, your bus will run into trouble. If on the front seats, there are people who don’t know anything about the trip, you won’t reach your destination the way you intended to do.
Similarly, if you don’t have the right people to work with on your digital projects, then there will be no creativity, the content will be bland and people will lose interest in your project. Also, you need people with integrity if you’re in the affiliate marketing business as you want to convey the truth to the customer about the products or services you promote.
Confront the Brutal Facts: The Stockdale paradox—Face the brutal facts but with hope
People sometimes ignore the facts and go into denial mode when they face adversities. While others give up hope when they confront the brutal facts. That’s where greatness is lost. When you want to build a great business, you must know the facts on the ground and try to seek solutions for the problems. At the same time, those harsh realities must not make you hopeless or dejected.
In the digital world and online businesses, many people are earning passive incomes without much effort. However, that doesn’t mean they had an easy run. In this case, some people deny the existence of hard work for this field while others lose heart as they consider it an impossible task. For both these types, greatness will not be on the menu.
In digital marketing, many startups run into difficult situations in the beginning. At this time, it is important to be persistent and keep working even in the face of distresses.
The Hedgehog Concept: Three overlapping circles: Passion, Talent, Economic value
This is important to achieve perfection as it combines three major elements. Your passion, what you’re best at, and what can provide you with money.
Many people believe that what they are passionate about is what they are best at. But that’s not always true. Many people are passionate about football but they are not the best at it on the field. Some are passionate about something and they are good at it too, but that doesn’t support their household or generate income. Thus, it’s important to know the sweet spot that Jim described in his concept, “The Hedgehog Concept”
In digital marketing and affiliate marketing, many people are doing things that they are not passionate about.
Remember our advice in affiliate marketing mistakes article, never start a niche that you don’t care about, just because others are making good money out of it. You won’t. Or at least you won’t be the best in business with that niche.
Similarly, many people enter digital marketing just because they hear it’s a lucrative business. That’s not how it works. You’ve got to have a passion, a talent and a skill in earning to become a great digital business.
Culture of Discipline: Combine the full force of discipline with responsibility
Entrepreneurs and companies who are disciplined are far more efficient, creative, and progressive. This does not mean having a military-style routine but discipline is a key in success all the same.
What is needed is a disciplined thought process combined with a disciplined action. Jim emphasizes the importance of freedom but that does not absolve people of responsibilities.
In the digital world, digital marketing, and affiliate marketing, discipline in self-routine for an entrepreneur can be the difference between success and failure. Self-employed digital and affiliate marketers must adopt a culture of social responsibility as well.
Passive income is great but it can stop you from achieving greatness if you become lazy. Good to great digital business development is not for lethargic individuals.
Technology Accelerators: Technology is great but it’s only an accelerator
Some people believe that technology alone can solve all their problems. That’s far from the truth and can be a dangerous supposition. Technology only helps when you have a specific part for it to play. Otherwise, it can be a waste of investment.
Technology does not create the momentum for you. You have to do that yourself. However, technology can increase the momentum by increasing the efficiency. Greatness cannot be achieved just by spending a lot of money on the latest technologies.
In digital and affiliate marketing, if you don’t have the latest software, you can always find alternatives through creativity.
Or, if you don’t have a lot of paid subscriptions, you don’t have to lose heart as there are many other ways to get the same results.
You can always learn new techniques from Fiverr Learn to use technology effectively.
To sum it all up, we’ll remind you once again about the concept of entropy. It is the deterioration of things that are left alone. You want to avoid that at any cost if you want to achieve greatness in digital and affiliate marketing and online businesses.
For greatness, always rely on your leadership vision but stay humble and open to new ideas. Cultivate a culture of discipline in yourself and your professional work. Keep track of the harsh realities and solve them with courage and patience. Use technology effectively and where needed but don’t consider it a panacea for all the problems.
With this advice, we conclude this lecture on good to great digital business development. Our best wishes are with you in the digital and online world and hope that we’ve helped you understand the process of becoming a great company.
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