The Jim Collins Mindset

For those of you that don’t know, Jim Collins has authored some of the most comprehensive books on what it takes to build a great company, including Good to Great and Great by Choice.  These are based on studies of companies that grew 10 times their industry average, across many different industries.

When I look around, these are the mindsets I see in the greatest of our business leaders. While you might think it’s something like “pure genius” of charisma, it is not.

These proven mindsets can be applied to your marketing. Over the next weeks, we will do an overview of them and what they mean to you, the professional small business owner.

The first one I love to institute is to “fire bullets, then cannonballs.”

Fire Bullets then Cannonballs

You think all of your ideas are great.  You would not move forward with them if you did not.  However, you must test them. Test your aim, and test out how well they work.

This means to test different methods with low cost, low involvement/distraction and low work.  Then you must be able to empirically validate them.

The problem with marketing is that to have this mindset, you must have marketing metrics and goals.

The bullets can be a marketing method, an addition to your list of Ideal Clients, or a change in your workflow.  It will not take the whole organization off course until you have seen it work.

We have all fired a cannonball, or even many cannonballs before.  You might be tempted to do it again.  Making this mistake does not seem like a big deal at the time. However, you must try many things out in small doses, then move forward with what works.

Here are some other criteria to make sure this mindset works.  

You must have an aim.  It seems simple enough, but “more clients” is not an aim. “X amount of ideal clients” is an aim.

Reducing your measured time spent on low value tasks (defined as anything you can outsource at less than you want to be paid hourly) is an aim. “Increased productivity” is not an aim.

Marketing has a punctuated equilibrium. Sending out 10 emails is not a bullet.  It’s not even a valid test. Still, you do not need to do a rebrand to test it.

“Firing Bullets” is supported by the next few weeks’ posts about Jim Collins’ mindset. These mindsets will help your business become a great company – by choice.