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Aerospace BizDev News from Linda Wolstencroft
Newsletter #50 –
Aug 15th, 2015

Linda Wolstencroft’s monthly Newsletter offers business leaders insights on achieving the next big win.

Beware of Window-dressing: Peel that onion and look beneath the surface

Awhile ago, I had the opportunity to work with two companies, both of whom possessed impressive marketing strategies and excellent reputations.

What distinguished them from each other was what was going on beneath the surface. When it came to delivering, one delivered great value to their customers, while the other struggled.

The left side of the table below shows the best practices I observed at the first company – the company that delivered the value expressed in its marketing image. The right side of the table shows observations on the second company – the company that struggled to deliver.

Project Delivery Characteristics:  High Value and Lower Value Results

Item

Company A - High Value Results

Company B - Lower Value Results

Leadership outlook

Even when substandard work was being produced in some areas, the leadership kept a positive outlook that kept the team looking forward.

When confronted by their customer for poor performance, instead of proposing ideas for moving forward, the leadership made excuses, stretched the truth, and tried to absolve their firm of responsibility.

Team feedback methods

Internal criticism for substandard work was dealt with privately, and the focus was on how to improve moving forward instead of ruminating on the past.

Team members were openly blamed for errors – in front of their colleagues.  Furthermore, these were errors that leadership should have corrected.

Team grit

The team members kept moving forward and did not allow obstacles to hold them back, even when obstacles appeared insurmountable.

The team members took a minimalist approach to performing the work; they merely did as they were told and did not think outside the box.

Team expertise

The company maintained a cadre of experts in various fields who could rise to beat tough challenges.

The expertise maintained in the company was not suited to some of the business they took on.

Team deployment

Important projects were planned early and carefully, and executed as per plan, thereby improving the probability of success.

The planning of work required was poor; last-minute work was done on important accounts, resulting in a high error rate.

Customer value

The customer value proposition of providing complete solutions for customers and maintaining strong customer relationships permeated throughout the organization. Customers were pleased with the value delivered.

Substandard product was delivered to important customers. Customers were not pleased with the value delivered.

This remarkable contrast is even more remarkable because the market reputation of each company was impeccable.

How can two companies that both have high credibility on the outside be so different on the inside?

In my own work of helping businesses succeed, I often observe how window-dressing is used for decisions in hiring professional help. My most successful clients consider project success rates and case studies as evidence in impacting their buying decision, however not all buyers take advantage of this information. Therefore, there may be many more project examples falling to the right-hand side of the above table than there should be.

How do you run your business?

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LINDA WOLSTENCROFT recognized for her professional contribution to aerospace in Canada.

Click here to read the details and a Q&A with Linda.

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