Wisdom Agency - Strategies for Mid-Sized Business

Not the General Nutrition Centre as you may think but my abbreviation for Global – National – Company (GNC). The purpose I established this GNC thinking pattern is to first focus my thoughts and fragmented insights on how to create an effective strategy for my company and then pass it down to all levels in the easiest and most succinct way.

The common problem of SME enterprises is that rarely all the staff can understand the whole picture of the business, maybe even middle-rank managers as they are more likely to focus intensely on performing their operational tasks. Operational tasks are good though, but when people spend too much time on these they tend to lose grip of internal process. As the result, problems arise then efficiency drops. Furthermore, my critical question is where innovation usually comes from, by putting one head on one small matter or by putting as many heads as possible on the whole matter of managing a company and pushing it forwards? Why has management solely been the job of the executives?

For these reasons, GNC is created to bring my staff to the higher level of business comprehension so that in turn they can do their work better, contribute more ideas for common growth and last but not least help to push their own company (my also, of course) forwards.

GNC borrows, yet credits, insights from Value Chain and Five Forces of professor Michael Porter and 5C Situation Analysis. All are simplified into three shapes of (1) Circle, (2) Triangle, and (3) Square for easy understanding.

During the practice of GNC in my company, it’s also interesting to see the thinking pattern smoothly spreads across all levels of management and create personal preference to set GNC as thinking box for all later-on-added knowledge.

Here is how it goes:

Global – the circle:

  • Trend: common factors that affect specific industry (in my case – marketing), or trends that must be followed to keep the business updated. In other words, supportive factors
  • Barrier: other factors that hamper growth such as national entry barriers, cultural/political differences which do not support an international business expansion. In other words, disruptive factors

National – the triangle:

  • Economic: macroeconomic factors or saying the Context element of 5C model. Common application here is PESTELC to analyse all facets
  • Industrial: your Company, Coordinators and Competitors, anything that stays within the B2B level. You can also apply Five-Force here to have a thorough industrial analysis
  • Customer: the last part of triangle is your Customers, and your customer’s customers, anything of B2C level. Spectrum of primary and secondary target audience too as bottom of the triangle spans wide

Company – the square:

  • Front-line: departments such sales, marketing, customer service
  • Middle-field: operational departments of specific industries. In my case, they are Account, Digital Analysis, Media Planning, Social Media, Creative, Technical and several more
  • Back-office: as you may already guess, they are Human Resource, Finance, Information Technology and Infrastructure

Of course, junior staff are not supposed to know all the details that comprise GNC but at the first glance they realize where they are – in the square. My favorite analogue to start a training session is “I notice that you all my friends here are working in a part of our beloved square, but rarely know much about the triangle and may even totally unaware of the circle. If the truth is so, you are limiting yourselves to do small work and your career path is somehow stuck here too.

Then starts the conversation … and some friendly opposition too

I shall carry on “To some extent, you are right! But I’m a B-class employee who wants to build an A-class team. And an A-class can be built only when you dare to look further and higher than I do,” (credit to Guy Kawasaki – my favorite author).

How do you think about this? Especially if it’s wrong, please leave me a comment. In case it’s ok, an “Agree” comment is good as well!

 

NoteThis is personal view only. If I have missed out any reference, please let me know. I’m always open for critical opinions from those who thoroughly read.

Nguyen Hai Minh

Managing Director

Wisdom Agency