Competitive Advantage. Involve Everyone: Business is all about capturing intellect from every person. The way to engender enthusiasm is to allow employees far more freedom and far more responsibility. Inspiring People: Strategies Freedom To Fail: Start with yourself. Encourage people to take initiative. Use the brains of every worker. Create an atmosphere where workers feel free to think and speak out. Yin-Yang of Employee Empowerment. Make Everybody a Team Player: Managers should learn to become team players. Middle managers have to be team members and coaches. Take steps against those managers who wouldn’t learn to become team players. Stretch: Set stretch goals. Stretch targets energize. “We have found that by reaching for what appears to be the impossible, we often actually do the impossible; and even when we don’t quite make it, we inevitably wind up doing much better than we would have done.” Instill Confidence: Create a truly confident workforce. Confidence is a vital ingredient of any learning organisation. The prescription for winning is speed, simplicity, and self-confidence. Self-confident people are open to good ideas regardless of their source and are willing to share them. “Just as surely as speed flows from simplicity, simplicity is grounded in self- confidence.” Have Fun: Fun must be a big element in your business strategy. No one should have a job they don’t enjoy. If you don’t wake up energized and excited about tackling a new set of challenges, then you might be in the wrong job ... More fun helps Build the ‘‘ Create a vision and then ignite your organisation to make this vision a reality. Get people so passionate about what they are doing that they cannot wait to execute this plan. Have great energy, competitive spirit and the ability to spark excitement and achieve results. Search for leaders who have the same qualities.’’ Market-Leading Company. Be Number 1 or Number 2: “When you’re number four or five in a market, when number one sneezes, you get pneumonia. When you’re number one, you control your destiny. The number fours keep merging; they have difficult times. That’s not the same if you’re number four, and that’s your only business. Then you have to find strategic ways to get stronger. But GE had a lot of number ones.” Strategies of Market Leaders Evolve a game plane, a business strategy “number one, number two.” Send shivers throughout your organisation. Exact the highest standards and make sure that everyone in your company meets those standards. Look for the quantum leap. Get rid of fat... Live Quality: “We want to change the competitive landscape by being not just better than our competitors, but by taking quality to a whole new level. We want to make our quality so special, so valuable to our customers, so important to their success that our products become the only real value choice.” Constantly Focus on Innovation: “You have just got to constantly focus on innovation. And more competitors. You’ve got to constantly produce more for less through intellectual capital. Shun the incremental, and look for the quantum leap.” Now the fundamentals have got to be more education. More information knowledge, faster speeds, more technology across the board. Live Speed: “Speed is everything. It is the indispensable ingredient of competitiveness.” Speed, simplicity and self-confidence are closely intertwined. By simplifying the organisation and instilling confidence, you create the foundation for an organisation that incorporates speed into the fabric of the company. Behave Like a Small Company: Small companies have huge competitive advantages. They “are uncluttered, simple, informal. They thrive on passion and ridicule bureaucracy. Small companies grow on good ideas – regardless of their source. They need everyone, involve everyone, and reward or remove people based on their contribution to winning. Small companies dream big dreams and set the bar high - increments and fractions don’t interest them.” Dr Clifford J. Ferguson is the Managing Partner of Rainmakers, and chairman of Glad’s House. You can commune with him on this or related matters via email at: Cliff.Ferguson@ rainmakers.uk.com, or visit their website: www.rainmakers.uk.com.