Think about your typical customer using your typical product/service. And I mean typical – the customer and the offering that is at the center of the commodity part of your business. What is it that they’re getting? Why are they buying it?
How commoditized was that part of your business five years ago? My bet is that your commodity today was an absolute home run five years ago – if it even existed back then.
Now think about your home run today. Where will it be on the commoditization spectrum five years from now? Probably obsolete.
The dominant strategic question in every CEO’s mind should be:
Why is it that people will be buying from us in 5 years?
Take a moment and ponder that question. Now, what are you doing today to pave the way for that future? Remember, your profits today are the result of you efforts from the past – and your profits tomorrow will be directly tied to the actions you take between now and then.
Don’t get lost in the answer to this question. The reality is that it’s virtually impossible to have any idea what we’ll be doing in 5 years or what our customers may need. But, the focus of 5 years is important because it forces you to break out of your company’s comfort zone and to prevent you from becoming complacent.
It is the job of the vast majority of the people in your company to maximize the results of your current business – it’s your job to figure out what that will be in the future.