In business and in life, you have probably noticed that some questions are recurring. I’m not sure what questions you hear because our circle of business associates and friends is different. In my world, I am often asked why standardized color systems never seem to solve the problems they should.
The value of analyzing a recurring question
By taking a deep dive into why folks keep asking me that question, a few things happen. First, I realize there is a need that’s not being met in the color supply chain. There’s probably future business value in that, but first you need to take the analysis a bit further.
Why are they asking me that question? Do they consider me an expert? Flattering, of course, but not helpful from an understanding-the-question perspective. Do they believe ColorMetrix products should solve that problem and we are falling short of an implicit promise? Are they basically begging me provide a solution? Do they think we have the basic technology to solve the problem and are offering to help us make it happen?
Finally, after thinking of all the questions and theorizing what the answers are, it’s time for action. The first action step is to develop a strategy that will eventually lead to a solution that is useful to your customers. Ultimately, the strategy should read like a long-form answer to the question that started this process. After all, strategy is your playbook. You need to set yourself up for success by creating tools and developing skills that will fill the need exposed by the recurring question.
In the end, successful businesses, like successful people, listen way more than they talk. That is, after all, why we have two ears and one mouth.