What I like about this statement, “We sell business improvement” is its simplicity. It also conveys a purpose to the work Professional Advantage does. Having a simple purpose is great because it can easily galvanise everyone’s thoughts and actions.

This statement became the topic of discussion at a recent company meeting.

At one level, it could be suggested Professional Advantage sells a variety of software applications. There is nothing unique in that. From another perspective it could be suggested the expertise and experience of our people forms the basis of what we sell. Whilst there may be some uniqueness to our skill sets, it does not fully encapsulate our offering. The reason is both products and expertise are simply inputs, they are ingredients.

For us, it was better to turn the question around, “What do clients buy from us?” Yes, clients buy products and yes, clients buy expertise. But, there must be a reason behind these purchases. The purpose of acquiring products and expertise is to make something of these ingredients.

Putting products and expertise together in such a way that ‘improves a business’ is the essence of what Professional Advantage sells and what clients buy.

There is a danger that business improvement can be viewed as a motherhood statement. But I disagree. A business improvement project has a broader mandate. These projects are generally characterised by three key points:

  1. They have an executive sponsor
  2. They are derived from a broader vision
  3. They act as a change agent

However just having these characteristics is no guarantee that the business will improve. They are essential pre-requisites but a project will also need discipline and nurturing if it is to make a lasting difference.

Discipline is required in business improvement projects to hold the course to the overall objective. Improving a business is not always easy, it requires us to change the way we work. To forge new ways of working requires a business to remain focused on the end goal. Using an implementation partner can help to uphold this discipline.

Also, nurturing is the flip side of discipline. It is the yin to the yang. To massage change through an organisation that will improve the business requires care. Nurturing helps ideas to grow and take hold. It requires understanding, forethought and attention. These subtleties make project life more interesting and dynamic.

There is an art to getting it right. It is not easy but the results are rewarding. This is why we sell business improvement and not simply products or skills.

Blog written by Chris Pennington, Consultant to PA. The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the writer. Content published here does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Professional Advantage Pty Ltd.

You can read more about Professional Advantage here and the work we have done with clients to achieve improvements to their businesses here.

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