API Journal Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Andreas Grabner, Liz McMillan, Lori MacVittie, Hollis Tibbetts

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Apache: Blog Post

The Power of the Plan, or Why We Crashed and Burned

A big company has one last chance to rise from a serious downturn

Picture this. A big company has one last chance to rise from a serious downturn. But the company has lots going for it.

  • An unbelievably loyal customer and market following,
  • A game changing innovation,
  • A significant demand for exactly that innovation,
  • A bit of money to back it.

I watched customer after customer 'light up' as we told our story. We relaunched the company around that game changing solution to widely acclaimed success. In all my years I've never seen customers react so consistently, so passionately. It was the proverbial slam dunk. Within a month of the relaunch, there was $60+M of qualified potential revenue in the pipeline.

Sounds great, right? 

Wrong. Six months later the company is facing tougher times than ever.

The new product?  It's still there, dying in the corporate gloom.

So what happened?

The Plan happened. Oh, there were other things, other factors that played. But most of all, the Plan happened.

This company Plan of Record called for the development/enhancement, selling and support of a broad range of products including:

The game-changing innovation offered:

  • strong differentiation - as in 'only one of its kind'
  • 4-5x the product margins - probably double that 
  • a residual leasing revenue model - predictable, high margin revenue
  • immediate customer demand - everyone wanted to buy it.

But, since the game changing innovation didn't have revenues (yet) it was allocated a paltry share of The Plan.  BTW - company revenues were increasing according to The Plan, but the company was losing more money than ever and draining cash along the way. What does that tell you about the quality of those revenues - and of The Plan

Even after the launch success, the customer meetings, the pipeline -  the plan was still The Plan. The rest, well, let's just say this story doesn't have a fairytale ending.

This company was positioned to soar again.  But thanks to The Power of the Plan - this perfectly set up Phoenix crashed and burned before it ever had the chance to fly.

You'd change course rather than fly into a thunderstorm, wouldn't you?   Even if that storm wasn't in your flight plan?

Markets change, customers change, people change - plans should change too.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Rebel Brown

Rebel Brown guides organizations and individuals to harness the power of their minds to step into their ultimate potential. A masterful agent of change, for over 25 years Rebel Brown has inspired, coached and empowered individuals and businesses to unstoppable performance and results. As a recognized market strategist and turnaround expert, Rebel guided over 200 global organizations to step beyond their status quo perspectives to create profitable market advantage. She also worked with US and European venture firms to successfully fund and launch their portfolios. She also ran a consulting practice in Paris for three years, working with European clients. Fascinated by the power of our human minds to limit ourselves and our business results, she began her study of neural science. Her core question was simple. What could we do if we had no limits? Today, she brings the power of neuroscience to business (NeuroBusiness),fueling limitless thinking that drives powerful bottom line growth for her executive and corporate clients. Rebel’s work has been featured in media including First Business TV, Forbes, Inc, Entrepreneur, Business Insider and Business Week. She is a Vistage International speaker and workshop leader as well as NSA speaker. She’s also been named one of the Top 100 Women in Computing. Rebel is also the founder and director of the Unstoppable U Foundation, a non-profit program committed to guiding kids to know that they are born to be Unstoppable!

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