Today, one of my coaches helped me understand a bit further who my work is best suited for. So I thought you might find value in reading a bit about how I approach that question.
I was interested in having this conversation because I always like to understand the characteristics of the people I can positively impact the most. Understanding your customer is a never-ending process. The answer is never complete, but it’s always due.
Also, I know that a Strategic Narrative (my expertise) is for sure not a magic bullet. It’s not for every company and every CEO. It’s not ideal for every scenario, either.
So, who is it for?
Here is my super simple method to continually research my ideal client. I visualize a Venn diagram with three questions: Who do I know/understand? Who do I love? Who do I want to support? My ideal client is at the center.
To keep this brief, I’ll focus on one specific trait. During today’s coaching call, one of the key ideas we surfaced is that building a strategic narrative works well with entrepreneurs who believe deeply that something needs to be radically different, whatever that thing is. Not only do these entrepreneurs want to make a difference (who doesn’t?–everybody wants to make a difference), but they want to create something different. I know, it’s a subtle difference (no pun intended), but an important one.
Therefore, to drive the change they are hoping for, they need to define and activate a movement with a new strategic narrative. They think of their company as a movement. I wrote this week about this here.
By now, I’ve used my approach on a wide variety of products and industries, and I don’t think it would make sense to exclude certain specialties from the value it brings. I am not ready for a vertical specialization and probably will never be.
Instead, my clients’ number one common denominator is a particular appetite for change. So, I wouldn’t say “disruption”. I’m not particularly eager to use the term “disruption” because it’s so overused and very misunderstood. Plus, not everyone wants to disrupt all the time. Not everyone can and wants to create a new category. But almost everyone can create a movement and wants more demand. So, that’s why the word “change” seems about right for now.
Building a strategic narrative seems to make sense to idealist entrepreneurs, innovators, and founders with a broad and long-term view of their impact. It makes a lot of sense for CEOs seeking to mobilize people to achieve an opportunity more significant than their company. Again, the idea of creating a movement shows up here.
It would be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that strategic narrative builders are people looking to green-wash their company. No, instead, they are people who build a company to change something, not people who are looking to change something so they have an excuse to perpetuate their company at all cost. The latter is incoherent to me.
Again, I am just sharing a new insight from my journey here. I hope this will inspire you to keep looking to better understand your ideal customer. That’s how you will innovate and create more impact.
To be continued.