So, we are approaching the end of the A to Z of Successful Business Owners and Leaders and this week is all about “The Yin & Yang of Business”
The humble letter “Y” originated as the twentieth letter of the Greek alphabet, upsilon, which was adopted into the Latin alphabet around 2,000 years ago to represent the “y” sound.
To speakers of romance languages, like French and Spanish, this “y” sound was new. And as a Germanic language, English already had a “y” sound, and so “Y” quickly found a home for itself at the tail end of our alphabet, although it has never been commonly used.
When it comes to business success, an obvious “Y” word could of course be something like “Yield”!
However, I am going to talk about Yin and Yang in Business as it is more unusual for us to consider this.
If you are familiar with Yin and Yang, you will know that …
Yin represents the female energy force in all we do, and
Yang represents the male energy force.
You will have seen the Yin & Yang symbol representing the balance between the two that exists in our World.
We know that everything comes down to balance at the end of the day;
- balancing the books,
- balancing our energy reserves,
- work-life balance, etc.
So, let’s dive in and have a look at how this can help us to succeed in business …
YIN: Looks at your business from the Outside-In, and works towards satisfying the needs of all stakeholders. Practice customer-driven innovation.
Yin is more passive and accepting and about Outside-In Strategies:
Strategic analysis of the of the industries and markets in which your company operates to identify those markets in which your company’s capabilities can yield, leading to a Sustainable Competitive Advantage.
YANG: Looks at STANDING-OUT from the competition, gaining customers, creating, formulating and implementing ventures.
YANG is more active and aggressive and about Inside-Out Strategies:
Strategic analysis of the characteristic of your company to identify your Distinctive Corporate Capabilities (capabilities that help your company STAND OUT from its competition and sell distinctive differences in the market in which it operates).
Your distinctive capabilities – the characteristics of your company which cannot be replicated by competitors, or can only be replicated with great difficulty – are the basis of your Sustainable Competitive Advantage.
According to the resource-based view of the company, sustainable competitive advantage is achieved by continuously developing existing and creating new resources and capabilities in response to rapidly changing market conditions.
For example, distinctive capabilities may include things like …
Patents, exclusive licenses, strong brands that lead to effective leadership, team work / tacit knowledge.
Reproducible Capabilities are those that can be bought or created by your competitors and thus by themselves cannot be a source of competitive advantage. Many technical, financial and marketing capabilities are of this kind.
Your distinctive capabilities need to be supported by an appropriate set of complementary reproducible capabilities to enable your company to sell its distinctive capabilities in the market it operates.
Effective Leadership demands a delicate balance between …
- Sensitivity and authority.
- Loose and tight leadership style.
- Internal and external.
- Tradition and innovation to achieve sustainable growth and employee satisfaction.
Look at your business from outside-in as well as inside-out and ask these questions relentlessly: –
- What’s happening in the marketplace?
- How are the needs changing? What’s causing the changes?
- Where are the resulting opportunities?
Having answered the above questions, work backwards: –
- What needs do we satisfy now? What need could we satisfy now? In future?
- What’s the gap between them and what we do now, and how to bridge it?
- What advantages and capabilities do we need to strengthen or create? What old competencies should we deemphasize?
So, coming back to Yin and Yang …
YIN: Practice Customer-Driven Innovation
YANG: Create Curiosity and Surprise to exceed expectations. Manage change and innovation proactively.
I hope you have enjoyed this “Thought for the Week”!
And if you haven’t already, remember that I would love to help you to explore your aspirations and create a roadmap to success with you.
You can book your Free Clarity Session and there is absolutely no obligation and we can meet via Zoom or Skype.
Have a great week and very best wishes for your success!