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  • Chris Ward

The Power of One: A Single-Minded Purpose Essential to Owning Your Space

A few years ago I was invited to speak to a group of business executives gathered to learn more about membership in an organization dedicated to leadership development and business growth.


My talk was entitled The Power of One and I spoke about how every employee, regardless of title or department, has the power to influence what external stakeholders think of a business and what it has to offer.


Since then, I’ve developed an even greater respect for the number “one,” in large part owing to my work in helping clients own their space.


One goal in common

Owning your space should be the goal of every business organization. Those that own their space are clear about the market position they want to stake out. They have taken the time to understand what drives their external stakeholders—their customers, clients, members or donors. As a result they offer products and services that satisfy very specific needs. They’re able to communicate clearly and succinctly what their organization stands for and how their offering will benefit their stakeholders. And they have fine-tuned their policies, systems and processes to enable their employees to deliver what stakeholders expect. Based on a fundamental understanding of market opportunities, they have been able to meaningfully differentiate themselves from their competitors and build their reputation as a go-to provider.


Integration enables focus

From a strategic perspective, it takes an integrated business, brand and marketing strategy to own your space. That means a strategy with a single-minded purpose…a strategy with one overarching theme.


Recently, I worked with a provincial healthcare association to develop an integrated, three-year strategic plan. Through workshops and surveys it became apparent that members expected more from the association than they were actually getting. And they were quite clear about what ‘more’ should look like. As a result the overarching theme became ‘member value’, and the plan’s unifying goal spoke to significantly enhancing the benefits of membership. This goal served as a litmus test for evaluating which strategic initiatives to include in the plan.


Strategy benefits from a single unifying theme

Which brings me back to the title of this blog post—The Power of One: A Single-Minded Purpose Essential to Owning Your Space. In my experience, many plans come up short because they lack this unifying theme and focus. What about your organization? Have you got a single-minded focus? Have you got a unifying theme that will help you focus on what really matters to your external stakeholders? Are you capitalizing on The Power of One?