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A recent conversation on whether a Standard model is what business needed led me to this post and a resolute answer; yes!

The basis of the StandardModel idea is those fundamental elements and business actions that business most need to unlock growth.  In fact I argue that the fundamentals – a StandardModel – is all most businesses need.

We have all worked in companies where the emphasis is on activity not results (if you don’t please leave the name of your company in the comments section), companies where what is portrayed in this old IBM spot is all to familiar;

This blog proposes that to move away from a culture of coming up with an answer without first knowing the question – a la Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy – it is necessary to understand and focus on the fundamental elements of Marketing and Strategy.  Again I’d go so far as to say that this fundamental focus is all you need.

I have direct experience of taking failing businesses to great success to the surprise of the current management (everything from disposable razor blades to cough and cold medicine).  The process simply replaces an overcomplicated and misguided approach with a clear focus on the fundamentals.  A process where complicated management ideas and show-off-activity is replaced with a deliberate understanding of the very few things which drive a business and focusing exclusively on them.  Very much a Standard and not a Premium or Superior hyped approach.

I would characterize the focus on activity over fundamental business results as a ‘Yes-man’ culture.  A type of culture that Alan Mulally took on at a failing Ford Motor Co. and turned the company around in the process.  It is described in Bryce Hoffman’s book ‘American idol’.

A further example from golf is what is heralded as the best candidate for ‘the-only-golf-book-you’ll-ever-need’; Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons: the Modern Fundamentals of Golf.  In a sport where there is no limit to the gadgets that can be bought, a focus on the fundamentals is what will drive success … A StandardModel for golf?