Take a look at your business from a variety of
angles. This includes seeing your operation as your customers and key
partners see it. It will help you know what is non-negotiable and what
you can change.

Shifting perspective is about understanding why people do business or
join forces with you. If you do not know the why of their
participation, you are severely handicapped when it comes to expanding
the value they have come to rely on you to deliver.

When you understand clearly why your customers come to you and why
partners choose to work together with you, you are in a position to
innovate. You can develop new products and services that make sense in
their eyes and are received easily as a logical extension of current

When you know what is negotiable and what is not you are in a position
to cut away the extraneous while concentrating resources on those areas
that can really add to your success. This keeps you from making silly
mistakes, cutting away what is essential in the eyes of your customers.

If you are known, for example, for delivering the freshest produce, it
would not make sense for you to cut your relationship to local farmers
even when it costs more to do business with them – more than money is
at stake.

Knowing what can be modified and what cannot makes it possible for you
to intensify your impact by focusing your innovation efforts on the
value that is most of interest to your clients. For example, if they
depend upon you to get them fresh fruit and vegetable every day, then
providing them with fresh meat, too, will likely make you more valuable
in their eyes.

Shift your perspective – get out of your own head and into the minds of
the people who depend on you. Then you’ll be in a position to grow the
value you are providing them today.