Monday, July 24, 2006

Good Models- Part 2

Last post, I talked about using crossover concepts to build stronger mediation practices. I cited Southwest Airlines as a great example of actively seeking innovation. Now, I want to back up a step and re-examine how we think about the industry of mediation.

What Business Are We In?

I once read an article that described how to understand the underlying interests of a market. Once again, Southwest Airlines was an example of good thinking. It’s easy to think that Southwest is in the airline business. Guess what? They don’t think so.

Southwest discovered after some research that they are actually in the transportation industry. They compete with all other forms of transportation so they needed to understand why consumers would choose one mode of travel over another.

So, I ask you: what industry are we in?

Communication? Problem-solving? Facilitation? Self-Help? Self-Awareness?

And, who is the competition based on the industry choice?

Answering these tough questions will allow us to broaden the market and then narrow our niche, then work within a sub-niche that’s large enough to sustain a business.

For example, if we think we’re in the self awareness business, then perhaps we can find a place within the growing coaching space and ultimately become conflict coaches for newly promoted managers. Just a thought...I’m still figuring this stuff out for myself.

Let me know what you think.

Try. Fail. Learn. Grow.



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