If, to borrow the tired business buzz phrase, you’re thinking outside the box, then you’re doing it wrong. So says Mr Matt Watkinson, award-winning author of The Ten Principles Behind Great Customer Experiences; you should be using his grid instead.
In his new book, The Grid: The Decision-Making Tool For Every Business (Including Yours), Mr Watkinson argues that most of us – from employees up to business owners – have become so embroiled in our own finicky areas of expertise that we fail to grasp the wider impact that the decisions we make can have. For example, by cutting costs in the production of an item to increase profits you might actually be making a less desirable product that you can’t sell. The problem is when you’re looking at a linear company from ground level, you won’t see much beyond the next room; Mr Watkinson suggests you need to take a “space-station view” instead, to see it as a whole.
But how do you – and we hate to break it to you, but essentially a cog – best get your head around the complexities of the machine that is the modern company? This is where Mr Watkinson’s grid comes in. By breaking down the workings of a business to nine components in what looks like a noughts-and-crosses board – wants and needs, revenues, customer base, rivalry, bargaining power, imitability, offerings, costs and adaptability – he believes you have a basic checklist for making any decision, and a means of taking a more holistic approach to the corporate world.