Make a Roux

For those non-chefs out there, a roux is equal parts fat and flour. It’s a basic thickening sauce used to make soups, gravies and stews. A roux makes the dish work.

How can you make a roux from the incredibly different parts of your business? How can you mix disparate talents in such a way that the result will be a decidedly different company? What can you do that will make others seek you out because they WANT to work with you?

I’ve encountered various forms of this question repeatedly in the last few weeks. Maybe it’s the New Year – companies feel the need to distinguish themselves. It could be the economy – competition is so fierce we find it hard to stand out. Business is no longer fun – it’s just frustrating. You can only limp along for so long.

It’s time to find an answer. And yes, it’s time to change. I realize that change is disruptive. And I know that some of you will say that you don’t have time for change. You don’t have time to re-think your organization because you need to get more customers! And while you’re thinking, you’re not producing new customers.

But if you are hoping that you’re not dealing with the same issues in January of 2014, do something now. Make a roux. Take the crazy, best parts of your company and make them better. Sit down and really evaluate your business. Get some help from someone who is not part of your company. And don’t make it easy on yourself. Take a hard line stand and find a way to be different. Make a strategy. Map it out in 12 months and do it.

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