Identify Your Driving Forces in Business

A hallmark of leadership is a relentless communication to the truth.  The Business Owner is or should be determined to achieve high levels of success leaves and wishes to leave no stone unturned in their efforts to understand the realities of their business and environment in which it operates.  To the extent possible, the Business Owner bases their strategies on reality, not on illusions.  One tool open to these business owners is the concept of Driving Forces, put forth by Benjamin Tregoe and John Zimmerman in their book, Top Management Strategy.


Your driving forces are those critical factors that will affect the future of your business over the next three to five years.  This is happening by design, with purpose or by hap – n – stance without a true clarity.  Although there are innumerable driving forces, following George L. Morrisey model and focus on SIX critical factors:

  1.  Product Driven
    • A product driven business is one that produces specific classes of products or services and whose focus is on producing those product/services for markets it already serves.  Consider, for example, the automotive industry, which manufactures a specialized product created to fill a specific and known consumer need in the long-entrenched market.
  2. Market Driven
    • A market-driven business is one that has established or is establishing strong relationships with specific markets and customer groupings.  Such a Business focuses most of its effort on determining how to best serve these markets and / or customers and then developing products to accomplish this objective.   An excellent example of a market-driven business is one engaged in systems development.  Its focus is not on the off-the-shelf products, although these may represent a portion of its business, but rather on assessing client’s unique challenge and then develop a system or systems to overcome those challenges of the client.
  3. ROI / Profit Driven
    • All Businesses must make a profit merely to stay alive, but this does not mean that profits are the PRIMARY driving force of every business.  a business that is ROI (Return on Investment) or profit driven is one that will engage in any undertaking within it are of expertise with the condition that such an undertaking will produce a minimum strategically predetermined return.  Large diverse companies in multiple businesses or that Entrepreneur that seems to be in everything and changes what they do or deliver is an excellent example of a profit / ROI driven business.
  4. Size / Growth Driven
    • A Business driven by size or growth is one whose objective is to reach a predetermined size or achieve a specific rate of growth.  Such a business may be seeking market dominance or might perhaps be positioning itself for an acquisition, merger or sale.  In the 90’s the dot.coms were mostly driven by Growth and made their business decisions driven by size / growth.
  5. Technology Driven
    • A Technology driven business bases its future on its ability to create or perhaps to respond to major technological changes.  Such a business must typically be in a position to invest significant dollars in high-risk environment and be able to achieve / sustain market dominance.  High R & D costs and marketing costs are typical of such businesses.  Great examples are Pharmaceutical or Software Companies.
  6. Human Resource Driven
    • It has been a cliché to say people are a business’s most important asset.  This is a true statement as talent to drive your business Vision, Mission, Purpose and Processes is critical for success.  However top Talent of your employees are critical for professional services firms, Law firms, etc.


So as a Business Owner what is your driving forces for your business?  Are you making decisions day to day with a focus / clarity on a specific driven force?  Are you just doing your business because there is so much to do?  Basically are you Working ON your Business of IN your business?

Is it time for you to define your Business?  Determine your driving forces? and establish a GOSPA (Goals / Objectives / Strategy / Plans and Actions) to run your business.

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