What are your Business driving forces?

Leave No Stone Unturned

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

Driving Forces

The Business Owner’s driving forces are those critical factors that will affect the future of their business over the next three to five years – those forces that will largely determine the scope of your future Products, Services and Markets.

Although there are innumerable driving forces, George L. Morrisey model focuses on six critical factors:

  • Product Driven
    • A product driven business is one that produces specific classes of products or services and whose focus is on producing those products / services for markets it already serves.  Consider,, for example, the automotive industry, which manufactures a specialized product created to fill a specific and known customer need in the long-entrenched market.
  • Market Driven
    • A market driven business is one that has established or is establishing a strong relationships with specific markets and customer groupings.  Such a business focuses most of its efforts on determine how to best serve these markets and / or customers and then developing products  / services to accomplish this objective.  An example of a market-driven business is one engaged in systems development.  Its focus is NOT on off the shelf products, although these may represent a portion of its business, but RATHER on assessing the client’s unique challenges or problems and then developing a system or systems to overcome the challenge to solve the problem.
  • 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 or Profit-driven is one that will engage in ANY undertaking within its area of expertise, with the condition that such an undertaking will produce a minimum strategically predetermined return.  Such a business will also normally divest itself of any business activity that does NOT consistently provide such a return.  Large, diverse financial holding companies tend to fall into this driving force.
  • Size / Growth Driven
    • A Business driven by size and 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 a public stock offering or an acquisition / merger.  Such a strategy is generally temporary until the objective has been met.  During the late 1990’s, there was a plethora of privately held companies that followed this path in the belief that an initial product offering (IPO) would bring in untold millions of dollars based on growth and totally ignored the bottom line ramifications.  Many had successful IPO’s but failed to adapt their approach and ultimately failed as a result of single-minded focus on driving force of growth with little or no attention on profits.
  • 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 a high-risk environment and be able to achieve and sustain market dominance.  Examples are computer chip manufactures or even Pharmaceutical firms.
  • Human Resources Driven
    • Although it has become almost cliche for companies to claim that their people are the most important asset, is this really true?  However in some cases the people ARE the primary driving force of Business.  Examples might include professional services firms such as Law Firms, Consulting companies, etc.  It might also be true of a business that relies on its employees to keep it in the forefront of change, such as hose specializing in or dependent upon R & D.

Based on the above what are the driving forces for YOUR business?  How will determining this help you in your decisions when working ON your business?  How about that opportunity you just discovered?  Does it fit into your Business because your Driving force is……


For more information on this and to determine your Business Driving force reach out to Focal Point Business Coaching of Pennsylvania at 1.608.768.7774 or email: [email protected]