David Friedman spoke at George Walker's South Bay Vistage business group meeting

South Bay Vistage Group Speaker Event:
High Performing Culture
David Friedman
April 27, 2016

George Walker’s South Bay Vistage business group was treated to the insights of David Friedman, author of Fundamentally Different, on how to create differentiation in a commoditized world.

George recalls real life examples while holding a meeting at the Ritz-Carlton, known for their excellence in service. When he asked the bartender in their lounge if this culture “was real”, the bartender replied, “Only if you want to work here.”

Then, minutes before his meeting started, George noticed that the AV equipment was not working. He asked the first available person for help, the guy bringing in the drinking water for the participants. Not truly expecting to be able to “do anything”, the guy set down the water and took off running. He promptly brought back the catering manager who had the AV fixed immediately. The meeting when off without a hitch.

Creating real differentiation.

Have you noticed that it’s harder than ever to truly differentiate yourself? That whatever you claim it is that makes you so different, your competitors also say the same thing about themselves? That to your prospects, as well as your current customers, you often look pretty much like everyone else?

Yeah, we notice that too. And when customers can’t figure out what makes anyone different, they buy strictly on price, and none of us wants to be in that kind of market!

So how is it that some companies manage to stand out year after year in industries that are mostly commoditized? When you examine the research that’s been done on this question, you find that the companies that succeed in commoditized environments don’t win because of what they offer. No, they win because of how they offer it. It’s the experience their people are able to create that makes all the difference.

Source: High Performing Culture