We don’t operate our companies in a vacuum, and these days, social media is a window into what everyone else is doing. We all keep an eye on our direct competitors of course, checking up on the big deals they land, on their pricing, their innovations, and their successes. We are probably also watching leaders in other industries, especially those who are innovating in ways that, eventually, may affect what we do.

So, who are you watching?

This could make a big difference in your success, because having this kind of information is one of the four strands of successful growth, or what I refer to as your GrowthDNA.  Good data builds confidence in making bolder decisions. You should be watching your clients, your prospects, your competitors, your industry leaders, and the innovators out there.  There are plenty of tools you can use to watch.  And what are you doing with the information you are gathering?  Hopefully, you are using it in your decision making process, in your strategy sessions, and in your operational planning.

Who am I watching?

I am watching what all of my current and past clients are doing, of course, but I also have my eye on long standing industry leaders like Southwest Airlines who have returned more money to their shareholders than any other US company. Ever since the Air Tran acquisition and integration in 2011, I have been curious if Southwest will change any of the foundational strategy that has brought them success. I may have observed a few cracks in the armor but they seem to be continuing down the same path. Who doesn’t watch Amazon? They are on their way to ruling the world or at least the transactional economy as we know it. They impact all of us and set the pace on customer shopping habits and delivery expectations.

Then there are the innovators like Modobag. I first saw their motorized carryon in the Nashville airport as it scooted through the sea of passengers like a motocross bike looking for its track. While I haven’t seen one since, I expect these to eventually become a hit. If they do, they have the potential to not only replace the current luggage industry but change guidelines for airport use.

Share your thoughts about WHO you are watching and WHAT you are learning!

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