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What’s On My Mind

Getting sciency again!

I’ve been thinking a lot about Limiting Factors lately.

Here’s the broader definition on Wikipedia.

​Limiting factors pop up in all kinds of science from engineering to ecology, business processes to biomechanics.

​The basic idea:

​There’s usually one “by far” slowest thing in a complicated process.

​That one thing becomes the bottleneck.

​Great news.

Invest in solving that one thing, and you’ll get outsized results.

​More great news for us.

​Business Development is a complicated process.

​So there’s usually one “by far” slowest thing–that’s your Limiting Factor.

Solve for your Limiting Factor, and your revenue and client impact will speed up.

​After you solve for the first Limiting Factor, go for the next. Then the next. Keep going.

​So what are the Limiting Factors in BD?

​Here are the big ones we see.

​Think of these as your potential BD bottlenecks:

  1. Not enough awareness about the problems you solve–not enough people know your organization or what you do.
  2. Not enough leads are coming in.
  3. Too few people are creating demand with expertise.
  4. Too few people are investing in important relationships.
  5. Too few people are leading the BD process once an opportunity arises.
  6. Your seller-expert delivery teams aren’t looking for or seeding new opportunities while serving their clients.
  7. Your teams aren’t efficient enough overall. For example, they’re spending a reasonable amount of time on BD activities but not doing so in an effective way. The hours are there, but not the results.

There are countless Limiting Factors with lots of nuance around each one.

​Some Limiting Factors are purely dialing up time invested on a specific step. Others are spending the same amount of time but with more efficiency.

The bottom line…

Reducing Limiting Factors increases throughput.

​The process of attacking Limiting Factors is simple:

  1. Get your team together and pick your biggest Limiting Factor.
  2. Use your best resources to solve it. You’re usually better off solving them one at a time. Maybe two, but definitely not ten.
  3. Go back to step one and do it again.

I get it.

That’s almost too simple, right?

But it’s common wisdom that’s uncommonly done.

​It’s easy to assume things will continue to stay the same or just to assume people know what to do.

​It’s hard to pick one thing to focus on. Let’s solve them all, tomorrow!

​Even if someone does pick one Limiting Factor, it’s hard to focus on only that, spending weeks or months solving for it.

That can seem boring.

Well, excellence is boring.

​It’s a whole lot easier to try to solve everything at once.

​Resist that urge.

Focus on one Limiting Factor at a time.

​Want some inspiration from another industry?

I found this 18-minute video of Tesla’s factories incredibly inspiring.

Their engineers completely reimagined what a car factory should be.

​They slept on the factory floors through what they called “production hell.”

​They solved for one Limiting Factor at a time.

​They created entirely new ways of making cars.

Examples in the video:

​They worked to co-invent the largest casting machines in the world to reduce their car frame parts from 200+ parts down to (no joke) three, so they can reduce time and error while increasing structural integrity and safety.

​They created a flexible 3D assembly “line” of hexagons that can be changed and improved at any time to tweak one aspect of assembly without stopping or slowing down the overall line.

​They created a culture where any person can create positive change to the process, all governed by internally developed AI metrics and instant feedback.

The result?

I’m certainly not an auto industry expert, but when I saw this video, one thing struck me.

They can build a vehicle in about 10 hours, and (I think) the closest industry competitor is around 30 hours.

That’s amazing!

​If that’s correct, they can build a car 3x as fast as most competitors.


​How’d they do it?

​By attacking one Limiting Factor at a time.

​Simple process.

Incredible results.

Fun–next week, I’ll give you tools to attack each BD Limiting Factor I mentioned above.

But before then, get your team together and think about this…

What’s your team’s #1 BD Limiting Factor?


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