You can’t EEEMP your way to new business growth

The modern corporation is an amazing creation.  Thousands of professionals all coordinated (for the most part) to run a large, multi-billion dollar business. Roles, responsibilities, plans, scorecards—all carefully defined and managed to drive results. The corporation is a relatively new creation, but nonetheless, it generates incredible wealth for society.

Most corporations are organized into business units and functional departments that serve them directly or through a matrix form. This is an efficient and effective structure.  It is so effective, it has allowed a new form of work activity to emerge as the dominant approach to how we work.  We’ve given it a really clever and memorable acronym, EEEMP.  While you could say each letter separately, “E”, “E”, “E”, “M”, “P”, it is a little more powerful to pronounce it as a word.  “EEEMP.” Go on, give it a try.

EEEMP has come to define our daily work lives.  What does it stand for?

The trouble with EEEMP is not with its effectiveness at helping us to run the business we already have.  It is the use of EEEMP as the working approach to how we try to define and execute new businesses. You can’t talk and debate your way to a successful new business.  Ultimately it has to be built and the sooner you try to EMBODY the business, the sooner you will be able to test it’s ability to create NEW value in the marketplace.

So what’s the alternative to EEEMPing?  Unfortunately, it doesn’t have such a catchy acronym. Fortunately, the approach is straightforward. It’s more like how an entrepreneur works than a manger.  In brief, you find ways to be much more engaged and tangible with the analysis and creation of the new business.  

Get out in the world where you expect your new business to have an impact.  Visualize and prototype ideas early and often.  If your current ability to prototype and visualize ideas is slow and expensive, invest in tools, training, and talent to make it fast and cheap.  Subject your tangible ideas to criticism and testing.  Don’t defend them, but understand the criticism and go make the idea better. Iterate as often as your time and talent allows.  

Finally, always be looking for the opening to get something to market.  Your business won’t grow if it doesn’t implement.  Fortunately, in our experience, an engaged, tangible and iterative approach to new business creation has proven itself to be a reliable way to launch successful new ideas that generate value. 

written by: Chris Conley