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Hello, everyone. I’m Bruce, I wanted to thank Cannabis Stack for having me present today at the summit. I’m going to talk a little bit about strategy and what you need to do, what you need to figure out strategically, as you figure out how you’re going to grow market, your cannabis company. These are things that I’ve come across having worked with dozens of cannabis companies on their strategy and their positioning and going to market.
Things that I encourage cannabis companies that are either going to market to think about or that are already in market, really make sure they’ve got clear before they try to grow and scale. I find that these are key to success. So either getting traction and getting your business off the ground, or being able to grow and scale your business effectively. So let’s go through them.
In terms of what I hope you get out of today, we’re going to talk about why it’s important to have a clear strategy, we’re going to talk about the elements of clear strategy, five key questions that I ask cannabis companies when I’m working with them to figure out the following – are they ready to grow? Are they ready to enter the market? Are they ready to scale? How do we find the answers to these questions, and then putting those answers into practice through execution? So really, what do we need to do to execute on these things?
So quickly about me, I’m a founder, CEO, I was on the Inc 500 list several years in a row. We were #241 fastest growing company in 2009. I’m a certified scaling up coach and 3HAG coach. So I have many different frameworks that I use in working with businesses on strategy and strategy execution. I’ve done some crazy things, a bit of an adventure. And I like to say that, that comes with some risks and some downsides. So I like to say I’m 0.75% titanium by weight. So I know how to set big goals. But I also know how to deal with big setbacks.It’s part of business, it’s part of the process, you have to learn how to deal with it. And the better and faster you deal with it, the more successful you’re going to be. I host two podcasts one is called Scaling up Services, and then I host Thinking Outside the Bud, which is all about the cannabis industry. And we’ve interviewed over 170 hundred and 180, probably now. founders, CEOs, regulators, you know, all aspects of marijuana, cannabis, hemp, industrial hemp. So we covered the broad gamut. I’m also a father of 4, based out of the New York City area, and I work nationally and a little bit internationally.
So in terms of getting the most out of the session. A couple things, one, look for one or two things to take away, this is being recorded, you can always go back and watch, there’s gonna be a lot of things here, don’t get too overwhelmed. But see, if you can find one or two things you’re actually going to put into play or put into practice fairly quickly, a bias towards action,
So you have to take this stuff and apply it to your business. And let’s stay open to new ideas. I may suggest some things here that may run counter to some things you’ve thought about. But the more that you can be open to it and consider it, the more you’re going to learn. Like I said, it’s being recorded, we can rewatch to go deeper. If you have any questions, anything comes up here and you want to get more insight on, feel free to reach out.
So I start anytime I talk about strategy, I start with this quote, quote by
Michael Porter, one of the key thought leaders behind corporate strategy, business strategy, organizational strategy. And he says:
So when we’re looking at strategy, we’re not trying to go head to head, we’re not trying to figure out what our competition is doing better, we want to do something different. And that’s the way we’re going to create value. And so I really focus on that. I really say the key to strategy is about being different. And the key to strategy is about making some choices. Choices about what you’re going to be exceptional at and what you’re not. Good strategy will help you in many ways. And I always say that you can focus on anything you want, just not everything you want. Right. So it’s about making choices, choosing a couple of things. If you do that, well, a couple things will happen. One, you’ll be able to get more profitable customers. So a lot of what we’re focusing on strategy is profitability, the limit to the number of attribute and the way we’re going to do it as we’re going to limit the number attributes we’re going to prioritize, we’re actually going to simplify what we need to do, by choosing the things we’re going to focus on. It’s a little counterintuitive, but the faster we want to grow, the more we need to focus.
We also want to limit the amount of resources we spend, or we want to limit the number of things we’re spending on resources. So we want to focus our limited resources on a few key decisions, few key aspects of the company. And that’s going to allow us to standardize our products and services. If we’re trying to do too many things, it’s hard to standardize our process and our service. If we focus on a handful of things, it’s much easier to create a highly repeatable, scalable process and set of service offerings.
And we want to simplify these things so that we can grow faster, you know, simplification is going to allow us to accelerate the business. So I say it’s always about sticking out like in a sea of yellow ducks. How do we become the blue duck? Right? How do we stand out from the crowd? That’s really what we’re talking about and from strategy. So what is in a good strategy?
What is the organizational purpose? Why are you here? What’s going to guide you in your decisions? What are your core competencies? What are you good at? What do you need to leverage?
If you are looking to place your business in the market or scale it you have to know your strategy and be able to answer those 5 key question.
How to approach this and where to start Bruce Eckfeldt shares in his session: 5 Key Questions Cannabis Companies Need To Answer Before Going To Market
Bruce Eckfeldt is a consultant, coach, author, and speaker on organizational development and performance management. Originally an architect, he was a pioneer in the use of computer-aided design and 3D modeling. He later transitioned to software design and development, converting his spatial problem-solving skills to informational architecture and user experience design of digital software products.
Seeing the need for a more fast-paced and innovative approach to technology development, Bruce was an early adopter of Extreme Programming (an early Agile/Lean software methodology). He advanced the field as an early contributor to the Agile Conference and as the founder of Cyrus Innovation in 2003, one of the first Agile/Lean development consulting firms.
After more than a decade of developing products and coaching companies adopting Agile/Lean practices such as Extreme Programming, Scrum, Kanban, and other Lean methodologies, Bruce sold Cyrus in 2014 to focus on broader organizational development initiatives and served as interim CEO, COO, and other executive roles across a number of different high-tech and professional service companies leading these companies through periods of high growth and leadership transition.
Today, Bruce uses his experience as an entrepreneur and Inc 500 CEO to help high-growth companies scale more quickly with less drama. He is an expert in business and operational growth strategy, talent planning, performance coaching, and using Lean/Agile to achieve operational excellence.