How To Get BIG Breakthrough Results in 2019?

Start of the year is always a memorable occasion – full of joy and hope. It is also the time for new intentions, new hopes, and new habits.

Like many families, we use the end of the year break to set the tone for the coming year – individually, and as a family.

That is the best way I know of sustaining momentum in Global Supply Chain Group for the last 20 years, as well as for physical, intellectual and skills development of three young boys growing up in a culture of entitlement.

One of my sons, who is studying a very tough engineering course at a highly competitive university made an extremely good point in a conversation with me. We were discussing how we can both achieve a breakthrough far above what we achieved last year – he in his study results, and I in my golf results.

The reason it is worth repeating here is because we have both gone though a year of effort to achieve these respective breakthroughs, with not enough success.

We were reviewing our methods and efforts from last year when he commented that if do the same things, in the same way, all we can get is the same result.

My thoughts immediately turned a number of my clients, who always complain that they have tried everything to get a breakthrough in their supply chain and business, and gotten little results.

Exactly the same situation is applicable there. I summarise the situation in the following diagram:

HOW TO ACHIEVE A BIG BREAKTHROUGH IN 2019

Now that he has made this observation, we are slightly further ahead on the curve in the last 4 days. We know that we need better methods, not just work harder.

But now comes the hard part – I am not a golf expert, and he is not an engineering expert. In fact, I touched my first golf club only after the age of 35 or so. To find methods that will take my golf handicap from 13 to 4 is not easy.

It is not that there are not enough people each with their own methods. It is just that I don’t know which one of them will work for me. That applies to a regular golf-pro lesson too – I tried those one year.


I want to solicit the help of my well-wishers, so they can suggest some methods that might work. I have to find my own way through a maze of methods to choose the ones most likely to work for me.

Then I have to apply the chosen method – till it is clear that they are effective, or not. Then, I have to incorporate them in my routine, or discard them, accordingly.

My sons’ challenges are even bigger. Luckily, I am not studying engineering in UNSW, or for HSC in a selective school. Yet, I am sure they will measure up to their own challenges. That is the nature of these things.

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Vivek Sood

I write about "The Supply Chain CEOs", "The 5-STAR Business Networks", and, how to "Unchain Your Corporation". In my work, I help create extraordinary corporate results using several 'unique' supply chain methodologies. Contact me for interesting, high impact projects, or, to get access to my IP for creating transformations using these methodologies.

  • Ammy says:

    Achieving breakthrough results requires transformation. Once you have established a truly compelling vision, you will need to identify the areas of your organization that must transform to break through current ways of operating or current performance standards to achieve that vision. I am not talking about incremental improvements. Those will only provide you incremental advancement to your vision. A truly compelling vision, which is a significant stretch beyond your organization’s current comfort zone of performance, requires transformation that delivers real breakthroughs. Mindset change is required in visionary leaders to pursue big visions. The visionary leaders must address to identify the breakthroughs required to achieve their big visions.

  • Chrisma says:

    Fundamentally, breakthrough means reaching for the stars; going for what others only dream about. It is putting yourself, as a leader, on the line and pursuing an outcome that on the surface seems outside the reach of your organization. This takes courage and know-how. Declare and pursue breakthrough-level results and the transformational change required to deliver them. Commit to taking on the highest mountain you can conceive, and align everything in your organization to climbing that mountain and achieving a breakthrough. When you set the bar high, it unleashes the human potential in your organization. Going for breakthrough calls forth many of the very changes in people, culture, and the organization that is required to produce a breakthrough. It causes people to dig deep within themselves to find more of their true capabilities.

  • Jolie says:

    Fine article Vivek. Bringing a breakthrough for achieving business results or goals require a lot of effort and energy. If your company only wants to achieve an incremental outcome from your change initiative, it is fine to maintain your current business model. However, achieving breakthrough performance requires a fundamental change in the company’s business model. That kind of change is difficult. But given the enormous benefits that are available for companies in customer interactions, customer experience and cost to serve, I believe companies that want to compete and succeed in 2019 and beyond need to tackle a business model change.

  • Daisy says:

    I think a change in mindset is an important factor to achieve major breakthroughs. Mindset is causative, meaning, your mindset determines how you interpret information, the decisions you make, the actions you take and the style in which you take them, and ultimately, the results you achieve. Because mindset is the foundation of action and outcome, achieving breakthrough results usually requires a transformation of mindset. This transformation enables new possibilities as expanded perspectives fuel greater courage for action, creativity, and innovation. Required shifts in mindset may include up-leveling beliefs about your own capabilities, or that of your team and organization. It may be required to unleash new perspectives about product innovation, business models, or customer solutions. New beliefs about people can generate greater trust levels, collaboration, and support that deliver breakthroughs in team performance, empowerment, and accountability. A transformation of mindset can change and improve everything.

  • Sophie says:

    My experience says declaring breakthrough without knowing how to lead transformational change is problematic. Rather than unleash people’s performance, it causes resistance, frustration and low morale, and sets the organization back. But when you, as a leader, can back up your declaration to achieve a breakthrough with competent and conscious change leadership, you are able to design and implement the required changes in ways that turn the potential you have unleashed in your organization into high-level performance. The result from you leading transformational change; your organization achieves its breakthrough and puts your man on the moon. We need to build change leadership capability in our leaders. Only then can they declare breakthrough, and deliver the organizational transformation required to achieve it.

  • Sushi says:

    Change in performance patterns is also inevitable in this regard. By breakthrough performance, I mean transformation with an outcome that significantly shifts the company’s revenue and margin profiles and enables a substantive shift in the value proposition the company delivered to its customers. The opportunity for breakthrough performance is very high. Digital transformation holds powerful promises for how your company can compete in the marketplace and can drive enormous benefits. But the story quickly turns from digital technology to a business model change. That change will affect many more aspects of your organization than the technology layer. Much of the change will affect processes, policies, talent, and even organizational structure. Changing the business model is the key to changing the value a company delivers instead of just changing how the company operates. Transformations that lead to breakthrough performance rarely require changes to only one portion of the business. They require broader changes to one more element of the business model.

  • BenSan says:

    Another area where breakthroughs in individuals, both leaders, and the workforce, will need to occur is in behaviors and skills. What people do and how they do it may need significant transformation. Skill sets may need to be upgraded, requiring significant training. You might need to reorganize teams, roles, responsibilities, and workflows. Personal change may be required to shift behaviors both in leaders and the workforce away from command and control, dis-empowerment and lack of initiative. You may need people to develop communication skills; with better listening, more truth-telling, more honesty, and more transparency. Improvements in relational skills such as providing support, working together collaboratively, coaching, and team-based problem solving may be required. What behavior changes or skill improvements do you need in your organization to achieve breakthrough results?

  • Miamma says:

    Achieving organizational breakthrough requires a significant transformation, and leading organizational transformation requires certain qualities that make a good leader. These qualities of a leader are influenced by the level of outcome the leader is seeking. Leaders who seek outcomes not too far out of their organization’s current comfort zone of performance can lead as they always have.
    But leaders pursuing breakthrough require what we call conscious leadership qualities. The bigger the outcome leaders pursue, the larger the challenges they face, and the more their leadership qualities must bring out the best in themselves and others, and enable them to deal with the complexities that the big challenges entail.

  • Lisa says:

    Because a business model change requires broad support and affects many aspects of the business, people at all levels of the company must understand the importance of the change. Otherwise, they won’t be willing to address the organizational dynamics. At the outset of a digital transformation aiming for breakthrough performance, it’s necessary to ensure that managers and employees at every level accept personal ownership for the change that will enable the desired outcome.
    If you start down the path of trying to enable the change before enough stakeholders understand where the project is going, why the change is necessary, and that the change is possible, you will run a very high risk of pushback and debilitating, passive-aggressive behavior.
    To achieve breakthrough performance, your organization must be ready, willing and able to make necessary changes to elements of its business model.

  • Dizzy says:

    In radical transformation, culture always needs to transform. Culture is to the organization as a mindset is to the individual. It is the organization’s way of being, working, and relaxing. Culture generates the collective norm of how people are with each other, how they work together, and how they relate. Shifts may need to occur in what your organizational culture accepts as valuable and not valuable, what is rewarded and not rewarded. You may need to examine the level of passion, aspiration, and hope in the culture. What is the expectation around performance and accountability? All the current cultural norms in the organization need to be looked at and assessed for where breakthrough is needed to deliver a stellar performance. Transforming culture is extremely difficult, but not impossible. Transforming culture begins with identifying, honestly, the culture you currently have and the culture you need. In other blogs, we will speak more about how best to achieve cultural transformation.

  • Novack says:

    Good leaders bring breakthroughs. First and foremost, the quality that makes a good leader is their ability to introspect, self-reflect, and learn from their experience. This builds self-awareness and mindfulness and begins to bring online critical leadership superpowers that enable them to see paths to success through enormous complexity. Mindset is causative in every human endeavor.
    The mindset a leader has, their perspective, worldview, beliefs, assumptions, and values, shapes what they see in their market and organization, how they interpret it, and the subsequent conclusions, decisions, and actions they take. If a leader is not introspective, they cannot see their mindset in action.
    They are not aware of the inner workings that influence what they see and how they respond. In today’s volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous environment, lack of awareness is extremely problematic because old mindsets often lead to partial perspectives, wrong assumptions, and bad decisions.

  • Marsek says:

    According to me the different organizational areas, or quadrants, reflect and reinforce each other. For example, the way organizations are organized, their structure and business processes, reflect and reinforce the culture. Organizational structure and culture lend itself to certain mindsets and behaviors, in both leaders and the workforce. If you try to change dynamics in only one quadrant without simultaneously addressing the others, the other quadrants exert a gravitational pull and keep change from occurring. Separating them and trying to transform in a piecemeal way is a major reason why transformation fails. You must transform all aspects together, as one unified process. The key is to not separate these four areas, but rather to see how they fit together, and to identify where breakthrough is required in each area. Then, build a transformational strategy and process that moves the dial on them all as an integrated set of activities.

  • Donniel says:

    Wonderful article. A key quality of a leader who is going for breakthrough is to adopt a co-creative way of being, working, and relaxing. Co-creating fundamentally means to “work with.” Where command and control orients to having power over people, co-creating operates from sharing power with people. Leading co-creatively doesn’t preclude a leader’s responsibility to sometimes take a more command and control style. Co-creative leadership includes the “leader in front” responsibilities that are appropriate at times, but it expands the leader’s repertoire to become more relational in how they lead. This includes relations to people as well as to events and circumstances.

  • Mona says:

    Innovative ideas feed the entrepreneurial fire, making the creation of new products and services possible and ultimately growing and boosting business. While conceiving breakthrough business ideas is not an exact science but changing the existing structure and formal decisions making methods can be useful to nurture the process.
    One of the best places to look for breakthrough ideas is right in front of you. I usually get my inspiration from industry information. I try and innovate, or simply improve upon, what’s already working and then ride those trends and needs into a product of my own. Many of my ideas are not original, but I always try and have a different take on what’s already working.

  • Bennial says:

    Many business people divide the world into two groups, entrepreneurial firms, and professionally managed firms. But the reality is not that simple. Many small firms are very well managed, though probably not in a way that most bureaucrats in giant companies would recognize. And in many big companies, it is easy for the professional management tail to start wagging the company dog. Companies large and small alike should strive to create an entrepreneurial breakthrough enterprise that combines the quickness and customer focus of an entrepreneurial firm with the systems and processes of a more mature organization. This would also be useful to bring major business transformation and breakthrough.

  • Fang says:

    Breakthroughs are equally important in business and marketing. Many in the marketing profession think the creation and distribution of a marketing piece is the endgame. They are proud of the website they built, or brochure they created and distributed to the masses. Breakthrough marketers understand that the only endgame is a return on investment. Those who are serious about marketing are data hogs watching the responses on every level so they can tweak and adjust to get to the optimum return. Find a way to measure return on every marketing expenses you spend. If you can’t measure it, reapportion the resource to a campaign that is quantifiable. Ultimately, every company hires a marketer for one reason, to make money.

  • Arrin says:

    My idea of getting breakthrough business results is different from the majority of people. I believe you will breakthrough to what you want in direct proportion to your faith. Now I know you think you have faith. But how many of you find yourself worrying about any given thing every day? Remember that your life is a mirror for your beliefs, most of which you acquired between birth and the age of seven. Constantly reflecting back to you is what’s going on between your ears. If you don’t like the reflection, you need to change. If you don’t like your business we have to fix you. If there’s a problem in your business, look within. Perception will always tell you why you can’t or why it won’t happen. Perception keeps you trapped in the story. Faith says yes, you can. Whatever is needed has already been supplied.

  • Rodick says:

    Such an incredible article Vivek on achieving breakthrough results. Business Breakthrough is possible with a clear business breakthrough strategy formulation. There must be a monthly business meeting where you get training, coaching, and accountability from a fully qualified business coach as well as mutual support and advice from fellow business owners and employees.
    Where you also get reminders of the actions you agree to take to grow your business, a closed Facebook Group and you can get a training workbook every month.
    It could be like having your own super-efficient boardroom, a mini-mastermind or group coaching. This would serve as a great opportunity to get breakthrough business results.

  • Lee says:

    The role and participation of young people are of crucial importance when we talk about gaining breakthrough business results. Young thinkers focus their attention closely and with fresh eyes, step back to gain perspective, imagine unorthodox combinations, experiment quickly and smartly, and navigate potentially hostile environments outside and within their organizations. The digital advances of the past two decades have enabled a much broader population than ever before to express creative intelligence. Unconventional thinkers the world over have unprecedented access to the distributed knowledge, talents, capital, and consumers they need to create a start-up or a movement around a great idea. Innovation has been thoroughly democratized. And yet breakthrough offerings remain hard to come by. Apart from the transformation of services powered by mobile apps and the internet, we have not seen spectacular surges of innovation across sectors.

  • Suzanne says:

    Good article Vivek. You always bring innovative ideas to surface and us brainstorm out ideas. While taking a business breakthrough seriously, executives recognize that to devise ingenious innovations, they must break paradigms and shift mindsets, but when it comes to delivery, they often lapse into standard ways of thinking. To make your stellar innovation thrive, approach unconventional partners, identify underutilized channels, and invent new business models. Put as much creative energy into introducing and delivering offerings as you did into generating them. In order to devise innovative strategies for organizations, executives must consider that originality must not be lost during both at development and execution phase.

  • Ozz says:

    Business breakthrough results are actually significant for business owners of either large or small businesses who want to grow their business, make more profit, have a great work and life balance and have time to spend with their loved ones. Breakthrough results are especially important for sole traders and people with only a handful of staff, as it can be quite lonely at the top, and it’s essential to have other people to bounce ideas off and hold you accountable for your actions. It’s also equally important for anyone who is in charge of growing the business such as business development managers or sales directors, as the emphasis will be on business development, marketing, and sales. If you think to get a breakthrough result then you must try to benefit from the support, advice, and experience of your higher-ups as well as from a group of successful business owners.

  • Xaina says:

    We all want a breakthrough. We want to be epic, to leave a dent in the universe. But there’s always a cost to success, something gained and something lost. I hate to state the obvious, but in order for a breakthrough to happen, something has to break. Maybe it’s you, maybe it’s your job, maybe it’s resistance. This is the real secret to success, the stuff of outliers. It’s what nobody wants to talk about, because it sounds so scary. And it is. Want to know the ugly truth? Sometimes, the breakthrough worth it, and sometimes it’s not. Every time, it’s up to you.

  • Kneth says:

    Co-creative leaders understand that solutions occur best when they work with others and the complex dynamics they face. With these qualities of a leader, self-awareness, self-leadership, listening, coaching and co-creating, transformation and breakthrough become more possible. Co-creative leaders take this same approach to how they relate to complexity and the significant challenges that going for breakthrough triggers. A co-creative leader listens to the market and organizational dynamics at play with an open, unbiased mind so they can understand. Because they have developed self-awareness and can better see their mindsets in action, they are often able to see their partial perspectives, and then pause, adjust, and take a more inclusive view of things. They learn and course correct more readily as they proceed on their organization’s transformation path, and deal effectively with emerging dynamics by adjusting promptly. Co-creative leaders are comfortable with the natural, non-linear path of transformation.

  • Pan says:

    Business breakthrough requires a leading edge thinking and practice in sustainable innovation. There are several key factors for building and growing great businesses over the long term, all of which are equally important and represent defining characteristics of the world’s most successful businesses. However, the successful businesses are breaking through the growth barrier, they are the ones that will impact future generations, define progress, and change their markets and categories. To do so, these up-and-comers necessarily need to focus on five key factors, the ones that are essential to building a business and achieving breakthrough results are clarity, relevance, differentiation, presence, and engagement.

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