Fundamentals of Business Mastery


The integrated set of actions an organization takes to achieve its goals; the art and science of allocating resources. Identifying the right trends and making the right moves to capitalize on them is critical to success.

  • Sell a product or a service that is a basic necessity
  • Be the first capture a lot of market share
  • Operate in a large industry with little competition
  • Sell a unique product that doesn’t change much
  • Provides a unique service that’s difficult to replicate
  • Be the low cost producer and/or seller of basic necessities


Defined as creativity plus delivery, innovation could mean creating entirely new industries or simply iterating new advancements on an existing model. It can also be vital to funding new investments, attracting great talent, and acquiring great assets.


How goods are delivered to market. Successful companies build repeatable models around core offerings, focusing on attaining full potential. Improve the return on OpEx investments by identifying the ones that offer the highest value potential, optimizing resource implementation, and generate greater predictability.


Despite the rise of technology and automation, business is still about people; and how an organization is structured is vital to culture and differentiation.

  • Create flexible talent strategy to meet stringent business needs
  • Create talent systems and workforce culture for long-term organizational health
  • Develop leaders to deliver and sustain performance to drive growth
  • Learn, understand and strengthen workforce dynamics, incorporating compensation, training, employee engagement, diversity, and regulatory compliance
  • Turn the HR function into a business partner, driving strategic people initiatives while improving the cost, quality and speed of recruiting, training, and administration


Technology is now at the core of every successful business and should support business goals, not constrain them. Being able to effectively sort through crowded tech-based solutions to create lasting results.


The blending of sales and marketing. Without revenue (aka sales), a business dies. To produce sales, marketing is necessary to disqualify non-buyers via prospecting and/or induce buying via a lead generation funnel. Each should work hand in hand to create the company’s brand narrative, which makes the entire process easier.


Business is about capital. Leaders compete on the field of capital allocation. Finance allows them to determine appropriate metrics, define value aspirations, and then design and implement strategies to maximize the deployment of resources.

  • High Margins
  • Low R&D Costs
  • Consistent Profits
  • Accumulation of cash
  • Inventory rising with revenue
  • Low to No Debt
  • Retained Earnings Growth
  • Book Value (Equity) Growth


We live in a world of increased complexity and regulation and protecting against adversities and potential business disruptions is a must. We help members to do just that while still generating exceptional returns.


I realize that I’ve mentioned competitive advantage a lot through this post. I believe that every business should be focused on creating a durable one. However, over the last 20+ years analyzing businesses at every level of the economy, the truth is very few create any competitive advantage. That’s the good news for two reasons. First, people don’t buy just because a company has a competitive advantage. Secondly, there’s still plenty of potential and reasons for your business to create one.



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Jonathan Poland

Jonathan Poland


20+ years advising leaders. These are notes from the journey. Learn more @