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3hag business ceo coaching disruption growth habits leadership marketplace mgs success Mar 16, 2018

 Last week, I was the Keynote Speaker the Saint Mary’s University 43rd Annual Business School Dinner.  What a great honour this was!  The organizers of the event asked if I would speak about disruption in a marketplace and my experience disrupting marketplaces.  I saw this as a perfect way to help educate others through my personal trials and tribulations, so I jumped at the opportunity!


y experience of disrupting markets first started with being an innovator.  We were solving problems in markets with innovative solutions but not immediately disrupting these markets.  It was simple to us: we solved problems!  What I soon learned, was that we were actually doing a lot more than problem solving and innovating: we were disrupting!   


When you disrupt you take an innovative solution and marry it with some other key differentiating activities, to position the product and company in a very relevant place. A place that disrupts the incumbents. The incumbents will first DENY that your offering will affect their position. At this point they are either trying to convince themselves of this OR deep down they know that it will, but they do not want consumers to know this!

 Soon they will VALIDATE the disruptive offering. It is then that they realize there is something very real about the offering and know consumers will see this if they do not damage control.  They will ‘compete’; meaning they will try to add some features and functions to stay relevant in the market and not be left behind.  Once they realize they cannot COMPETE they will RETREAT, trying to hang on for as long as they can while frantically trying to find a way to survive in the market. A perfect example: Blockbuster and Netflix.


What I learned with my team in my first company was that you must consistently ensure that you are relevant in YOUR position in the market.  For us, that meant never stop checking and analyzing our strategic position and where we were headed.  This created a framework for us to drive innovation.  However, we did understand that it was not all about innovation – it was also about deciding what key differentiating activities that we decided upon to put us in a valuable and disruptive position.  The more we stayed in-tune with remaining relevant through analyzing the current market place and agreeing on the future of it, the more we were able to continuously predict the disruption we were causing in the market we were playing in.  This predictive disruption drove our 3HAG (3 Yeah Highly Achievable Goal) and resulted in predictable profit.  And who doesn’t what predictable profit, right!? 


Here are the steps we took to be a predictable disruption on our market place:

  1. Gut out your 3HAG! Need some help? Join the 3HAG Webinar Series
  2. Draw your company’s Key Process Flow Map
  3. Draw your company’s Market Map. (link to YouTube)
  4. Describe your Core Customer using Robert Bloom’s Inside Advantage
  5. Draw your Attribution Map
  6. Create your 3-5 Differentiating Activities – by using Michael Porter’s Activity Fit Map
  7. Create a One Phrase Strategy Make it memorable!
  8. Create Activity Fit Map Level II – this version includes a little more detail
  9. Build your 12 Quarter Swimlanes – this is where you map out the key milestones your teams need to meet over the next 12 quarters in order to achieve your 3-5 differentiating activities.
  10. As a leadership team create a 36-month rolling forecast. These forecasts will reflect the milestones and assumptions you have on your gutted out 3HAG and differentiating activities. This is where you predict profit and cash first!
  11. Create a brand promise with a guarantee that will absolutely differentiate you in the market place and ensures your Core Customer will buy at a profit.
  12. Confirm your 3HAG go back to step 2. In every one of these discussions, the leadership should be aware of protecting their secret sauce (10X advantage) and looking for the next big thing in the market that only they can solve that will evolve into their next recipe for their secret sauce.

*Do the last 3 steps feel challenging? The team can help. Join our 3HAG webinar to get more clarity on these steps and master your 3HAG system.




This never ending process gives permission to your leadership team to never stop talking about the strategic execution system and ensures your company remains relevant today and in the future.  In our experience, this process is what created the immense value in both exits of my companies that I founded and lead.   It takes the whole company to disrupt a market ONE TIME, but in order to do it over and over the disruptive habits need to be ingrained in the whole team. 


Now go work on this with your teams! Good luck?  Who needs luck when you know the 3HAG WAY to predictable disruption! Is this blog leaving you wanting more 3HAG tips? Then pre-order my second book coming out next month, “3HAG WAY: the strategic execution system that ensures your strategy is not a wild ass guess



-Shannon Byrne Susko

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