Thursday // July 11, 2019

New Book Places CX at the Center of Strategy

Steve Coughran presents at the 2019 Construction Management Financial Association convention.


In 2018, Steve Coughran joined EMJ Corporation as Chief Financial Officer. He came to EMJ with over two decades of experience driving business excellence. Upon joining EMJ, Steve brought a new approach to the position – that of a strategic CFO. As noted in a Forbes article, a strategic CFO champions focused investments of its people and resources, which allows a company to provide strategic value.

It is that approach which is the heart of Coughran’s newly released book, Outsizing: Strategies to Grow Your Business, Profits and Potential. Recently, Martin Zwilling reviewed the book in an Inc. column, sharing his thoughts on Coughran’s six dimensions of a winning business strategy. The following is an excerpt of his takeaways:

Above all, deliver an exceptional total customer experience (CX).


The most successful companies today build a strategy to proactively anticipate the needs of their customers, as a group and individually, and totally delight them with all aspects of the shopping experience: value, delivery, and help with any follow-on questions or problems.

Highlight your competitive value, not your technology.


This may sound obvious, but I still see too many companies with a strategy of highlighting technology improvements and features, rather than their value compared with competitors’.

Seek out and capitalize on emerging opportunities.


With a little hard work at projecting market and technology turns, as well as the courage to make bold decisions, you can move further in this direction. It does, however, take effort to weave these into a strategy. That’s your real challenge.

Unleash the potential of your team and talent.


Strong leaders continually work on a strategy of hiring, developing, and retaining the best and the brightest. Too many business owners I know push these efforts to the bottom of their priority list, in favor of the operational crisis of the moment, or until they feel gaping holes in their teams.

Turn value creation (revenue) into value capture (profit).


Strategy is more than hashing out mission, vision, and value statements. It’s making sure that these statements are financially grounded with specifics to assure an adequate return on investment for all constituents.

Internalize the strategy process keyed to the bottom line.


Strategy can’t be a one-time effort. Customers and the market don’t stand still, so your strategy can’t either. Establish a strategic cycle of initiatives, actions, and results. Strategy is about working on the business, as well as in it. It’s hard work, and requires learning from your mistakes.

EMJ is implementing some of these principles and has built a bridge between our clients’ needs today and the tried-and-true methods that EMJ has relied on for more than 50 years. The result are a continued focus on our clients and their values, and adding value to projects.

To read more about Outsizing, check out Grow Your Business: Think Like a Farmer, and Outsizing Strategies to Grow Your Business Potential. Outsizing is available for purchase on Amazon. For questions about the book, contact Steve at:

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