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Business Growth

Business Growth

Surbhee Grover shares an article that identifies how entrepreneurs can move forward after COVID-19. For entrepreneurs, coming out of COVID-19 isn’t the end of a crisis. It’s the beginning of a new way of thinking about their approach to product-market fit, financing, marketing and go-to-market strategies. And for some, will be a time to reflect on their personal approach to risk. The exponential pace of change to society will mean that only those entrepreneurs who have the greatest ability to…
In this article, Luiz Zorzella shares the processes of successful strategists.  Financial services leaders often overlook the importance of your decision regarding which segments, markets, channels, and products to focus on. One of the reasons is that, while money moves freely, the effort to build channels, brands, products, trust, relationships, and physical infrastructure, can be humongous. Large insurance companies can take more than a year to implement simple changes to existing products. Thus, short of dramatic strategic moves like divestitures,…
David A. Fields provides a useful article developed specifically to win your firm more consulting projects. If you travel any major highway (a.k.a. motorway) you have passed numerous tractor-trailers hauling freight from one destination to another. Tractor-trailers provide a helpful metaphor that you can employ to improve your consulting firm’s business development process. The tractor is where the power resides, and the trailer holds the valuable goods. (Cookies in the cab for you; cookies in the back for others.) Hang…
In this concise post, Ximena Jimenez explains the value of having a thought partner. In Spanish there is no expression that captures the power of this concept, which is why we decided to keep its version in English. This term refers to that person who accompanies the leader of an organization in their reflection process, listening, asking the right questions, challenging paradigms, proposing new visions of challenges, offering alternative interpretations to the facts and expanding the space for solutions. All…
Susan Drumm shares the latest episode from her podcast series, The Enlightened Executive. In this episode, she interviews CEO Ben Lytle on the Fourth Industrial Revolution.  The Fourth Industrial Revolution is coming, bringing technological advancements we can’t imagine. How can you prepare yourself to stay ahead in this ever-changing digital world? Ben Lytle is a successful CEO and serial entrepreneur. He has launched five companies, including two currently on the New York Stock Exchange. His best-known company, Anthem, is number…
Geoff Wilson compares the pros and cons of framing success as a goal or as a system.  Much is said about whether success is better framed as a goal or as a system…I think it’s both, but at different times. Have you ever had a question posed to you that made you think more than it should have? A team member recently asked me if I was a goal-oriented person.  My response was that I was far more interested in…
In this Change Out Loud podcast, Aneta Key talks about engaging stakeholders.  Thank you to the Change Out Loud team for inviting me as a guest on their awesome podcast! Host Kara Sundar and I covered several topics in this 30-minute episode.  Find it on your favorite podcast platform and play along as you listen!” Want to make the most of your stakeholder engagement? This episode is for you! Aneta shares her best practices for engaging stakeholders. Spoiler alert: it…
Supriya Sen shares an article that is both practical and visionary in its position on financial inclusion.  Whether for large or small financial institutions, one of the real pain points within the financial sector has been that there is a wall of capital chasing far too few bankable projects – which leads to vast unserved needs in developing Asia. Ascribed variously by incumbents to poor capacity, unstable business and regulatory environment or poor bankruptcy regulation, rarely do we blame the…
Kaihan Krippendorff shares an article on where to start when you are thinking of building ecosystems in business. The nature of competition in business is changing. What has historically consisted of company-to-company rivalry has evolved into a struggle between competing ecosystems to gain supremacy. Business ecosystems consist of two or more partner companies who agree to combine their assets, capabilities, markets, and talent pools to create and deliver new value. Last week, I sat down with Tiffani Bova, Global Growth…
Jayanth Krishnan shares an article on the common language of growth. Abstract We have developed a tool that provides a common language of growth between strategy, finance, marketing, product and design teams. The tool draws upon CLV concept from marketing science, Jobs To Be Done thinking and broadly Management Science ideas. We are calling this tool CLV 2.0. This article provides the motivation (why) CLV2.0 is going to be useful for our clients and businesses in the coming future. In…
Usman A. Ghani shares a PDF download that is designed to help business leaders adapt to new market dynamics. Business leaders today are facing profound changes – customers, markets, regulations, technology, and workforce trends, just to name a few. Additionally, the rapid pace of change is challenging leaders to develop better ways of solving problems as old methods are failing to deliver desired outcomes. Despite well-intended efforts, only a few businesses emerge as winners in any given industry. One major…
Mark Hess shares an article he co-authored with Stenning Schueppert on how to increase a firm’s exit valuation multiple.  Successful private equity (“PE”) firms generally execute well in the three commonly accepted phases of portfolio company value creation: 1) Buy right, 2) Grow EBITDA, and 3) Sell that EBITDA at highest multiple possible. In our experience, many PE firms are missing critical low-hanging fruit by not maximizing their exit multiples because they do not have a detailed understanding of all…
Ushma Pandya shares a vitaly relevant post that can help your company develop an ESG strategy. ESG stands for Environmental, Social & Governance and lately it is the “it” word in the business community. But how does one go about developing an ESG strategy? ESG framework is a set of standards used by investors to evaluate companies, usually for investments. But it is also a way for companies to communicate with the non-finance community on their environmental stewardship, their relationship…
From David Burnie’s company blog, a handy post-merger integration checklist with lessons and examples from real integrations. While each post-merger integration (PMI) is different, many elements are consistent no matter the size or nature of the transaction. Checklists can guide your integration whether you are executing your first integration or face multiple integrations per year. In addition, they can help your organization to ensure everyone knows what to do for each workstream and stage of the integration to ensure you…
David A. Fields shares a consulting checklist that identifies how to elevate your practice.  You run a great consulting firm. You can point to glowing testimonials and clients who stick with your consulting firm like fluffernutter pasted to the roof of a six year-old’s mouth. And while you originally found your consulting firm’s tagline on a pizza box (“You’ve tried the rest, now try the best”), you still believe your team delivers better results and value than the average crew…
Johannes Hoech provides a path to faster revenue growth. If you want to know how your marketing and demand gen teams performed last quarter, you’re in luck. There’s a slew of marketing and revenue analytics tools geared at measuring historical lead generation and conversion rates and attributing past revenue to lead sources. But if you’re the CEO of a small to medium-sized tech startup, your true objective is to minimize your time to future revenue – and last quarter’s metrics…
Wojciech Gryc shares an article that explains how to bring assets onto blockchain from both a legal and logistical perspective.  Most of the excitement in crypto today focuses on digital assets: governance tokens, community memberships, NFTs, and more. There’s an incredible amount of innovation here… But how do we bring physical assets onto blockchains?1 Bringing assets onto crypto and fractionalizing them is still a new territory, both legally and from a logistics perspective. We’ll discuss how this is done, but…
As the year’s end approaches, Ximena Jimenez shares a timely post on how to transform the year-end budgeting process into an additional opportunity. Year end is, undoubtedly, the moment which most of us choose to reflect on the past and think about the future. I do not know why, but it seems we need a milestone, a ritual, to stop, observe, analyse and reflect on what we did and what we left undone in the year that we are leaving…
Xavier Lederer explains how to grow your company by focusing on your customers.   You are not competing directly against your competitors, you are competing to be unique in the marketplace. What does your most valuable prospect look like? “Probably a lot like your existing valuable customers. The easiest and most profitable growth will be achieved by adding additional customers very much like your current most valuable customers,” explains Robert Bloom in his book “The Inside Advantage.” Clients you resonate with…
Johannes Hoech explains what companies can do to be more confident in their ability to hit their numbers. In a perfect world, your company would hit its revenue projection every time. In a good-enough world, you’d hit it at least most of the time. Unfortunately, the current reality may not reflect either of those scenarios. Small Business Trends reports that in 2018, 46% of sales reps missed their quotas. According to Forbes, the previous year it was even higher, at…
Kedar Gharpure shares an article that identifies key factors involved in B2B value-based pricing. You have likely read articles about Value-Based Pricing (VBP) – after all, the concept has been around for several decades. However, our review of over 50 VBP articles from the top search results highlight that a) there is very little VBP literature geared towards B2B and b) no single article provides a comprehensive and actionable overview of VBP for B2B.  In this article, we provide a…
In this article, Jeffery Perry writes about frothy mergers and acquisitions, synergy expectations, and integrations. Despite the business challenges of the global pandemic, global mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in 2021 has been at record levels across sectors. For corporations, private equity (PE) firms, and special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), when M&A deals happen, headlines rightfully focus on valuations and strategic rationale. For corporate combinations and PE rollups, synergy expectations and integration approaches garner a great deal of attention as…
Ramon Saravia shares an always useful post on how to improve the bottom line by reducing purchasing costs.  In many companies, the purchasing area is only seen as a transactional function, attached to the routine . In these companies, purchasing is just another function to acquire what is necessary for the company’s operations. Typically, one, two, or three quotes are requested for each order for products or services, and the area chooses the supplier with the lowest price. This brings…
Xavier Lederer explains a key step to take to help grow your business. You are not competing directly against your competitors, you are competing to be unique in the marketplace. What does your most valuable prospect look like? “Probably a lot like your existing valuable customers. The easiest and most profitable growth will be achieved by adding additional customers very much like your current most valuable customers,” explains Robert Bloom in his book “The Inside Advantage.” Clients you resonate with…
Ian Mombru shares six takeaways on selling your business to a Chinese buyer.  Earlier this week, ChemChina’s US$44bn acquisition of Syngenta, the largest ever by a Chinese buyer, took a major step towards completion, securing clearance from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS).  The transaction helped propel the first half of 2016 to an all time record of US$121bn of cross-border deals by Chinese companies, more than the full year total for all prior years. This trend…
Gather Insights – Reap Strategic Growth In this article, Caroline Taich shares key steps that can be taken towards gathering insights for strategic growth. I have been out talking with organizations about strategic growth. It’s a topic I’ve been attracted to throughout my career. When I think about growth there are three principles that I regularly come back to: Get out of the building. Prioritize your energy. Be clear on your definition of success. I’ll talk about the first today….
Belden Menkus shares a podcast interview with Charles Wookey. Our guest is Charles Wookey, CEO of Blueprint for Better Business, an independent charity whose purpose is to create a better society through better business. Charles was one of the founders of Blueprint and a key contributor to the thinking behind the Blueprint approach which asserts that people are not solely self-interested and that business is not solely driven by profit. Under his leadership Blueprint has moved from being a small…
David A. Fields explains how your consulting firm could benefit from his experiment with outreach. There are people you’ve not talked with in years, and it’s a shame. They’re good people, you enjoyed your relationship with them, plus, reconnecting could help generate business for your consulting firm. But if you’ve been out of touch for so long, is it really possible to renew the relationship? And if so, how, and is more than one bar of To’ak Art Series Blend…
Barry Horwitz shares an article that extolls the benefits of reading and reading some more.  Students in my strategy classes at Boston University often ask: What applicant characteristics matter most when applying for positions with strategy consulting firms? Of course, there are some obvious ones — sharp analytical skills and strong communication capabilities among them. But one that is often overlooked — and yet quite valuable — is possession of a healthy curiosity. As I wrote in an earlier newsletter,…
Kaihan Krippendorff takes a look at the history of the music industry to demonstrate how Spotify excels at delivering customers what they want when they want it.  In 2006, a pair of Swedish entrepreneurs banded together to fight an ongoing problem: Piracy in the music industry was costing artists, retailers, and record companies billions of dollars in lost sales. Customers who had previously gone to CD or record stores to purchase music were now evading legislation to download songs for…
Surbhee Grover shares an interview, recently published in Thrive Global, that focuses on several aspects of her entrepreneurial journey, including a perspective on the beauty business, and insight into launching a start-up in this industry. Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path? I’ve always been drawn to creation…
Miklos Tomka offers a brief view on his experience when trying to hire a service provider or supplier during the pandemic. Hello all, I have had the same perplexing experience now several times. I am contacting a supplier as I would like to buy their product. I am contacting a service provider as I would like to use their services. Or I am contacting a company as I would like to send customers to them (most recently, I wanted to…
A Dark Sky experience led Kaihan Krippendorff to ruminate on how to disrupt your industry. It’s 6:30 a.m. at the Dark Sky RV resort in Utah. I’m sitting out by the gas firepit and everyone else is asleep. The sun is rising, but it’s not one of those sudden appearances that I often see in the Northeast. Instead, the sky is wide open above the vast horizon, and it begins to change colors over the short desert vegetation and red…
David A. Fields explains why some of the most promising opportunities fail to transpire into contracts, and what you can do to ensure a more positive outcome.  Your hard work on business development and some good luck resulted in big opportunities for your seed optimization consulting firm: potential engagements with Worldwide Walnuts, Paramus Pecan Co, and NoNutz.com all at the same time. But, somehow none of those opportunities blossom into closed projects. Why? You may have a “Step 0” problem….
Rob Ristagno interviewed Tom Barry, Managing Partner of GHJ Advisors, on his podcast where they discuss how to scale your business without working overtime.  All professional services firms face the same challenges when trying to scale. The product they sell isn’t an item—it’s their team’s time and expertise. When you have a specific number of employees, each with a finite number of hours in the day, how do you grow your business without demanding more time and energy from employees?…
Jason George shares an article that explores building contingency at the cost of agility, and why taking the safe route may be more costly.  The next time you travel by airplane, look out the window and see if you can count how many engines are attached to the wings. Chances are pretty good you will find only one on each side. This holds true even on routes with long stretches over water or harsh terrain that provide no suitable diversion…
Amanda Setili shares a short post on the value of trust. Last weekend, Rob and I camped in a small family-owned campground 15 feet from Pamlico Sound on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. One night it stormed, hard. The wind was gusting to over 30 mph, and the rain was intense. It would have been easy to wonder if our tent would survive. But I didn’t wonder. We’d bought the tent from REI, the same company that had made the tent…
The odds of success with mergers and acquisitions are surprisingly low, but in this post, David Gross explains how to give M&A Transactions a larger chance of success. Trillions of dollars pour into mergers and acquisitions (M&A) annually as companies seek to increase market share, reduce costs, differentiate, diversify, refocus, and capture other sources of value. Unfortunately, M&A success is the exception, not the rule. A whopping 70 to 90 percent of transactions fail. This means, only 10 to 30…
David A. Fields shares a recent post that is designed to help consulting firms identify and address areas that limit growth.  To achieve the next level of success with your consulting firm, you have to know what inflection point is next on your route (or, where you want to stop and optimize). Let’s briefly walk through the common stages on your consulting firm’s growth journey. Transitions are hard. When you think about a typical, personal life journey it’s easy to…
Kaihan Krippendorff identifies the importance of proxemics between product and consumer/user as a key component of growth for businesses. Shuffling through the crowds of Fourth of July weekend shoppers, I spied my prize. The farm stand’s rows were bursting with color—juicy strawberries, rich blueberries, and robust peaches. “Over here,” I called out to my kids to join me. We carefully selected handfuls from the overflowing baskets. Fresh berries would make a perfect addition to our family’s dessert that night. When…
Xavier Lederer identifies a key component that must be considered when building a strategy for growth.  You are not competing directly against your competitors, you are competing to be unique in the marketplace.” What does your most valuable prospect look like? “Probably a lot like your existing valuable customers. The easiest and most profitable growth will be achieved by adding additional customers very much like your current most valuable customers,” explains Robert Bloom in his book “The Inside Advantage.” Clients…
  Barry Horwitz identifies why it is important to address the predisposition to the positive and how it often arrests the growth and improvement of the company.  Back in the early 90s, I joined the senior management team of a regional retail chain. I was new to the company and had moved there from out of town. The rest of the leadership team was made up of longstanding executives — people who had been there for years (in some cases,…
  In this post, Amanda Setili explains why taking risks may be the safest strategy. The world is always changing, but lately the changes have felt faster and more extreme. In times like these, your ability to manage risk and uncertainty can give you a huge competitive advantage. To put this another way, in volatile times, taking on too little risk is dangerous. You may be left in the dust as competitors invest in new arenas that you considered too…
  David A. Fields shares a post that is a must-read if you are considering partnering with another consulting firm to increase business. There you are, polishing the sign in front of your catamaran and trying to attract consulting projects from the throngs of prospects meandering along the oceanfront. A boat-owner on the adjacent pier hails you: “Would you like to join forces? I’m sure we could catch more consulting clients together.” What do you think? Will adding more boats…
  Rob Ristagno shares a podcast with a transcript that illustrates the important role company culture plays in the growth of the company.  David Kinsley didn’t anticipate taking over the family business. In his teenage years, he dreamed about becoming a Wall Street power broker, vacationing in St. Barths, and living a life filled with the finer things. But when a chronic illness upended his first two years of college, his life changed course. He finally found relief and recovery…
  For the innovative entrepreneur and business leader who seek transformational categories, Mark Organ shares a comprehensive post that provides the key steps to take for this adventure in growth. What entrepreneur does not dream of boldly leading the largest and most important company in a hot, rapidly growing category? As I covered in How To Create A Transformational Category Like A Scientist, Salesforce, Peloton, and Uber are all examples of modern-day “category creators” that have captured our imagination while…
  Stephen Redwood shares an article that explores managing resources during disruptive times. As companies go through phases of growth and decline, innovation and stasis, integration and diversification, resource needs fluctuate in terms of numbers, types and capabilities. Even for eminent companies such as du Pont, General Motors and Sears Roebuck, these cyclical phases have more often than not resulted in – as the professor of business history, Alfred Chandler, once wrote – “Resources accumulated, resources rationalized, resources expanded, and…
  Stephen Wunker provides a concise post that identifies four steps that can help build strategies to expand into new markets. Market expansion is a goal many executives share, and rightly so. Expanding into new markets is not only a revenue driver but also a way to escape familiar competitive dynamics. It has powered giant success stories, such as Netflix’s entry into video streaming and then content production. Moreover, you don’t need to be a Silicon Valley wunderkind company to…
  Sugath Warnakulasuriya explains how to take the first step in accessing the digital value in an old-school business model. For leaders of traditional industrial and business service companies operating in eroding markets, the typical daily experience is one of keeping existing customers from leaving, holding onto already scant revenue and margins, and staying alive. Entertaining thoughts of getting lots more new customers or becoming more profitable is a rare luxury amidst constant fear of new digitally native attackers turning…
  The future of work, agriculture, education, and even relationships are all areas facing change thanks to AI technology. David Edelman extols the benefits of AI in this post. The digital explosion, accelerated by Covid, has not made life on the front lines of sales and customer service any easier. In fact, when customers are able to do more research on their own, salespeople face tougher unanswered questions, and more of an inquisition about competitive differences, granular product details, or…
  Aneta Key was interviewed on Cloudflare’s Strategy Spotlight where they discuss how to navigate growth, change, and uncertainty to rapidly scale. How to navigate growth is a fundamental question that underpins many of my clients’ corporate priorities, though it comes in different flavors. For example, leaders address: How to chart a growth strategy, align around it, and put it in place How to keep everyone pulling in the same direction in an organization growing in size and complexity How…
David A. Fields shares a post on key steps to take to grow your business. Clients hire your consulting firm in part because you know more than they do. You’re an expert. Wise in the ways of management, marketing or the musk beetle (or whatever your area of expertise happens to be). How expert are you, though, and what are you doing to continuously upgrade your knowledge? Domain knowledge is one of the three ingredients you mix together to whip…
  David A. Fields shares a post designed to help the independent consultant accelerate revenue growth. If you’re having trouble accelerating your consulting firm’s revenue growth, it could be because you’ve forgotten to create a stable revenue base. “Bread and Butter” work (outlined in this classic article) is the most common and straightforward path to establish a solid, bedrock of revenue for your consulting firm. However, you have another interesting option: Your consulting firm houses a treasure trove of assets,…
  Xavier Lederer shares an evergreen post from his company blog that explains why your management style and communication needs must change as your company grows, and how it can hinder growth if you don’t.  “My company has great growth potential, but I am so stuck in the damn dailies, I can’t find time to work on my business.  And my team, they just don’t seem to be pulling in the same direction.  I have a clear vision of our…
  Rahul Bhargava takes a look at thriving startups and shares the key factors that led to their success.  Recently, one of the startups I am working with, asked to ‘decode’ a post by Michael Stewart he had read about success factors for a startup. This post itself was a further assessment based on the TED talk by Bill Gross, founder of Idealab, given in March, 2015 on the topic. The talk and further assessment by Michael assessed 5 factors…
  Amanda Setili explains how innovation is key to the evolution of an organisation, and how leaders can take action to speed the process. As much as leaders like to talk about innovation, a more accurate term for the process they wish to employ is evolution. Success in business comes from a lot of small actions and insights that accumulate and work to evolve the organization to a completely different state. In nature, an individual organism mutates and if it…
  David A. Fields shares three ways consultants can expand their market. Bonus information and insights in the comments section. There’s a rich, hidden vein of project opportunities for your consulting firm—projects that your consulting firm may not have been in the running to receive. With the proper outlook and actions, you can reveal and win them. Usage of certain consumer products such as toothpaste and toilet paper are fairly constant—you’re unlikely to persuade consumers to use more of them…
  Dan Markovitz explains why training without a goal is a waste of time.    “Just in case 2020 wasn’t challenging enough for you, here’s a brilliant example of how to waste time, money, and credibility in 2021. The HR department at a company approached me recently about teaching employees process mapping. This company recognizes the utility of process mapping in continuous improvement and decided that a class would be a good place to start.  Sounds sensible. But with all…
  Barry Horwitz explains why he believes industry experience is overrated and provides examples from Ford, Staples, and health organizations to back up the claim.    “In September of 2006, Boeing executive Alan Mullaly was named the new CEO of Ford Motor Company. Not only did he have zero experience in the auto industry, he drove a Lexus (shocking!). The hiring decision was widely panned by industry experts and “regular people” alike. But Mullaly wasn’t fazed. When asked how he…
  Aneta Key shares a concise post that explains the purpose and benefits of her company’s GrowthKey programs. One way to increase the leadership capacity of your organization is to invest in the development of your people and build organizational capabilities. The GrowthKey Programs help you do just that. GrowthKey blended learning approach The GrowthKey professional development programs develop critical strategic, problem-solving, and interpersonal capabilities to elevate the confidence and performance of leaders, high performers groomed for cross-functional assignments, up-and-comers,…
  Amanda Setili shares a few practices designed to help you excel at both long-term and short-term thinking.  Every one of us knows well the constant tug-of-war between long and short-term thinking. You want to lose weight, but you also deeply desire that double chocolate cake. You want to put a new roof on your house, but you also have your heart set on a restorative summer vacation. Long-term big thinking is the foundation of all major accomplishments. From the…
  Sean McCoy identifies key steps a business may take to alter the operation model and improve  productivity. We are in the initial stages of a productivity mega-trend. Forced by wage growth and enabled by technology, leading companies are already redesigning their operating models to make their people more productive. The forces creating the productivity mega-trend Wages are rising and look set to continue rising. Labor’s share of GDP is at a 90-year low, and we are seeing a reversion…
  In this article for Forbes, Stephen Wunker reveals how this small business led the charge in innovation, safety, and customer service during the height of the pandemic. You might not think of an auto body shop as a hotbed of business innovation – but you’d be quite mistaken. Consider the story of one small chain that shows how businesses can go on offense during the coronavirus pandemic, seizing the initiative to remake customer experience, business relationships, and competitive position….
  With the pandemic slowing the pace in how we live and work, many of us may feel stuck. Luckily, Mike Ross shares a quick tip to help set movement in motion.  I’m lucky to spend a lot of my time working with highly intelligent, motivated people; helping them think through decisions for themselves and their organizations. Some big decisions, some small ones, but these conversations often share a striking similarity – the people I’m speaking with usually already know…
  Tim Worboys shares the strategies behind the success of a leading US insurtech company. Hippo, a leading US insurtech company, announced yesterday that they had raised $150M in a Series E round, valuing the business at $1.5B post fundraising. As the global economic conditions continue to prove challenging due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic we are beginning to see a split in the market – some insurtechs are going public or successfully raising significant amounts of funding and others…
  Are you failing to attract the talent you want at your company? Paul Millerd takes some time to analyze what does and doesn’t work on a company career page with examples taken from a review of 100 sites. Why Stripe has the only good career page on the internet (okay maybe Costco too) January 30th, 2021: Greetings from Taipei. It’s day 9 of our quarantine here in Taiwan. We were lucky enough to stay in Angie’s parents apartment so…
  Sugath Warnakulasuriya shares an article that explores a strategy many companies take to develop a path to profitable growth.  Many traditional high-share, low-growth companies find themselves in a similar predicament: they’re burdened with large, fragmented account portfolios, likely from inorganic market share binges. They often have hybrid asset bases, widely dispersed points of distribution and sale, large workforces, and complex logistics, all of which make margin growth very difficult. The legacy nature of these businesses also prevent access to…
  Robbie Baxter shares valuable advice on how to build and manage a network in a comfortable and authentic way. A few years ago, my sister asked me to co lead a workshop to help a group of her fellow psychologists build their professional network. Here’s how she opened the event: “I know most of us really don’t like networking, and I’m glad you’re here anyway. For most of us networking is worse than a sharp stick in the eye”…
  Barry Horwitz explains why developing strategy is even more important when instability and uncertainty are the norm.  ‘There has never been a time in which managers did not invoke the idea that the world is changing faster than it’s ever changed before.’ Nitin Nohria, just-retired Dean of Harvard Business School Pandemic, rampant unemployment, economic uncertainty, climate change, political upheaval. And that’s just what you’ll find above the fold in today’s newspaper. Given all the turmoil and confusion across the…
  Amanda Setili asks us to think about how interaction with clients has changed and what expectations will be in the years ahead. Imagine that it’s three years in the future, in 2024. Largely gone are the days of flying somewhere to meet with a customer for an hour or two. Customer expectations have changed dramatically; they want substance more than just a few hours together. Instead of a social call, customers in 2024 want substantive gatherings of talent. For…
  To ensure companies have the talent that will grow the business, Stephen Redwood explains how a multi-track career model is the better choice for today’s agile and lean requirements. In a world where attracting top talent is increasingly competitive there is certainly a case for focusing attention on that special and small number of company roles that are deemed critical to success. Those roles may well shape the agenda, define points of focus, and be responsible for creating much…
  In this article, Kaihan Krippendorff identifies one major, but hidden, competitor you may not have recognised and explains how this may help you build a more competitive strategy. If you’ve spent time developing your organization’s strategy, chances are you’re familiar with your competition. You know your competitors’ offerings, their strengths and weaknesses, and how you can deliver where they don’t. But when it comes to preparing for the future, there is one alternative competitor, less obvious but omnipresent, that…
  David Burnie shares a post that explains why now is the time to refresh your growth strategy. The COVID-19 crisis has impacted businesses worldwide. Globally, governments have put economies on pause, and businesses have shuttered their doors to try and limit the virus’ spread. Factories have idled, and customers have sheltered in place as the world weathers the storm. Whether or not this strict response was necessary, or an overreaction, is a side debate – it happened. As we…
  Jeff Perry shares a post that identifies the positive potential of divestitures in a company’s growth portfolio.  Houston, do we have a problem? While many companies talk about the need to regularly reshape its portfolio, divestitures are too often considered aborted missions. Quite the contrary, divestitures can be rocket fuel for other business priorities of the parent company. Divestitures are unsung in portfolio-shaping. When businesses are rumored to be for sale, many questions are raised internally and externally: Why…
  Nora Ghaoui shares the top three ways she built her business as a solo consultant during the difficult year of 2020.   Building a consulting pipeline is tough in any year. In 2020, the uncertainty caused by the pandemic made companies cautious, so it was harder to get projects agreed and started.  I tried out different actions to build my project pipeline, and some worked better than others. Here are the top 3 things that made a difference to building…
  In this  article recently published in the El Economista, David Uriarte explores how COVID-19 has encouraged medical and social experiments on sustainability, the economy, and the management of companies. One of the ways in which human beings have managed to advance our knowledge and civilization is through experimentation. Experimenting means testing in order to explain or understand the nature of reality. Experimentation is one of the building blocks of innovation . Experimentation is based on changing the things we…
  Dan Markovitz shares a free workbook to accompany his latest book.  Response to my latest book, The Conclusion Trap, has been strong, but I’ve heard from some readers that they’d like a workbook to accompany it.  Done.  You can download the Conclusion Trap Workbook here. For free. Gratis. No charge. $0.00 dollars.  In it, you’ll find a recap of each of the four steps, along with questions, and recommendations you can use to experiment with the approach in your…
  In this post, Bernie Heine identifies what the business community has learned from the Coronavirus pandemic.  We are all learning to live by the new rules in all aspects of our existence; we also realize what we can do. For the past ten months, businesses all around the world have faced various challenges. Some have suffered terrible losses. However, others managed to emerge from the crisis more potent than ever – even without proper coaching. We continue to see…
  Susan Hamilton shares a thoughtful post on creative thinking and the pursuit of possibility. September has always been my favorite month. The smell of new notebooks, the crispness in the still-warm air. A season full of unknowns, full of possibility. This year, the back-to-school season presents a different riff on unknowns to be sure, but I am still filled with a sense of excitement at the possibility that awaits. People who are open to seeing possibility have a powerful…
  Barry Horwitz shares a recent post on digital transformation in business, and how it can provide a clearer understanding of business wants and needs — both internally and customer-facing. In a recent webinar, Harvard Business School professor Joe Fuller (author of Managing the Future of Work) shared this mouthful: More work will be more digital more often… soon. What does that mean? Well, what it does NOT mean is that companies should simply do remotely or digitally what they…
  In a recent podcast from Subscription Stories, Robbie Kellman Baxter shares the secrets behind building a successful membership community.  We crave community. More than ever, community is what ties us together and motivates us to be our best selves every day. Increasingly, we’re finding those connections online. From clothing manufacturers to conference organizers to professional services providers, community creators struggle to build authentic, sticky, and even profitable communities. Gina Bianchini knows the secrets to strong communities. She has dedicated…
  Using the rise and fall and rise again of the national public radio system as an example, Kaihan Krippendorff explains why a “betting on the past” strategy has caused the downfall of giants. In March of 2008, the United States’ national public radio system (NPR) seemed to have a fatal and too common choice: to bet on the past rather than the future. It’s the kind of decision that has initiated the fall of many once-great companies: Toys “R”…
  Christophe De Greift explains why now is the time to plan your analytics transformation, why you should, and the first step to take. Artificial intelligence is a relatively young discipline in companies and in constant evolution. However, the experience of pioneering companies in various sectors and continents confirms their high value generation when accompanied by a true transformation of the company. Those who have not yet internalized their analytical transformation plan should start now to be able to arrive…
  Amanda Setili was interviewed on the Quest for the Best podcast where she shared how to identify and act on opportunities in a fast-changing world for small business leaders. I would have to say (I was inspired by) my fourth grade teacher Mrs. Tidwell. She grew up on a farm and she’d tell us stories about growing up on a farm and what it was like, and she had a great experiment that she ran with her kids every…
  Barry Horwitz shares a post that explores how the pandemic has spurred accelerated decision-making and action-taking strategies in ecommerce.  Maybe you’ve had a similar experience… You call your doctor’s office for an appointment because the nagging pain in your foot, back, or some other body part, isn’t getting any better. They say, “Of course, how’s Tuesday at 10am?” The difference now, though, is that Tuesday’s appointment will be virtual — held via a secure video conferencing link. Is it…
  As more companies seek mega mergers to dominate the marketplace, a new alliance is going to revolutionize how you access your meds. Kaihan Krippendorff uses Amazon’s recent expansion into pharmaceutical distribution to illustrate the importance of proximity in expanding and improving business offerings.    If you want to predict the path of innovation in your industry, consider one unifying strategic concept: proximity. Introduced by innovation guru Rob Wolcott, proximity is the theory that the production and provision of value…
  David A. Fields identifies two issues consulting firms must overcome to win projects and asks four pertinent questions that can help you take the action needed to move forward. Your consulting firm has probably encountered more resistance from prospective clients than usual over the past eight weeks. Fortunately, you can understand and overcome the elevated stumbling blocks. The basics of winning consulting projects haven’t changed. Keep them moist and use lots of butter. No, wait. That’s for sheets of…