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Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence

Nora Ghaoui shares an article that explains how to get business results from managing data science initiatives. Data science can be a valuable tool for solving business problems, but the companies that I work with make little use of data science methods. There is a sense that the discipline is a black box to be left to the experts. That is a missed opportunity for creating business value. Data science initiatives can be managed in the same way as other…
David Burnie shares an article that explains how a regional bank improved customer experience by switching to intelligent automation. The Situation A Canadian regional bank wanted to reduce the back-office operations team’s labour, error, and re-work costs due to manual and paper-based processes. They knew customer satisfaction could improve when they reduced the slow response times and implemented a seamless digital experience. Starting with a proof of concept, the bank decided to automate non-value-added activities to enable team members to…
Gregory Borel shares a company post that highlights the financial and environmental benefits of Net Zero investments. In our previous blog, we recommended a business transformation approach to Net Zero, starting with a clear strategic rationale. The business case is a key foundation of that rationale, and an opportunity to look at Net Zero expenditure not as a cost, but as an investment. A well prioritised Net Zero pathway will start with areas of high value creation: energy savings, and…
Tobias Baer takes a consumer’s approach to mobile phones and offers a solution to simplify owning and operating this now ubiquitous device. … every couple of weeks you would wake up to a software update; … as a result, the sofa will have been moved to the kitchen, and the TV into the bathtub; … the “toast” function of your toaster was discontinued, but it now can record movies; … your living room has a new greenish colour scheme –…
In this article, Mark Hess outlines the principles of strategy, including what makes a strategy a good strategy. In broad strokes, strategy is decision making—but not in the way one might think. The most important part of your strategy is deciding what you’re not going to do. What is Strategy? Strategy, simply stated, is how you get from Point A (where you are now) to Point B (where you want to be). You want your organization to grow from $100M…
Taking a leaf or two from his book Recession Proof, Jason Schenker shares a YouTube post that outlines recession-proof strategies.      Watch the full video, Six Strategies to be Recession-Proof,  on YouTube  …
In this article, Davide Gronchi shares key insights from 10 years of optimizing design of industrial investments.  In my past 10 years spent optimizing the design of industrial investments, I have come across a broad variety of situations with many differences and few commonalities. From 20 to 20,000 mio USD in value, from tiny vaccines molecules to 800t mining excavators, from “one large investment every 10 years” to teams with heavy 1000-pages Capex manuals, from small start-up to super structured…
Tirrell Payton shares an evergreen article on how to avoid common problems in project management.  Our project is to implement a new widget management system”, she stated confidently. “Ok”, I said, “but what is the problem we are trying to solve?” “We need a new system…”, she reiterated. “Yea, but to what end? Whats the business goal? And how will we know when we have reached it? How will we measure success?” “Look”, she said, steeling her glance and locking…
Koen Veltman shares a company blog post that outlines a simple process to ensure virtual meetings are more effective. Meetings can be very chaotic, especially when you don’t see each other, how do you efficiently get to a decision? Use a process! Not only decide on the what you will discuss, but also on the how . Do you have a format that allows you to be fast and inclusive at the same time?  Try our ABC. This works for…
Jessica Lackey shares an article designed to help you find and leverage your talents and strengths. “I never truly considered what I was good at and how those experiences fit together. I just did the next job that I was asked to do.” There are personality tests and strengths assessments galore. And they can be very helpful to put language around our gifts, our strengths, our geniuses. But what they lack? How to use our gifts in context. How to…
Martin Pergler taps into Wordle to illustrate how to apply risk management thinking. Friday’s Wordle (WATCH) provided a great example of applying risk management thinking, alongside strategy and adaptive decision-making. Helping institutions navigate the interplay of these topics is my bread and butter, so I enjoyed seeing it play out so clearly in a game. Of course every Wordler’s path varies, but is seems many of us got most of the end of the word reasonably quickly, but with perilously…
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…
Andrew Seay shares an article on the MECE framework and how it makes large inventory problems manageable.  How do you eat an elephant?  The answer, of course, is “one bite at a time.”  The same principle applies to all big problems, including those in the supply chain.  A $50M inventory problem is far too large to solve all at once.  Using the “MECE” framework can help. Mutually Exclusive, Collectively Exhaustive or, MECE (pronounced mee-see), is a problem-solving framework that forces…
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…
Bob Armstrong shares a post on Goodhart’s Law and why statistics are not always a solid foundation to count on. Goodhart’s Law is named for Charles Goodhart, a British economist who in 1975 popularized the idea that Any observed statistical regularity will tend to collapse once pressure is placed upon it for control purposes. I think it was meant humorously, but the pungent truth of the statement made it stick. The point is sound. Essentially, any statistic that becomes a…
Susan Meier shares an insightful perspective on the benefits of walking the path that’s neither straight nor narrow. I’m captivated by the Olympic figure skating. I’ve always watched, but this year I’ve taken it to another level. I’ve been staying up past my bedtime, getting up at the crack of dawn, watching on my phone while in transit – whatever it takes not to miss a moment.  What it takes to win Yes, the skating is beautiful, and that’s enough…
In this article, Andrew Hone identifies the six common strategy delivery challenges that hinder a successful deployment. Translating a strategy into action is a major challenge Translating a strategy into action is a significant challenge. All too often, the benefits that were promised are delivered late, or fail to materialise at all. Management teams get distracted by the day-to-day challenges of running the business. Cross-functional initiatives fall between operating silos, budgets get reallocated and the initial momentum is lost. If…
Alun Thomas shares ten key thoughts on management and the business of business that are designed to help you relax into managing the work ahead. The practice of management and the business of business are far too complex to be reduced to a list of bullet points. Like any activity involving humans, there are contradictions. There are no “right” solutions for all time and all situations. Nonetheless, long practice, combined with many observations of things done well and of things…
If you wonder why so many large organizations find transformation difficult, Natalie Ceeney’s article offers an explanation. Anyone in business knows that ‘change’ is a fact of life. ‘Change management’ is taught on every leadership course, and we all know the essentials of good ‘change management’ (clear vision, over communicate, create a guiding coalition and more). But surely something is going wrong. If we all know how to ‘change’, why are so many organisations struggling to do so? The degree…
Steven Koltai shares an article that explores the reasoning behind President Biden’s nominee for USAID (United States Agency for International Development) administrator. When a new president taps a former U.N. ambassador, National Security Council member, and Pulitzer Prize winner to lead a battered, uncelebrated agency, something big is expected. With all due respect to her 18 predecessors, Samantha Power, President Biden’s nominee for USAID administrator, is by far the most high-profile executive to ever head America’s international development agency.  What…
Carlos Castelan shares the three key takeaways from the first day of Shoptalk 2022; an event that forecasts what’s hot and what’s not in the world of retail.  Greetings to you all from sunny Las Vegas, Nevada, where we’re back at Shoptalk after a two-year COVID hiatus, along with 10,000 other people just as excited as we are to be back in person. As in prior years – and with Groceryshop last Fall – we aim to provide you with…
In this article, Joydip Gupta identifies the one thing that separates winners from losers in the startup arena.  Most of you know the usual must-have’s in a startup business plan. Market must be big, product should solve a real pain point, scalable idea, strong leadership team, solid execution, and so on. No, these are not the capabilities I am referring to. These are hygiene factors. Don’t start a business unless you have these in place. But 95 out of 100…
In this article, Andrew McKee identifies the top five uncertainties his company tackles when creating revenue forecast models. One of our most sought-after commercial strategy services is the creation of revenue forecasts. As such, we’ve spent numerous projects ruminating on the most influential uncertainties in building revenue forecasts, and how to best converge on a reliable estimate. We’ll share our thoughts below, and hope they are helpful, whether in assisting you in building out your forecast or understanding our approach…
David Gronchi shares an article designed to simplify problem solving. Advanced analytics and machine learning are some of the ready-to-use technologies that help discover correlations and drive conclusions out of complex data sets that often describe our business and production processes. This is very helpful to take decisions aiming to prevent something unwanted to happen e.g., set process parameter to X in order to obtain product spec within tolerance. There are many other opportunities to eliminate “waste” out of business…
Sertac Yeltekin provides a think piece on how to generate intentional social and environmental impact as well as financial gain. “How do we make impact investing mainstream while preserving its essence – that is to generate intentional social and environmental impact as well as financial gain?  According to the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), Impact investing has grown into a $715 bn sector over a decade, but compared to traditional finance it is still a nascent and marginal sector. Nonetheless,…
Koen Veltman shares an article from his company’s website that explains how domains work in Holacracy. Domains: The Basics Domains are one of the three elements of a role/circle (the others are purpose and accountabilities). We use them to centralize control because, by default, Holacracy gives everyone authority to take any action or make any decision to fulfill their role/circle’s purpose or accountabilities. Domains are like a piece of property controlled exclusively by a role/circle. But they needn’t be physical…
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…
What if a futurist could answer questions posed by CSOs? The following article shared by Kaihan Krippendorff reveals the answers to ten questions asked of renowned futurist Faith Popcorn. Earlier this month, The Outthinker Strategy Network hosted futurist Faith Popcorn as a roundtable guest. Faith joined our community of chief strategy officers and executives to talk about trends that will have the biggest impact this year and over the next decade. As each member shared their most critical concerns, the…
Barry Horwitz examines the broad scope of the stakeholder moniker and offers direction on  how to identify and think about them. You’ve probably heard the term “stakeholder analysis.” It’s a tool that is traditionally used for project management, often with an internally focused perspective. But the concept is also relevant for strategic planning work, factoring in external stakeholders as well. So… What is a stakeholder? A number of years ago, companies began to realize that they needed to think beyond…
Nora Ghaoui explains why there are benefits to being on the outside looking in.  When you’re trying to tackle a business challenge, what you can solve and how you can solve it depends on the position that you are in, not on the skills that you have. As I have switched roles between management and consulting, I have learned that when you’re on the inside (as a manager) you can’t use the tools from the outside (of a consultant) and…
Rahul Bhargava shares key tips on how to improve your notetaking and increase the efficacy of your notes. Want to make notes that do not get lost with million others. Start to make smart notes. What is that? Learn all about note-taking for professionals. Opt for a strategy that works and builds a strong knowledge store. Whether we are reading a book, an informational article, or having a client conversation, making notes is vital. It helps in breaking down our…
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…
Jessica Lackey explains how to use the fear of missing out as part of a strategy for your business. The call to take on everything at once, to maximize our time, to avoid the opportunity cost of time, is deeply ingrained in our society. Our bucket lists are long. Our intentions are big. And we see on the internet or social media constantly what everyone else is doing. Why can’t that be us? And we are not just tempted to…
Barry Horwitz explains how applying war games to business is a useful exercise and effective planning tool.  “You’ve probably heard the term: ‘War games.’ Long used in a military context to plan for future conflicts, when applied in a business setting, the phrase refers to a group exercise in which participants try to anticipate the possible moves of a competitor by pretending to “play for the other side.” I have used this technique many times, across a range of clients…
Robyn Bolton shares a post on where innovation happens and why. “Innovation happens in the gaps.” It’s a statement so simple yet so profound that as soon as my client said it, I wrote it down.*  It’s not sexy to innovate in the gaps.  Most people and companies believe that innovation must be something entirely new for the world.  That innovation is all about filling a white space, thinking blue sky, or swimming in a blue ocean.  That innovation must…
Neel Bhargava shares a downloadable PDF on how secular industry trends help drive growth of the market for ABA therapy services, which help treat autism in children and young adults.  Executive Summary ABA Therapy market is a highly attractive area to invest considering its favorable growth outlook, supply/demand imbalances, and industry structure. Tailwinds in the industry, including the increasing incidence of autism in the US, have created a largely underserved market that is growing very rapidly. Excess demand for ABA…
Luiz Zorzella shares an article designed to help improve strategy by understanding your net Interest margin (NIM).  If you are a bank executive and want to manage the bank’s business strategically, you must understand the key drivers of your bank’s profitability and the trade-offs they imply. For example, to some extent, banks can trade the cost of deposits for efficiency ratio by making it more convenient for clients to make deposits. At the same time, the equilibrium of these trade-offs…
Peet van Biljon shares an article on managing risk and uncertainty for the entrepreneur.  Uncertainty in all its forms is a constant companion of the entrepreneur. How well entrepreneurs manage multiple risks and uncertainties determines the success or failure of their new offerings and businesses, and whether their investors will make or lose money. Good entrepreneurs understand the crucial interplay between risk, uncertainty and innovation, and use the best techniques to manage or even harness the inherent uncertainty involved in…
Andrew Seay provides an article that identifies five ways your inventory costs are hurting your bottom line.  For its status as the arch-enemy of “lean manufacturing,” excess inventory can actually feel pretty good in a company:  It prevents lost sales due to stock-outs.  It provides peace of mind when a critical piece of equipment breaks.  Ordering in bulk often reduces piece price, providing a benefit to cost-of-goods-sold (COGS).  If anything, inventory can often feel like it’s saving a company money….
Alessandro Santo shares a post based on an Interview with Fredrik Cassel on Creandum on the connection with Spotify. We first met Spotify in spring of 2007, and later Creandum Fund II led the firm’s first venture round of funding. Ten years later we’re hearing Creandum partner Fredrik Cassel brag too much about being user 700-something, so we we decided look at that moment where we first signed up. This interview can also be found on our website. Creandum: So…
Anders Corr shares an article he wrote for the Epoch Times on a closer AUKUS alliance. Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States (AUKUS) just took a huge step in the right direction toward deterring China’s aggression. On Sept. 16, President Biden announced that the United States and Britain would assist Australia in acquiring nuclear-powered attack submarines. The submarines will be equipped with nuclear-capable cruise missiles, though not with the nuclear weapons themselves. Australia will purchase similar cruise missiles…
Jeffery Perry shares a post that explores Gen Z  and their move towards financial acumen. Gen Z is no longer just children. The oldest members of Gen Z turn 25 in 2021 and are demonstrating their own attitudes about money and their financial futures. As the first generation to be completely immersed in digital technologies, from the ease of buying almost anything with a touch of a smartphone, endless subscription opportunities, and cashless payment systems, it is easy to assume…
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,…
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…
In this post, Peter Costa offers one man’s perspective on gender and leadership. There are mountains of research on the importance of diversity in building high-performing organizations. There is at least as much insight on the nature of leadership, including that there is no one “right” leadership style. The most effective leaders are true to themselves, their strengths, and their values. At the same time, different situations call for different leadership styles. Are these conflicting ideas? Perhaps, but if the…
Robyn M. Bolton shares an evergreen post on the benefits of thinking visually for business, and how to do it.  Last week, I wrote about Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS), a process of using art to teach visual literacy, thinking, and communication skills. Typically, used in primary school classrooms, VTS has made its way into the corporate setting, helping individuals and teams to build and strengthen their problem solving and critical thinking skills, ability to communicate and collaborate, and effectiveness in…
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…
  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,…
  David A. Fields shares a post that illustrates the value of naming the intellectual property of your consulting business to encourage client buy-in. In today’s world of smartphones, texting, and in-car wifi, the 1970’s CB radio craze hovers somewhere between quaint and weird. Yet, one aspect of that short-lived fad will help your consulting firm win more clients and, importantly, deliver higher perceived value to your current clients. In the parlance of CB radio fanatics, your handle was your…
  Stephen Wunker shares a post that identifies how the pandemic has presented aggressive businesses with an opportunity, and why the key to success lies in customer service.  ‘Consumers don’t trust real estate agents,’ says Jimmy Mackin, whose business is selling software to…real estate agents. He continues, “There are minimal requirements to become a licensed real estate agent. The industry tends to attract the get-rich-quick crowd.” How could someone with such a dire assessment of an industry make his living…
  Aneta Key shares a 2-minute video from a series that dives into how to assess the situation.  This sequence of videos emphasizes that strategic decision-making starts with assessing the situation.  The prior video discussed “speed” as a dimension and this one focuses on another important dimension — the gravity of the decisions leaders make. This simple consideration can have a profound impact on how execs allocate their scarce leadership capacity given all the decisions they need to make. Key…
  Alex Sharpe shares a post from the archives that illustrates the pertinence and importance of social media as critical infrastructure.  “If you can spy on a network, you can manipulate it. It is already included. The only thing you need is an active will.”Michael Hayden, Former Director, NSA and Former Director, CIA. Social Media is getting lots of attention especially with the upcoming election. There is good reason, but Social Media is not only an election issue. Social Media…
  Paul Browne shares an article on stress testing and cash management as a means to help business survive another COVID-19 shutdown.   Cash Management and Stress Testing The full force of the COVID-19 pandemic is now hitting the UK with most businesses either completely shut down or working well below capacity. Most law firms are in the latter category. The key challenge for managing partners, after ensuring the safety and well-being of staff, is to ensure the firm survives this…
  Robyn Bolton draws innovation inspiration from the Princess Bride to illustrate how the innovator embarks on a hero’s journey within a corporate setting.   A few weeks ago, I wrote a post using quotes from “Moneyball” (the movie, not the book) to describe the experience of trying to innovate within a corporate setting. It was great fun to write, I received tons of feedback, and had many fascinating conversations (plus a fact check on the year the Red Sox broke…
                       Kaihan Krippendorff shares an article that identifies how to take better control of your subconscious to become aware of valuable information.  We have heard the adages like “work on your business, not in it” and “come up to see the forest for the trees.” At McKinsey they urged us to continually take the “top management perspective” by zooming up to look at the business overall before jumping into the details. But we know Bill Gates used to lock himself…
  Tobias Baer takes on the role credit bureaus play and misguided government prescriptions in this post.  Credit bureaus are both feared and loathed – feared because their revealing of “sins” of the distant past can dash many a dream such as buying a house or a car, renting a flat, or even just getting a postpaid mobile plan, and loathed because their verdict on an applicant sometimes appears unfair or even incomprehensible – e.g., when sensibly taking up an…
  Jason George shares a post that explores the Harvard Business School’s case method of teaching; and how this experimental approach in the construction of their classrooms became a model for many industries to follow.  Harvard Business School’s campus is an extreme outlier, even when compared to those of peer institutions with similar histories. Situated on the Charles River across from the main buildings of its parent university, the self-contained layout was originally conceived in the 1920s. At the time…
  Ian Tidswell shares pricing information on creating and capturing value in an informative infographic. Success in the Medical Technology industry requires constant innovation. However, capturing a fair share of the value (pricing) from that innovation throughout the product life cycle is especially challenging given multiple market access hurdles, constrained healthcare budgets, and diverse stakeholders. The infographic below outlines the 6 steps to creating and capturing value in MedTech, from offering design through market access and reimbursement approval to new…
  If you have difficulty describing what it is you do to clients, Anna Engstromer’s post will help clarify and communicate the value and benefits of your services.  Much value of consulting can be decoded and applied in organizations, limiting the need to actually hire them and – hopefully – rendering work more challenging and rewarding. I’ve served perhaps four dozen clients on almost the same number of topics, over a dozen years, across a dozen countries. Apart from a…
  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…
  From his company website, Andrew Hone offers a guide on how to conduct a rapid strategic review and identify new value-creating opportunities for your business.  A strategic review is a structured process to identify new value-creating opportunities within a business. This could be about improving the performance of an existing division, or taking advantage of a new market adjacency opportunity. Many companies undertake strategic reviews on an annual basis as part of their strategic planning process. Other businesses will…
  Ian Tidswell provides insight into the strange pricing practices fueled by loyalty programs, credit card programs, fees, and customer perception of value.  Utpal Dholakia always has interesting posts on pricing.  This one got me thinking about the strange way that buying a coffee can result in wealth transfer to an airline.   Airlines make a lot of money off of their loyalty programs (often all of their profit). 71% of those miles are purchased, many by banks for their credit…
  Set sail with Chris Rooney as he explains what a bosun is and why your business needs one.  The Bosun is the deck boss of a ship, also known as the “Chief of the Boat.”  The most experienced and trustworthy operator, they have charted the world and mastered every role.  They are the human conduit through which the vision of the Captain becomes realized action and the patient teacher by which an inexperienced crew can become an exceptional, effective…
  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…
  Sean McCoy shares an article that explains why most post-merger integrations fail. Most mergers and acquisitions fail to achieve their intended synergies and deal rationale, because most post-merger integrations (PMIs) fail. Most post-merger integrations fail because they did not beat The 4 Clocks. There are 4 clocks counting down in PMI, a clock each of the four major stakeholders in a PMI: employees, vendors, owners, and customers. The clocks also largely parallel areas of synergies. The name of the…
  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…
  Priyanka Ghosh shares a case study on the strategic alignment of leadership teams. SITUATION In the course of driving a growth program for a family-owned European industrial manufacturer, it quickly became clear that the dysfunctional leadership team was a bottleneck to progress. Although the team was composed of capable individuals with impressive track records, the ten team members were unable to agree on a coherent strategy and continued to revisit the same issues. The various departments seemed poorly informed…
  Eric Hiller shares an article on the top mistakes made in product cost management and design to value.  Product cost management (PCM) and design-to-value (DtV) are two areas in companies capable of delivering the greatest of impact, but are sadly prone to the biggest blunders by leadership. Eric A. Hiller, the managing partner of Hiller Associates and a specialist in product development and procurement, has unveiled some of the crucial errors that even the elite executives tend to commit…
  Jeremy Greenberg shares an article from his company’s website that examines the findings from a study on the challenges of the COVID-19 vaccine adoption. STUDY HIGHLIGHTS: Half of participants say they are likely to take the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is available Safety and minimizing side effects are the most important factors driving decisions Two thirds of those not likely to take the vaccine doubt its safety Women are more often the gatekeepers for households and are…
  Using the company Hoowaki as an example, David Summa shares an article that illustrates how business model innovations can drive new revenue streams. In my last post, I wrote about business model innovations and how it can drive new revenue streams, especially in times of changing economic and cultural landscapes or declining performance. To help illustrate this point, I’d like to talk about a recent success with Hoowaki. Hoowaki is a materials science company in South Carolina that for…
  Caroline Taich shares a concise post and one key tip on how to improve your client services.  Are you getting ready to start a planning process? I help my clients bring new ideas to life. To do this work well, I believe that it helps to know what it’s like to walk in client shoes. So when the arts organization where I am Board President was ready to write a strategic plan, I jumped at the chance to be…
  Tobias Baer shares an article on the latest Google news and the regulation of Big Tech. He explores the impact of Google’s algorithms on e-commerce and the commercialization of the internet.  In spite of its limited scope, the DOJ’s antitrust complaint against Google already highlights three fundamental issues of e-commerce and the commercialization of the internet. The first is about industrial organization – how to create a digital market structure that isn’t monopolized through natural network and scale effects?…
  Daune Capuano shares a whitepaper on how to turn your technology and strategic goals into action.  Does your association struggle with data trapped in an outdated association management platform that does not interact with your current systems and restricts your organization’s ability to implement new software for  new products and services ? Are you concerned that your current Learning Management System (LMS) has become antiquated and cannot add new features such as webinars and classes using stream video technology…
  In this article for Industry Week, Dan Markovitz explains how the current pandemic provides an opportunity to move forward with value stream mapping.  At some point, the COVID pandemic will pass, whether that’s due to a vaccine, a two-minute test, or herd immunity. But if you want to thrive in the post-COVID world, you’ve got to start working on operational improvements now. After all, if you’re walking to the starting line while your competitors are already settled into the…
  Anna Engstromer shares an article on the management of external services, specifically, BPO transactions. Consequences of poorly managed services are like chronic diseases: spreading its consequences little-at-a-time over vast areas – like customer service, availability, performance and speed of delivery – slowly building awareness for the problem but not considered as such until something breaks, or stops. Temporal Focus Much of any organization’s cost is external. How significant it is and how it breaks down by categories vary across…
  Robyn M. Bolton shares why a business should always engage in customer research when innovating and explains why she doesn’t always follow her own advice.  If you’re innovating without involving your customers, you’re wasting time and money. I believe this so deeply that I require all of my clients to spend time talking with and listening to their customers at least once during our work together.  Investing in customer research, I explain, is the single smartest and best investment…
  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…
  In this short video from Andrew Hone’s company identifies why only one in 25 cost-cutting programs work.     The video can also be accessed on Zenithstrategy.com …
  For all who are working with Microsoft Office 365, Hugo Bernier has provided a series of posts to help navigate the software. In this post, he explains how to work with rules in Microsoft Lists. Over the last few years, Microsoft has done an amazing job at modernizing SharePoint. It used to be that the first question my clients would ask me when I would start a new engagement was “How can we make SharePoint not look like SharePoint?”….
  Access this resource from Gaelle Lamotte’s company on how to improve your ability to execute strategies by integrating development and planning, driving focus and alignment. How often do you win with your strategy? Strategy development is useful for defining ambitions and long term goals. A good strategy is only as good as the capability to implement it and how well it delivers the desired outcome. Various research concludes: Organisations on average realise only 50-63% of the financial performance promised…
  Sara Conte shares an article from the company archives that identified the increase in the use of expert networks with projections reaching into 2022. Investors and others are increasingly utilizing expert networks like Gerson Lehrman Group (GLG) and AlphaSites to instantly get answers to key questions. It’s like calling a friend in the business, but these calls are highly regulated to ensure compliance with confidentiality requirements. The results are quick and actionable – particularly when paired with analysis on…
  Charity: water’s MZ Goodman joins Robbie Kellman Baxter to share how she is applying subscription model best practices to a nonprofit. They discuss how MZ leverages content marketing and digital community strategies developed in her work at The New York Times to build a donation-based subscription model, how they’ve leveraged a single 20-minute video to raise millions, and how to think about a Forever Promise in the context of engaging donors. Welcome to the show. It’s your host, Robbie…
  Discover practical inventory management tips that can help your business grow in this post on Carlos Castelan’s company blog.  For any products-based business, it’s hard to overstate the importance of inventory management. Not only does effective inventory management help you to evaluate the state of your business and reveal various roadblocks to your success, but it also helps you to keep operations running smoothly and ensure that your customers stay happy. And when your business is growing quickly, it…
  Barry Horwitz explains how confirmation bias hurts business and provides key tips on how to identify and avoid falling into the confirmation bias trap. I’m often reminded of a line from Ernest Hemingway’s novel The Sun Also Rises, in which a character is asked how he went bankrupt. His answer: “Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.” When dealing with change (bankruptcy-related or otherwise), there are often warning signs along the way — gradual shifts that are easy to dismiss as…
  Robyn M. Bolton takes a lesson learned from a fairy tale to illustrate truths. I love stories.  When I was a kid, my parents would literally give me a book and leave me places while they ran errands.  They knew that, as long as I was reading, I wouldn’t be moved. But there was one story I hated – The Emperor’s New Clothes I hated it because it made absolutely no sense.  It was a story of adults being…