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 driving incredible wealth for society. Category creators who dominate their categories often are worth more than the entire prerequisite category they came from – and consistently generate more revenue (2.7x more) and market capitalization (4.2x more) than non-category creators.
I believe that software categories can be created with a systematic process. In over 25 years of category-creating entrepreneurship, including founding Eloqua and Influitive (and growing them both to 8-digit+ in ARR) – I have discovered, studied and applied this approach – and will now share with you what I have learned.
In this article, I’m going to talk about the 1st step in the category creation process: how to “discover” underserved heroes that will be massively elevated by powerful trends in technology and society – and show some category discovery examples.
But first, a disclaimer…
Key points include:
- My Category Discovery Journey
- Salesforce – A Category Discovery
- The Category Inception Pyramid
Read the full article, Discovering Your Transformational Categories like a Scientist, on LinkedIn.
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 then once again, resources rationalized.”1
It is an unfortunate reality that the “resources rationalized” part, more often than not, relates to reducing headcount. How best to achieve that is a common source of questions from clients, often hoping for some magical thinking that will enable a rapid and relatively painless outcome. The reality, however, rarely matches those aspirations but not because of a lack of possibility, more because of a lack of method.
Determining the types and sizes of particular resource groups required in the short term versus those likely to be needed in the longer term is a challenging task when faced with the need to undertake a rightsizing transformation. This speaks to the importance of finding the right balance between strategic potential (“doing the right things”) and tactical details (“doing things right”).
A lack of access to adequate data or an understanding of the reasoning behind why things operate as they do only add to the challenge. This is often compounded by variance in job roles and responsibilities across organizations.
Ultimately, though, there is a finite set of ways to look for savings opportunities, but unless changes are made to the flow and volume of work in the business, none of the savings will stick.
Once identified, savings should be prioritized so that a properly managed transformation program can be established to ensure objectives are achieved without upsetting key growth or innovation initiatives.
Key points include:
- Assessing the landscape
- Restructuring at the top
- Bending the cost curve
Read the full article, Separating the Forest from the Trees, on RedwoodAdvisoryPartners.com.
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Michael D Pollack with Pollack Consulting. Michael has over 25 years at driving industry transformation and delivering insights through leveraging best in class analytics. Prior to Pollack Consulting, Michael was a Managing Director at JP Morgan in Asset & Wealth Management where he was the Global Head of the Portfolio Analysis Group, the group that provided investment analytics for both external and external analysis of JP Morgan’s investment performance.
Prior to this role, Michael was a Managing Director in the Corporate and Investment Bank also at JP Morgan. Before joining JP Morgan he was a Managing Director and Divisional CFO at Citigroup where he led the reengineering of the capital markets operations. Prior to Citigroup, Michael was the CEO at Pollack Consulting Group, an independent management consultancy that assists clients with their most difficult strategy, operational, and technology issues.
Michael also held senior roles at American Express and Booz & Company (now part of PwC). Michael was the founding Chair of the Board and a current Board member of School in the Square, a public charter school in New York City.
Michael earned his BA, Magna Cum Laude, in Computer Science from Princeton University and his MBA in General Management from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Mats Hugossonn with EpikOne Sweden AB. Mats has a passion for solving complex industry and business challenges in an international context. He has a background as a management consultant at McKinsey, CEO and business unit manager with a focus on developing new business and generating growth. He is very hands-on and goal-oriented with a strong track record in strategy / business development, sales leadership and creating results. His industry expertise is mostly from business services, IT/telecom/tech and industrial sector. He has special expertise in business and digital transformation.
Mats lives in Stockholm with his wife and two teenaged children and loves boating in the Swedish Archipelago. He is happy to collaborate on projects in Europe involving sales management, strategy development/execution, business and digital transformation within his industry expertise.
David Burnie shares an article and video on implementing an automation CoE at SCM Insurance Services.
Insurance organizations like SCM Insurance Services are using automation and AI to streamline administrative processes, drive efficiency, and enhance customer experience.
‘All right, I think we have quorum. Let’s get started. Welcome. My name is Sean Hinton. I am the country leader for UiPath here in Canada, and I’m really excited to have you all join us for a fun conversation with, with a few of my colleagues talking about SCM and the recent hyper automation journey they’ve been on. Before we get going, just a couple of housekeeping rules, the chat functions deactivated. But please use the Q&A function to ask any questions. We’re going to be monitoring that and try to add those questions in as we go along. And we’ll cover as many of them as we can throughout the call. If we run out of time and there are additional questions, we’ll follow up with the answers in subsequent communications. And unlike the NHL games or basketball games, EA Sports did not provide us with a laugh track as we’re going on. So, there will be no other noises other than the four panelists on the screen.
Today, I have some fun colleagues with me. I’ve got Mike from SCM, we’ve got David Burnie from the Burnie Group, and we’ve got Brandon from SortSpoke. We’re gonna have a conversation about the journey that SCM has been on over the last 12 months. But before we get into that: brief intros for everybody. So again, my name is Sean Hinton, I lead the Canadian business for UiPath. We have about 30 employees here in the Canadian market. And UiPath, if you’re unfamiliar, is a leader in the RPA segment, according to Gartner, and a number of other analysts. We provide a platform for hyper automation within your organization starting from discovery all the way to gaining insights from what you’re inputting. I’m going to pass it over to Dave. Mr. Burnie, can you introduce yourself?
Key topics covered include:
- How SCM Insurance Services undertook their intelligent automation journey and built their automation Centre of Excellence
- Recent advances in intelligent automation and document extraction technologies
- Types of processes that can be successfully automated using intelligent automation and savings that can be realized
- Best practices and lessons learned for a successful automation journey
Watch the full video, Transforming Insurance Operations Through Automation and AI, on BurnieGroup.com.
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Jeffery Perry with Lead Mandates. Jeff is a dynamic thought leader and global strategic business advisor. After an impactful 30-year career in management consulting at notable firms Booz & Co., A.T. Kearney, and recently retiring from Ernst & Young (EY), as Founder & CEO, Lead Mandates LLC, he fulfills his passion as an independent advisor—to help organizations improve business and leadership performance.
Businesses are facing unprecedented disruption and uncertainty. Based on his years of advising clients through strategic growth, mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, business transformations, and disruption, Jeff is uniquely positioned to help organizations achieve their strategic and operational goals.
Leaders need to demonstrate authenticity and courage and motivate others in their organization to bring their best every day. Jeff leverages lessons learned regarding how to harness leadership as a prerequisite to achieve organizational goals.
Jeff also serves on the Board of Directors of Fortune Brands (NYSE: FBHS).
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Himanshu Sharma with Avolve Group. Himanshu has 15+ years of experience across strategy and operating roles across both in industry (Citi, Capital One) and consulting (4+ years at Monitor Deloitte Strategy), serving medium-large global clients. Himanshu has particular expertise in financial services and insurance, with a functional focus on strategy, new product solution development, partnerships and product marketing / go-to-market. He lives in Jersey City, NJ with his wife and daughter, performs stand-up comedy in his spare time and is patiently waiting for the New York comedy clubs to re-open.
Himanshu would love to collaborate on digital and business transformation growth projects.
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Mike Mortensen with Tandem Analytics. Mike has advised business leaders at the intersection of strategy and technology for more than a decade. His experience in business transformation comes from three perspectives: business strategy at McKinsey & Company, machine learning implementation at IBM, and as a business executive responsible for growth at a global conglomerate.
Prior to Tandem Analytics, Mike led teams of business consultants and data scientists to support IBM clients in developing analytics and AI transformation programs. He partnered with clients from concept to realization, including algorithm development, pilot program design, technical integration support, and overall program management. Mike has advised business leaders on AI and analytics strategy across industries, including telecommunications, finance, industrials, retail, and health care.
Before joining IBM, Mike was a Director of Strategy & Innovation at Wolters Kluwer, where he led digital transformation for a B2B portfolio company. To improve customer centricity, he launched a portfolio of initiatives, including machine learning for segmentation and customer behavior insights. Early successes with pricing strategy and customer segmentation fueled transformation efforts across digital marketing, as well as increased personalization of sales and service.
Sean O’Toole explains why there will be no going back to normal and why the current disruption provides opportunities for companies that can redefine themselves for the future.
The world post-COVID19 will be very different from [the one] we just left a few weeks back!
Each crisis has brought dramatic changes in consumer, business and social behavior. At the time, some of the changes accelerated what was already in motion. Others were entirely unanticipated.
Whatever changes this crisis will wrought will take time to play out. However, there will be no return to business-as-usual.
We Are All Changing Right Now!
Consumers, employees and businesses are adopting to this our new reality at speed. We have no choice.
Read the full article, COVID19 is Your Permission To Shift To The Future, on LinkedIn.
Luiz Zorzella shares key points that can help leaders evaluate and address their approach to change to ensure better outcomes.
Strategy & Value
For the past 10 years, financial services firms have publicly acknowledged that they needed to change. Chances are, your organization was one of those.
Commoditization meant a systematic erosion of margins for banks; reduction in interest rates has been challenging both interest and non-interest income sources of banks and investment firms as well as the economics of insurance; and technology has posed a constant threat of disintermediation and radical value-adding substitutes.
However, just like the proverbial frog in the heating water, most business leaders have responded incrementally – aiming at matching the pace of change they observed in the market and improving their results within the parameters of their existing business model.
The problem is that change has arrived and it does not look like we expected. While COVID-19 ravages lives, economies and markets, clients and stakeholders alike are looking at financial service firms and asking that they help them weather the storm. They are calling you to change with them.
Points covered in this article include:
- Find you calling
- Evolve and decommodotize
- Reforge your ways of working
- Take the technology plunge
Read the full article, Is this Crisis Your Strategy Crucible, on the Amquant website.
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Rezzan A Kose. Rezzan is an operations, organizational design, and strategy leader and the founder of Ares, a boutique advisory and consulting firm. Before starting her own practice, Rezzan was the business product owner of an AI-based technology platform at Citadel, a global hedge fund.
Prior to that, Rezzan was an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Co. focusing primarily on business transformation, process redesign and operations across different sectors including financial services, insurance and pharmaceuticals. Along with client services, she was also the deputy COO for McKinsey’s internal advanced analytics center, overseeing day-to-day operations and execution. Earlier in her career, Rezzan worked as a research fellow at Goldman Sachs covering energy sector and commodities.
She lives in New York City and plays polo competitively.
Luiz Zorzella shares a survival guide to Clay Christensen’s opus, including impressions, recommendations, and thoughts on how business leaders can use his ideas to drive success, growth and transformation.
If you work with innovation and strategy and are responsible for the future of your business, you probably read Clayton Christensen’s 2 most famous opi: The Innovator’s Dilemma and Competing Against Luck (aka the “Jobs To Be Done” book).
If you have not, do it and you will improve your chances of not going extinct.
Over the years, I had the chance to see some of the concepts described in these books applied in real-life situations. Some of these applications were successful and rigorous and confirmed my admiration for the amount of impact compacted in such simple concepts.
However, more often than not, I have seen the concepts, approaches, and terminology he formulated deformed, mutilated and distorted into grotesque parodies – both intentionally and unintentionally.
Content in this article includes:
- Competing against luck
- Agree on what is an useful insight
- Know thyself and avoid mirages
- Think 2 steps ahead
- Find the heart of darkness
Read the full article, Survival Guide to Clay Christensen’s Opus, on the Amquant website.
Robbie Kellman Baxter shares a story about her favourite bookstore and how it provides a great example of the Membership Economy in action.
When a Menlo Park bookstore was economically threatened, the community stepped in and created a membership program to improve long-term sustainability.
Founded in 1955 by peace activist Roy Kepler, Kepler’s Books is a large independent bookstore. After its founding, it quickly became a center for intellectual thought and community discussion for the people living in the suburbs surrounding Stanford University. Over the years, the bookstore moved to increasingly larger locations, until it found its current home in downtown Menlo Park, California. Kepler’s is a neighbor to many of the Membership Economy pioneers featured in this book. After its move to Silicon Valley, many of the most innovative and successful investors and entrepreneurs frequented Kepler’s as a favorite browsing destination.
By 2005, however, the bookselling landscape had changed, due in large part to the innovations of online retailers like Amazon. On August 31, 2005, Kepler’s Books closed its doors.
Read the full article, Kepler’s Books – A Story of a Local Business and the Membership Economy, on LinkedIn.
David A. Fields explains why correct assumptions can quickly become wrong, and how to test the assumptions of your consulting practice to create new opportunities.
You throw your best efforts into delivering value for your consulting clients, improving your consulting firm’s marketing, and creating a rewarding consulting environment. Then you find your work was off by a bit. Or more than a bit. Or completely wrong. Pickles-in-peanut-butter wrong. That’s no fun.
Alas, I have bad news for you and me: we’re mistaken. About everything.
I also have good news: our mistaken assumptions represent a huge opportunity for our consulting firms.
The article identifies nine signals that could transform your consulting practice, including:
-Unexpected success signals
-Unexpected failure signals
-Closely held belief signals
-Two transformative questions
Read the full article, Signs Your Consulting Firm Is Operating on Faulty Assumptions, on David’s company website.