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Primary Research

  Diane Mulcahy was recently interviewed for an article in Vogue Business magazine. The topic — should fashion freelancers unionise? The Covid-19 crisis has brought to light the lack of protection of freelancers and independent workers in the UK and US, forcing governments to adjust their policies to include them in income support schemes and sick leave. The crisis has also accentuated solidarity and camaraderie between fashion freelance workers, who have started to think about unionisation and self-organising. While organisations…
  Dan Markovitz identifies issues that may arise in the workplace when some remote employees return to the office and others don’t. He also provides a few key tips to help maintain team cohesion. A client of mine has started to bring some of their employees back into the office. They’re not ending their work from home policies, but increasingly higher ranking staff are coming back to the mothership, particularly for important meetings.  This shift makes sense for many reasons,…
  In today’s fast-paced world focused on productivity, Geoff Wilson shares a short post and a poignant reminder on the importance of doing nothing and how it can benefit business.   Albert Einstein once said that the reason he was so good at thinking about time and space was that he was delayed in his childhood development to the degree that he forgot to forget about such wondrous things as an adult. The direct quote is this: ‘I sometimes ask myself…
  As the disruption continues, many businesses struggle to retain their employees. This post from David Burnie’s company provides strategies that can help keep employees on board, engaged, and motivated. Happy, successful employees are critical for a successful company. While companies must consider how to retain employees at the best of times, employee retention is an especially pressing topic during the COVID-19 pandemic. As Ontario continues social distancing indefinitely, maintaining an engaged staff will offer a sense of stability to…
  Andrew Hone’s company blog explains why cost reduction programs often fail.  Although cost reduction programs can deliver a powerful mix of financial, strategic, and organisational benefits, the failure rates of these types of programs are very high. A recent survey of C-Suite executives, for example, found that while 90% of businesses had attempted to implement a cost reduction program, 75% failed to meet their targets, and 44% missed them by more than half. Drawing on some of the key…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Michael Janov with Azurite Consulting. Before joining Azurite Consulting, Michael spent 5 years with McKinsey & Company as an Engagement Manager working out of their Sydney, New York and London offices. There he devoted his time to M&A Transactions and Merger Management with a strong passion for B2B and Industrial sector work. Michael previously worked in the Group Strategy team at Qantas Airways, where he led multiple teams in redefining the domestic strategy – stretching…
  Diane Mulcahy explains why the current model of the office worker is difficult to change despite the evidence of increased productivity from the remote worker. No one expected (or wanted) remote work to scale because of a virus and subsequent global pandemic. But, here we are.  The battle for remote work has been ongoing. Employees want the choice and flexibility to work outside the office at least some of the time, but many companies and even more managers resist…
  Robbie Kellman Baxter shares expert tips on how to build revenue through a subscription business model.  I’ve been noticing something funny recently. As I make my rounds being interviewed by podcasters, influencers and subject matter experts, the conversations turn from ‘advice for listeners’ to ‘advice for the host.’ In other words, these solopreneurs, subject matter experts, and social media celebrities are trying to figure out how to build a viable, profitable business around their own community and expertise. They’re…
  Luiz Zorzella takes an adventurous look at two choices innovation-based businesses may or may not choose to pursue to illustrate how emotion is an underlying driver of innovation.  Companies that decide to compete on innovation-based businesses have 2 potential paths to choose from: with or without “emotion”. Years ago, my wife and I traveled to the NorthEast of Brazil. There, we went on a tour on the sand dunes on a buggy. Fifteen minutes into the tour, I was…
  On June 17, Barry Horwitz  will be giving a webinar with a colleague, CL Tian who runs a digital marketing firm called PINKOA.  The webinar “Shifting Focus from Surviving to Thriving:  Strategy and Tactics.” The webinar will be hosted by TechNetworks of Boston and includes a free virtual Nonprofit Roundtable session. Sign up for the webinar, Shifting Focus From Surviving To Thriving: Strategy And Tactics, on the TechNetworks of Boston website.    …
  Aneta Key shares a new video in her series on video conferencing. This week: brevity. During the recent series of workshops about online meetings, I realized that as we reimagine how we lead meetings online, some fundamentals are unchanged.  So, I give you the second video of what may become a series on the topic with simple ideas that apply for any type of meeting.  Enjoy and share with colleagues who may benefit from it.   Included in this…
  Eric Hiller provides a short introductory article and a link to a forthcoming webinar on Thursday, May 28, 2020, that explains how to keep a supply chain up and running during COVID-19 and into the future.  The old world… So, you had a supply chain, and you thought it was pretty “optimized.” Yeah, you could improve it here and there, but you had wrung out 95%+ of the addressable waste. To really make progress, you would need to make…
  Davide Gronchi provides two simple tools that can help collect answers to powerful questions. 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…
  When building a bicycle for his daughter, Azim Nagree was reminded of the importance of two key components of best practices: process and documentation. Last week, my daughter turned 4 and I found myself, late at night, trying to build her new birthday bike. The task would have been made easier if the instructions were decent, but unfortunately, they were written poorly so I ended up just trying to figure it out myself. What should have been a one…
  Alex Sharpe takes a look at where we are, where we’re going, and why history can help us identify possible opportunities. The CORONA Virus is rocking our worlds – no doubt. It is a scary time with lots of uncertainty. Fortunately, times like this cause a disruption which also means opportunity. For many of us that is not easy to hear as we watch businesses struggle and industries change. It is even harder as we hear about the loss…
  Boris Galonske offers direction on how to navigate the effects of COVID-19 in the form of a detailed outline of a playbook.  The coronavirus exposes critical infrastructure to a risk environment which is unprecedented in recent history. In order to maintain resilient operations establishing a playbook how to run critical infrastructure these days is key. Situation today A pandemic has been part of risk inventories of large corporations for several years. However, the accelerating speed with which the coronavirus…
  Paul Millerd’s latest newsletter explores four questions surrounding the state of work, schools, and creativity and shares unexpected thoughts on the future of work. The US has lost 38 million jobs. Some of those may come back. Many will not. Going into 2021, the US will likely have the highest unemployment rate in the last 100 years. I’ve written quite a bit about the fragile labor economy and believe the gaps I’ve written about have become more visible than…
  Dan Markovitz shares why COVID-19 provides the opportunity to institute change.  “You’ve heard it countless times before:  ‘People don’t like change.’ ‘Change is hard.’ ‘Change activates people’s lizard brain. They’ll fight you or run away.’ ‘People don’t mind changing. They don’t like being changed.’ You hear these complaints so often that you’d think they’re inscribed in the 10 Commandments by now. (They’re not, by the way.) Sure, there’s plenty of truth in those sayings, but the good news is…
  Jennifer Hartz shares encouraging words on how the current COVID-19 situation provides the opportunity to learn, grow, and serve.  Obviously, #COVID19 creates a number of significant problems in the world, our country, businesses, nonprofits, governments, and schools. This temporary situation, current trend, or permanent transformation is challenging. So, let’s look at the opportunities for people working or learning remotely or not employed full time to improve their lives as well as others’. REMOTE WORK IS EXPANDING Twitter announced that…
  David Fields explains how to maximize the benefits of video conferencing by encouraging clients to give a testimonial. He provides five stellar tips, including questions to ask to ensure you make the most of the moment.  Your consulting firm’s prospects and clients are settling into the video call format. Other than the relationship-building advantages of video, has this newly-accepted communication medium ushered in any valuable opportunities for your consulting firm? You betcha. Video testimonials are where it’s at. Any…
  Martin Nel shares his synthesis on recent events and data that have informed his outlook on how COVID-19 will affect major players in Canadian Retail Banking. Covid-19: When will it end? What will be the damage to the economy? What will be the impact on the major players in Canadian Retail Banking?  Looking at the S&P 500 over the last few weeks, it seems that it will all be over soon, with limited economic damage. Let’s call this the…
  Christophe De Greift identifies the problem of low data literacy and shares four rules that can improve statistical data during COVID-19 and our understanding of the situation.  The world was caught off guard by a new virus that we are still trying to understand. If we turn to official sources to find answers to our questions, we often find graphics that are not very relevant and even misleading about COVID-19. In the era of artificial intelligence and predictive analytics,…
  David Burnie’s company has published a timely blog on the 21 common mistakes many companies make when rolling out their business continuity plan.  A business continuity plan is essential for preventing and recovering from emergencies and incidents that can disrupt a business. We recently shared our top 13 priorities for a strong BCP. While not having a BCP is a sure-fire pitfall to successful business continuity, there are other things to keep in mind. Here are some of the…
  Luca Ottinetti provides an article that reflects on past recessionary crises to help business leaders move through the current situation productively with examples of strategies from TMSC, Ford, AB InBev, Home Depot, and Verizon among others. Managing through a recessionary crisis requires more than laying low and waiting for the storm to blow over. It takes proactive management to prepare and then take advantage of the general economic weakness. Recessions come from different starting events, for example (1) stagflation…
  Take a look back to the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic with Tobias Baer where he asks us to imagine the positive impact to both the individual and the economy. Amidst all the gloom and panic, I saw a light today. Grounded in Germany, I made a long bicycle ride through mostly empty countryside. All my worries about my family, clients, and own affairs notwithstanding, I couldn’t help feeling bliss and happiness, and it dawned on me that also…
  Robyn Bolton shares her predictions on what comes after the wave of COVID-19 abates.  ‘What happens next? You know, once all of this is over?’ my friend asked. ‘There will be a new normal, but what will it look like?’ This is the question everyone is asking. Lots of people proclaim to have the answer. Some are based on history, but history isn’t a great predictor of the future. Some opinions are based on trends and projections but rely…
  As many of us continue to hold a business together through online meetings, Susan Drumm provides expert advice on how to maximize the effectiveness of the virtual workplace, including tips on planning and running online meetings. Effective virtual meetings? Ha! If they exist, I’ve certainly never attended one.” If this was your thought process when you read the title of this blog post: I get it. With the COVID-19 crisis and its implications for remote working, it’s more important…
  Jared Simmons provides a concise post that identifies the three most common factors that impede progress.  Whether you are chasing profit or purpose, a team’s ability to make progress is critical to achieving its objectives. There are many obstacles that keep a team from operating at its full potential, but the three most common (and solvable) ones are ambiguity, apathy, and amateurism. The challenge is recognizing them in action.   Discover how the following three A’s impact your team:…
  As we begin to consider the far-reaching and long-lasting impacts of the current pandemic, Robbie Kellman Baxter thinks ahead and shares her thoughts on the future of live gatherings and how that will affect a wide range of institutions, organizations, and individuals. A few weeks ago, Facebook announced they’re canceling any large physical events with 50 or more people through June 2021. (Some they’ll hold as virtual events.) Microsoft announced something similar. Many organizations are allowing no business travel…
  Susan Meier was recently interviewed on The Growth Zone where she shared her expertise on good branding strategies and how to upscale brand visibility. Brands of all kinds are seeing a huge need to rethink and reinvent in the new context we’re faced with. The game has changed, but the basic rules remain the same. I encourage people to step back from that (social media), before you build your platform and presence, you need to think about who you…
  Jason George shares an origin story of management consulting and lessons from the barnyard to highlight the benefits of putting people and practice before personal profit.  Marvin Bower faced a critical choice. He had led McKinsey & Company from its earliest years, in the process helping to define the fledgling field of management consulting. Now nearing retirement age, it was time to hand the reins to the next generation of leaders. As the principal shareholder in the partnership, Bower’s…
  As more consultants rely on video conferencing to connect with clients, David A. Fields shares timely, tractable, and tongue-in-cheek tips on how to avoid common mistakes that are all too often made.  Are there video call-specific rules of etiquette? Of course. Remember the old days, when people left their houses? Consultants would frequently travel thousands of miles, sardined next to strangers (crazy, right?). Even then, your consulting firm’s best, everyday outreach tool was your telephone. However, in the modern,…
  Amanda Setili shares eight steps you can take to mitigate stress and uncertainty during the current crisis.  I’ve been astounded by the degree and speed of innovation and change these last few weeks. Things that in normal times would have taken months or years to do have been accomplished in days, largely because people are banding together to help each other. In the midst of suffering, stress, and a good bit of fear, there is more kindness than ever….
  Cheryl Lim Tan takes a look at how the COVID-19 virus has affected what consumers are buying after the initial panic purchases. Let’s see how the stay-at-home economy is stacking up. The American consumer has until very recently, powered close to 70% of GDP. As we settle into what may be a few months of a nationwide stay-at-home order due to COVID-19, a very different looking consumer is emerging — in yoga pants, and in desperate need of a…
  Andrew Hone’s company has developed a 6-week program which takes businesses through each step of our three-stage framework for responding to COVID-19. COVID-19 represents a formidable challenge to businesses of all sizes. Necessary policy responses have caused significant disruption to the global economy, with simultaneous demand, supply and financial shocks. Most businesses are experiencing a sharp decline in near-term revenue, requiring actions to mitigate the impact on cash flows and potentially to secure additional funding. Based on our own…
  Robbie Kellman Baxter provides a few words of encouragement and valuable links that will inspire and motivate. Now is a good time to sharpen the saw. Abraham Lincoln is reported to have said “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”According to recent data from Zuora, only 11% of subscription businesses using their billing platform have seen a decline in members vs 2019. We all need a little…
  James Bowen takes a look ahead to the end of this year, and shares his thoughts on four likely scenarios that may come to pass.  Today we live in an environment of extreme uncertainty. More than 26 million Americans who had jobs a month ago are now unemployed. No one can tell you whether that number will be bigger or smaller a month from now. We have seen negative prices for the West Texas Intermediate oil contract, but that…
  During times of crises leaders must make the tough decisions, but choosing the right way to go is not always clear cut. Zaheera Soomar identifies three practical approaches to serve as guidelines for ethical decision-making. During a recent conversation with a senior executive, she expressed a sentiment that many of us share: “When the pandemic has passed, I want to be able to say that, at the hardest of times, I did my best to do the right thing”….
  James Bowen takes a moment to muse on risk expectations and market values.   Today I read Christopher Schelling’s insightful article in Institutional Investor, “The Dust Bowl Ravaged 1930s America: Coronavirus is Today’s Equivalent.” It led me to thinking about risk, and in particular how a risk no one considered at all a little over a month ago has emerged to destroy trillions of dollars of value — perhaps not in percentage terms, but certainly in dollar terms the…
  Amanda Setili shares eight steps you can take to mitigate stress and uncertainty during the current crisis.  I’ve been astounded by the degree and speed of innovation and change these last few weeks. Things that in normal times would have taken months or years to do have been accomplished in days, largely because people are banding together to help each other. In the midst of suffering, stress, and a good bit of fear, there is more kindness than ever….
  Sarah Ralston Miller and Zaheera Soomar co-authored this article on how to support and strengthen company culture during the current crisis.  Through the Covid-19 pandemic, our world of work has changed almost overnight. In the past few weeks, we’ve spoken with senior leaders at organizations with whom we have been working to strengthen their ethical culture. These leaders understand that their culture is an essential resource to navigate through the current crisis, and are finding new ways to cultivate…
  Aneta Key lightens the mood for the day with these tongue-in-cheek video conference tips.    Many of us are so accustomed to videoconferencing, we take it for granted. But with the COVID-19 pandemic shift to remote work, a whole lot of professionals worldwide are just now being introduced to this genre of workplace interactions.   This blog post will offer something for veterans and newbies alike. In a true iterative fashion, I will add to it over time.    …
  While all eyes are on the future of Africa’s resources, Richard Stuebi takes a look ahead at improving the electricity sector. In this article, he summarizes the main points from a year long study.  For the past year or so, I’ve been privileged to lead a team at the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Boston University to develop a synthesized perspective on the current state of and future prospects for the African electricity sector.  I’m pleased to announce that…
  Azim Nagree explores the necessary steps to take when the current crisis is over and shares a template you can use to build your business case. Many of us are spending our time thinking about (and writing about) how to get through the current Coronavirus-driven situation. For those who have had to endure headcount reductions, your energy and focus is probably on just getting through the day-to-day workload. But it’s important to think about what will happen when the…
  In this detailed article, Surbhee Grover identifies the decision-making inputs and new market approaches that will be required to survive in the new economy. 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…
  Leadership has its own set of unique challenges during times of crises; Luiz Zorzella provides a post that identifies a few of the common obstacles faced and how to overcome them. During a crisis, we are all pushed to make strategic, life-changing decisions. Often we need to make these decisions under a lot of uncertainty and with incomplete and faulty information. Below, I review some of my favourite cognitive biases with a couple of examples of how they may…
  David A. Fields shares a post that identifies the benefit of extending your reach and imagination to find partners and connections that can help your business grow. Many of your consulting firm’s prospects are caught in the eddies of crisis and battling to stay afloat. While they appreciate your relationship-building calls, unfortunately, they’re too preoccupied to fully engage in deep conversations with you. On the other hand, you know who’s in the same boat as your consulting firm and…
Join Kaihan Krippendorff on May 6th, for a summit with 24 thought-leaders from around the globe, across 24 hours where thought leaders will discuss how to rethink tomorrow for you and your Organization. Confirmed speakers include Dan Pink, Amy Edmondson, Marshall Goldsmith, Faith Popcorn, and Rosabeth Moss-Kanter.   100% of profits will go to charity. Donations will be awarded to Kiva, No Kid Hungry, GiveDirectly, and the European Food Banks Federation….
  Jason George explains with delightful simplicity how the formula used by Dr. Seuss to tell a story is a good example to follow for presentations. The distillation of the core idea to ensure comprehensive understanding that opens the door to deeper exploration. Author Theodor Geisel was dealing with some tough constraints. The audience for his next book required an instantly captivating story with a clear narrative arc, but there was a catch: they could only process a limited set…
  As more employees work from home, it is important to establish clear guidelines and routines, this post from David Burnie’s company provides ten questions businesses should ask to ensure the switch to working remotely runs smoothly.  Establishing a work from home (WFH) program is an essential part of a business continuity plan. In the current COVID 19 crisis, executing a work from home (WFH) policy is a top priority for organizations. A robust work from home policy will enable…
  Eric Hiller unrolls a few facts behind the need to hoard toilet paper (TP) as he shares his knowledge on the supply chain in this article recently published on MarketWatch. One of the bizarre phenomena that we have been experiencing in the United States during the visit of our unfriendly visitor from Wuhan, the SARS-COV-2 virus which causes COVID-19 disease, is the strange behavior of people to irrationally hoard toilet paper (TP). I admit, this is one thing that…
  Paul Millerd invites your mind on an adventure into utopian thinking and a timely reminder on the circular nature of life. Millenarianism is defined as “the belief by a religious, social, or political group or movement in a coming fundamental transformation of society, after which “all things will be changed”. I ran across this concept in a fascinating book by John Gray called “Black Mass” where he explored how humans have consistently been drawn toward millenarianist movements. He goes…
  Dan Markovitz explains why using post-it notes may not be the best way to organize your workflow. One of my clients, a physician in an academic medical center, has been struggling with her personal kanban. She avoided all the common pitfalls—she kept finished tasks in her Done column, limited her WIP, and used Super Sticky Post-It notes to ensure that she didn’t lose any work to evening janitorial services. But she wasn’t making a whole lot of progress, which…
  Jay Jung shares a case study that explains how his company helped a client with their fundraising process, and increased their valuation by 80% and doubled the capital raise. One of our clients received a term sheet from a well-known VC in the industry. Our client was very excited as getting an investment from this firm was a strong sense of validation in the industry. However, the valuation was significantly lower than what they were hoping for. The client…
  Susan Meier was recently interviewed on this podcast where she dives into creative myths at work to dispel the ideas that creativity and strategy are at odds.  I think that we live in  world where we are surrounded by these myths, which, when we say them out loud they sound silly but we’ve kind of bought into, like the starving artist, or the writer who drinks too much, and so we kind of think of creativity in the back…
  Joyjit Saha Choudhury takes a look ahead to determine the effect of COVID-19 on health plans.  COVID-19 has upended our society, economy and the healthcare ecosystem in particular, and tremendous efforts are underway to try and manage the epidemic. In this difficult and unsettling time, I wanted to help think ahead to actions US-based payors and providers should take for a post-COVID-19 world.  This piece is structured in three parts – part 1 outlines likely strategic changes to the…
  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…
  Robbie Kellman Baxter shares her experience of launching a book during the COVID-19 virus and explains what you can do to rethink plans that have been disrupted.  This article is based on some of the ideas that came up last week in my LinkedIn Live Session. I’m a beta tester for this new feature, which allows for a more direct, realtime and raw connection with the community. I’ll be LIVE every Friday at Noon Pacific. If you follow me…
  As more people get used to working remotely, Paul Millerd shares valuable advice and fourteen tips that should not be followed. I’ve either put these tips into practice in my own life or can confirm that other people have. People rarely talk about these practices in public because there is a certain amount of shame and embarrassment about telling people you work less.   Advice on working remotely Paul shares include: The morning routine Asynchronous communication The bi-modal workday…
  David A. Fields provides expert advice on how to manage customers during a crisis.  What do you do when your well-intended outreach call crashes into a brick wall of negativity? Like many consulting firm leaders, you may have been burning up the phone lines the past week or two, reaching out to your clients and other contacts. Your motives are pure—admirable even. You’re checking in, showing support during a difficult time and offering help. By and large, your efforts…
  David Gross takes a look ahead at the looming concern about pension plans.    Author’s note: This article focuses on defined benefit pension plans in the private sector. To learn more about the pension challenges facing municipalities and states, check out this article by Mary Williams Walsh at The New York Times and the Federal Reserve’s analysis from December 2019.  Stock markets plummet by 20 to 30 percent. Long-term interest rates drop. Future economic growth and asset returns are…
  Robbie Kellman Baxter explains why the customer relationship is even more valuable and volatile during times of crisis and provides six practical steps you can take to maintain  strong customer relations. Subscription-based businesses seem to be the most resilient during this time of crisis. With predictable recurring revenue, they have greater flexibility to withstand the storm. But there’s more to it than just revenue. To hang onto customers during a crisis, you need to build a forever transaction with…
  Jason George provides insight on the changes that may emerge after the current crisis.   A good strategy should be responsive to the various scenarios that could plausibly materialize, but even the most tightly crafted ones get blown apart when their subject is hit by an asteroid. In our current situation the object wreaking havoc on a planetary scale happens to be a microscopic bit of encapsulated genetic information containing less data than an image used as website filler….
  Amanda Setili shares a post that identifies a few ways we can take positive action during the current crisis. Billions of us worldwide are altering our behaviors during the covid 19 crisis, so that as many people as possible remain safe. When faced with a tough situation—even something big, like the coronavirus situation—I always ask: how can we mitigate the downside, and create some good? We are living in strange times, and things are changing every day. Schools are…
  While the businesses community is working hard to deal with the current difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic, the next step is recovery. This post from David Burnie’s company shares ten priorities for a strong business recovery and business continuity plan.   With the spread of COVID-19 and the establishment of corresponding emergency measures, now is a crucial time for organizations to review and update their business continuity plan. While the organizations fortunate enough to transition to a work from…
  Paul Millerd explores what it means to achieve your goals and why the simple goals stop working and you either have to keep raising the stakes or change your orientation. In 2015, Kevin Durant left his team of nine years to join the best basketball team in the world. In the NBA, great players like Durant are judged based on whether or not they win championships. This undoubtedly influenced his decision to join the team with the best chance…
  David A. Fields offers an encouraging post on how to manage your ego when clients don’t respond to your overtures. With a sigh and subtle shake of your head, you send one more outreach email to Pippi Burntkernels, the co-founder and COO of Plumper Popcorn, Inc. A few months ago, you and Pip had a great conversation about their operations, and you gave some advice on effectively instituting a better butter beater process. You know that if you and…
  Jared Simmons explains why simplifying assumptions could be the key to unlocking value faster and freeing up your knowledge workers to innovate. I learned the power of simplifying assumptions early in my career. As an engineering student, I watched my professors fill boards with Greek letters and symbols, exponents and integrals, constants and variables. Then, in the last 10 minutes of class we worked a real problem together. The first step of solving the real problem was always to…
  Susan Hamilton Meier shares her thoughts on the merger of analytical and creative thinking and the processes and tools she has designed to help teams problem-solve more creatively. I turned up at the Boston Consulting Group, probably as the only hire who had never opened a spreadsheet before, so that was interesting, and I ended up, by virtue of that, getting assigned to projects where I did a lot more people skills, so I did a lot of interviews,…
  This article from Karthik Rajagopalan’s company blog introduces a type of machine learning that may provide solutions for some traditional optimization problems such as inventory optimization and supply chain optimization. The field of artificial intelligence is slowly beginning to permeate our lives. Computers and other machines are being endowed with intelligence through a process called machine learning. One particular type of machine learning that is of interest to us here in Paramis Digital is Reinforcement Learning (RL), which has…
  Luca Ottinetti’s company blog identifies the drivers of organizational costs and explains why they add significant complexity to the administration of the business. The costs associated with organizational alignment deal with two functions:  coordination and administration. Coordination costs include resources dedicated to facilitating information sharing, knowledge transfer, and communication.  These resources may comprise teams, committees, or formal lateral units depending on the complexity of the organization. Administrative costs include the top management functions for executive control and direction over…
  Vik Muktavaram recently published an article that evaluates the current crisis through four approaches of risk management. “As the federal government finally took the first decisive step in stemming the outbreak of COVID-19 in the US, the images of serpentine lines of arriving international passengers at airports waiting for immigration and screening for COVID-19 coronavirus ubiquitous online and in print. Presumably, the rationale for the screening was that these arriving passengers represented a high-risk cohort. Yet, the long, crowded…
  Robyn M. Bolton shares sage thoughts and inspirational photographs that provide a moment of relief during stressful times. I don’t know about you, but I’m rather tired of the non-stop hysteria that seems to be occurring these days. Between COVID-19, politics, the economy, and the state of Tom Brady’s contract (sorry, I live in Boston), it seems that the world is having a panic attack. Namaste, people. Namaste. In an effort to not contribute to the panic, instead of…
  Jesse Jacoby shares a timeless post that explains how leaders can overcome overt and covert resistance to change.    In your role as a leader, you will likely encounter resistance to change at some point from one or more of your own team members. Resistance may come from a variety of sources: An individual with a difficult personality Someone anxious about impending change A person who disagrees with your vision Resistance is usually demonstrated in one of four ways,…
  Robbie Kellman Baxter identifies what ‘freemium really means’, how it can be used as a tactic, and the role of freemium in both ordinary and extraordinary times.  Lots of organizations, particularly subscription businesses, are changing their rules about what is free and what is paid, in response to the coronavirus. The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg News are a few of the many publishers that have removed the paywall in front of coronavirus-related content. In other words,…
  David A. Fields identifies benefits consulting firms should focus on during this time of crisis. There are so many voices fixated on the disaster unfolding around us, that you could easily be swept into a torrent of anxiety, fear and panic. In truth, there is real reason for concern and you absolutely should heed the direction of medical leaders. At the same time, you and your consulting firm will benefit from a healthy dose of positive perspective. If you…
  Luiz Zorzella shares measures on how to mitigate security breaches through cyber attacks during this crisis.  The estimated impact of the Coronavirus Crisis continues to be revised up. Over the past couple of weeks, sequestered trying to minimize the number of fatalities, we have seen economic forecasts being revised, every time painting a more dire scenario. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, for example, are forecasting a 24-30% drop for US’ GDP on Q2 and a jump in unemployment to…
  James Black shares the first post in a series that explores the development of customer understanding in 2020.  To kick off the new year, I suggested ‘20 Questions to Help Your Brand or Business See 20/20 in 2020.’ To help brands and businesses assess the state of your business and identify opportunities, I wanted to take a closer look at the topic of Customer Understanding. Developing a deeper Customer Understanding is helpful to identify opportunities to strengthen your business….
  Hugo Bernier shares his expertise in technology to explain how gateway services work and how to install one.  When using cloud-based services like Office 365 and the Power Platform, it can be challenging to integrate with your on-premises resources. All of a sudden, your on-premises databases, APIs, file shares, and even your existing on-premises SharePoint infrastructure become impossible to reach. At least, not without making some giant holes in your firewall. At our recent Toronto Citizen Developer User Group…
  Posted on Jim Price’s company blog is a downloadable white-paper that explores the role of automation in healthcare. As discussed in Issue One, the future of medicine will be fundamentally reshaped by a fusion of three forces: Genetics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation. The future of interventional and surgical capabilities has not been widely discussed. Demand for these services has risen dramatically in recent years and is forecast to increase significantly in the coming decades. As a result, demand…
  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…
  In this timely post, David A. Fields provides ten strategies consulting firms can implement to help navigate through difficult times.  You’re swimming in a vast sea of stressful news and, given today’s reality, you’re well within your rights to feel anxious, nervous and uncertain about how your consulting firm should proceed. Clients are shutting down their operations; workshops and meetings are being called off; in fact, the entire economy appears to be headed for an abrupt, if temporary, halt….
  Robbie Kellman Baxter explains what a subscription business can do to mitigate customer loss and generate customer gain through attraction and retention strategies. ‘Millennials aren’t joiners.’ ‘Millennials don’t pay for news.’ ‘Our customers love us, but the average age is going up. It seems like millennials just aren’t interested.’ These are statements I hear all the time from membership organizations that have been around for a few decades or more: professional associations and trade groups, religious institutions, newspapers, gyms,…