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jerryking : adjacencies   7

Why Companies Are Failing at Reskilling
April 19, 2019 | WSJ | By Lauren Weber.

Investing in new technology can often be easier for companies than negotiating the organizational challenges that come with reskilling workers, said Erik Brynjolfsson, director of the Initiative on the Digital Economy at MIT.

“It’s one thing to invest in machine learning; it’s another to reinvent an organization or a business model,” he said. “Human capital is quantitatively a much bigger share of the capital in the economy than physical assets like plants, technology and equipment, and we understand it less well.”

Cumulatively, firms spend billions of dollars every year on technology devoted to digital transformation, but executives admit to confusion and uncertainty about the impact.....Other countries are being more proactive: Singapore and France recently started giving workers an annual allowance for approved career training. Through a program called Second Career in Ontario, Canada, low-skilled workers displaced from their jobs receive grants of up to 28,000 Canadian dollars to cover training in growing occupations, along with costs such as child care and transportation.

“Many countries we compete with see continual worker retraining as part of their economic strategy. The way we’ve traditionally treated education in this country is the government is responsible for your education until age 18, and after that it’s more of a private matter,”......How to break through the challenges, inefficiencies and resistance?.....employers and educators can do a better job of helping people find logical, reasonable career paths. Labor experts call this “skill adjacencies,” essentially diagnosing a person’s present skills and identifying promising careers that offer higher wages or growth in demand while requiring minimal investments of time and money in retraining.

“We need a Waze for your career,” ... the navigation app that offers real-time maps and driving directions. “You could look at jobs that are adjacent to your skillset or role, and with fairly light training, you can make a jump into a better job.”

The secret to successful reskilling, he says: keeping training short enough and achievable enough that workers can learn real skills and both they and employers get a return on investment.

Training Daze
Companies face a number of hurdles to successfully training workers for the skills needed in the evolving digital economy. Among the challenges:

* Data: Companies typically don’t have a clear view of their own employees’ talents. Few firms have repositories of data on a person’s skills, internal reputation, learning capacity, ambitions and interests.
* Speed: Converting a mechanical engineer into an electrical engineer, or a business analyst into a data scientist doesn’t necessarily happen in one quarter— or even a fiscal year—the cadences that shareholders understand. “Upskilling takes time. A hiring manager can usually find someone quicker outside the company,” even if it’s a more expensive contract worker.
* Worker engagement: If companies involved workers in decisions on new technology to implement, they would find that some already have the knowledge and others can be trained. “If we change that process, then we would see the potential of the workforce. We would see where the training needs are,”.
* Money: Employers have long shown a reluctance to invest the dollars needed to successfully retrain large swaths of staff, even when the economy is strong. In 2017, organizations spent around $1,300 per employee on training, up 8% from 2013, according to the Association for Talent Development. And as the economy declines, training budgets are typically slashed. One paper found a 28% decline in employer-funded training between 2001 and 2009.
* Unrealistic expectations: Society needs to recalibrate expectations for worker retraining. Laid-off coal miners probably won’t become data scientists, and few AT&T lineworkers will morph into software developers as the company transitions from a telephone company to a wireless and services business.
adjacencies  career_paths  digital_economy  Erik_Brynjolfsson  failure  future-proofing  labour_markets  layoffs  retraining  reskilling  skills  training 
april 2019 by jerryking
Novartis’s new chief sets sights on ‘productivity revolution’
SEPTEMBER 25, 2017 | Financial Times | Sarah Neville and Ralph Atkins.

The incoming chief executive of Novartis, Vas Narasimhan, has vowed to slash drug development costs, eyeing savings of up to 25 per cent on multibillion-dollar clinical trials as part of a “productivity revolution” at the Swiss drugmaker.

The time and cost of taking a medicine from discovery to market has long been seen as the biggest drag on the pharmaceutical industry’s performance, with the process typically taking up to 14 years and costing at least $2.5bn.

In his first interview as CEO-designate, Dr Narasimhan says analysts have estimated between 10 and 25 per cent could be cut from the cost of trials if digital technology were used to carry them out more efficiently. The company has 200 drug development projects under way and is running 500 trials, so “that will have a big effect if we can do it at scale”.......Dr Narasimhan plans to partner with, or acquire, artificial intelligence and data analytics companies, to supplement Novartis’s strong but “scattered” data science capability.....“I really think of our future as a medicines and data science company, centred on innovation and access.”

He must now decide where Novartis has the capability “to really create unique value . . . and where is the adjacency too far?”.....Does he need the cash pile that would be generated by selling off these parts of the business to realise his big data vision? He says: “Right now, on data science, I feel like it’s much more about building a culture and a talent base . . . ...Novartis has “a huge database of prior clinical trials and we know exactly where we have been successful in terms of centres around the world recruiting certain types of patients, and we’re able to now use advanced analytics to help us better predict where to go . . . to find specific types of patients.

“We’re finding that we’re able to significantly reduce the amount of time that it takes to execute a clinical trial and that’s huge . . . You could take huge cost out.”...Dr Narasimhan cites one inspiration as a visit to Disney World with his young children where he saw how efficiently people were moved around the park, constantly monitored by “an army of [Massachusetts Institute of Technology-]trained data scientists”.
He has now harnessed similar technology to overhaul the way Novartis conducts its global drug trials. His clinical operations teams no longer rely on Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint slides, but instead “bring up a screen that has a predictive algorithm that in real time is recalculating what is the likelihood our trials enrol, what is the quality of our clinical trials”.

“For our industry I think this is pretty far ahead,” he adds.

More broadly, he is realistic about the likely attrition rate. “We will fail at many of these experiments, but if we hit on a couple of big ones that are transformative, I think you can see a step change in productivity.”
adjacencies  algorithms  analytics  artificial_intelligence  attrition_rates  CEOs  data_driven  data_scientists  drug_development  failure  Indian-Americans  kill_rates  massive_data_sets  multiple_targets  Novartis  pharmaceutical_industry  predictive_analytics  productivity  productivity_payoffs  product_development  real-time  scaling  spreadsheets  Vas_Narasimhan 
november 2017 by jerryking
Why Imagination and Curiosity Matter More Than Ever - The CIO Report - WSJ
January 31, 2014 | WSJ | By Irving Wladawsky-Berger.

How can you foster imagination and curiosity? This was the subject of the 2011 book co-authored by JSB: A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change. One of its key points is that learning has to evolve from something that only happens in the classroom to what that he calls connected learning, taking advantage of all the available resources, including tinkering with the system, playing games and perhaps most important, absorbing new ideas from your peers, from adjacent spaces and from other disciplines....How do you decide what problems to work on and try to solve? This second kind of innovation–which they call interpretation–is very different in nature from analysis. You are not solving a problem, but looking for a new insight about customers and the marketplace, a new idea for a product or a service, a new approach to producing and delivering them, a new business model. It requires the curiosity and imagination.
ideas  idea_generation  STEM  imagination  tacit_data  Roger_Martin  Rotman  critical_thinking  innovation  customer_insights  books  interpretation  curiosity  OPMA  organizational_culture  cross-pollination  second-order  new_businesses  learning  connected_learning  constant_change  Irving_Wladawsky-Berger  worthwhile_problems  new_products  mental_dexterity  tinkerers  adjacencies 
february 2014 by jerryking
Category Creation: Building Businesses That Turn Entire Industries On Their Heads | Fast Company
Krishna 'Kittu' KolluriThu Jan 19, 2012

Fundamental, revolutionary innovation--creating an entirely new category of product or service that didn’t exist before, or disrupting a category in a way that completely changes the game moving forward.

Play the Name Game - you have an adjacent category that is well established, the differentiators for your category must be clear. The importance of positioning cannot be overemphasized. How you communicate what sets your business apart must be an integral part of your market strategy, and naming your category--especially in the enterprise space--is a key part of that strategy.

Turn On the Customer Channel - Turn your best customers into spokespeople for the product by making them delighted evangelists for your vision--whether it’s a service, a product, or a transformation within a sector.
Play Well With Others - how do you carve out a niche--inspire, delight and build a loyal following--without inciting the predatory characteristics of adjacent players?

One approach is to create a go-to-market ecosystem that involves key technology partnerships. In most cases, your product will be part of the solution, but not all of the solution. Determine what it will take to build it out, and recruit other vendors who can participate. Form alliances so you can interoperate with those vendors and those products. Create partnerships to leverage sales channels, like OEMs or value-added resellers.

Be Your Brother’s Keeper (Sometimes)- toss around a competitor’s name in conversation. Sometimes it is more important to: (a) promote and evangelize your category than your company; and (b) give a nod to the competition. Why? Because the sandbox is more interesting if more than one person is playing in it.
adjacencies  change_agents  competitive_landscape  delighting_customers  disruption  ecosystems  evangelists  Flybits  game_changers  innovation  market_position  new_categories  new_businesses  Play_Bigger 
january 2012 by jerryking
The Slow Hunch: How Innovation is Created Through Group Intelligence
By Dan Rowinski / June 9, 2011

Chance favors the connected mind. That is what author Steven B. Johnson says to those looking for the next big idea. Johnson is the author of "Where Ideas Come From" a book that looks at the macro trends on how innovation evolves.

Ideas are rarely created through a "eureka" moment....Johnson believes that ideas are born of a "slow hunch" that are made possible through periods of technological innovation and evolution. If you are creating a startup, where do you get your ideas from?

Innovation is often made possible by the evolution of networked possibilities....
The Hive Mind & Collective Intelligence

"It is just this idea that if you diversify and have an electric range of interests and you are constantly getting interesting stories about things that you do not know that much about or are adjacent to your particular field of expertise you are much more likely to come up with innovative ideas," Johnson told ReadWriteWeb.

The same approach would work well for developers and innovators working on the next technology breakthrough. Startup founders should take step back from their project and ask what type of similar projects have been undertaken in a completely different field and see if those lessons can be applied to their project.

"The trick is to look at something different and borrow ideas. It is like saying 'this worked for that field, if we put it here what would it do in this new context?'" Johnson said.

In today's world, the ability to branch out of your field of expertise has been made much easier through social media. You can follow what is happening in your niche through a specifically created Twitter list, but it is also beneficial to create lists of people working in different sectors as well.

"The important thing is that this is not some kind of hive-mind wisdom of the crowds, collective intelligence network smarts," Johnson said. "The unit is still the individual or the small group. There are some examples of group intelligence. This is an example instead of taking individuals in small groups and making them smarter by connecting them to a wider range of influences."
adjacencies  collective_intelligence  innovation  grouping  Steven_Johnson  start_ups  chance  probabilities  idea_generation  ideas  Communicating_&_Connecting  cross-pollination  cross-disciplinary  interconnections  learning_journeys  connected_learning  wisdom_of_crowds 
october 2011 by jerryking
The Burberry business model: creating an international luxury fashion brand
2004. | International Journal of Retail & Distribution
Management Vol. 32, Iss. 8/9; pg. 412 | Christopher M Moore, Grete
Birtwistle. The Burberry model identifies 5 ksfs:

(1) The importance of a clearly defined brand positioning which
communicates a definite set of attractive brand values and lifestyle
associations.

(2) The requirement to maintain a co-ordinated distribution strategy
whereby retail chains compliment and are complimented by wholesale
chains which assure maximum market coverage.

(3) The opportunities afforded by a strong brand identity to extend into
adjacent product areas either through internal capability or via
licensing agreements.

(4) The opportunities afforded by a flexible approach to the management
of important foreign markets - such as in the form of delegating
marketing activity through licensing agreements.

(5) The importance of media relations management to the creation and
maintenance of a credible luxury fashion brand reputation.
adjacencies  Burberry  luxury  branding  fashion  brand_identity 
december 2009 by jerryking
Engineer a smooth takeover with five proven tips
https://hbr.org/2007/09/rules-to-acquire-by

09-17-2007 The Globe and Mail by Schachter, Harvey
MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS - Taken from "Rules to Acquire" By Bruce Nolop, of Pitney Bowles. FROM THE SEPTEMBER 2007 ISSUE of the Harvard Business Review.

A close look at the world’s most successful companies reveals that, in general, they rely heavily on acquisitions to achieve their strategic goals......acquisitions can be faster, cheaper, and less risky than organic expansion. It’s a seeming paradox, until you realize what’s going on: Some acquirers have figured out how to do it right. Many have not.......Pitney Bowes embarked on our acquisition program.....they believed that they should develop a disciplined approach to making acquisitions and learning from them as an organization......More than 70 acquisitions later, they have a process firmly in place.......What’s behind the program’s success? ....a due diligence checklist that now covers 93 separate points of concern.....and a few key guidelines.

* Stick to adjacent spaces

Too many companies reach far afield when making acquisitions......Pick acquisition targets that are logical extensions of your company's current business mix, so they can be taken on incrementally. Such additions take advantage of the organization's tacit strengths - management know-how, customer insights, and cultural orientation - that are often ignored by more grandiose strategists. And they keep your brand consistent...... a 2001 McKinsey study: adjacent acquisitions correlate with increased shareholder value, whereas diversification into non-related areas actually reduces shareholder value. ....Profit from the Core author Chris Zook, looked for patterns in 2,000 companies’ growth initiatives and concluded that adjacent moves were the most successful.......Q: Can you really add more value to the target company than any other acquirer can?

* Bet on portfolio performance

Manage acquisitions like an investment portfolio, trying for multiple smaller acquisitions rather than one or two gargantuan bets. He notes that a Bain & Company study found the economic returns from acquisitions are greater if the purchase represents 5 per cent or less of the acquirer's market capitalization - so smaller is better. A portfolio approach keeps acquisitions to manageable size and hedges the risk that any one will go awry, producing more predictable financial results over time.......The classic benefit of a portfolio strategy, whether for acquisitions or any other type of investment, is that it produces more-predictable financial results over time.

* Get a business sponsor--No exceptions!

A clearly defined leader has to be personally focused on executing the business plan for the acquisition, assuring revenue targets and those often-elusive cost synergies.

That sponsor must drive the behind-the-scenes infrastructure projects that are essential to operational success, such as the integration of IT systems and HR policies, and develop strong relationships with the newly acquired management teams to ensure talent retention.

This can't be left to a corporate development group - it must be in the hands of an individual who is held personally responsible for the acquisition's success, and who reports regularly to the CEO and the board.

* Be clear on how the acquisition will be judged

You need to know exactly what you are seeking - what do you mean, exactly, when you talk of growth potential, or market development, or near-term synergies? For bolt-on acquisitions, which neatly fit into a business or market, financial returns should be more short term, while it will take longer for those benefits to accrue when the acquisition is a platform that takes you into a new, albeit still adjacent, business space or activity.

* Don't shop when you're hungry

What applies at the supermarket applies in corporate acquisitions. If you buy when you are hungry, you're likely to grab more than you need and be less price sensitive. On a strategic level, hunger can occur when you are seeking a missing element that you feel is urgently needed. Also problematic are acquisitions made to compensate for poor performance in existing operations.
adjacencies  bolt-on  buying_a_business  buyer's_remorse  CAMEX  checklists  Chris_Zook  clarity  due_diligence  emotional_discipline  growth  guidelines  Harvey_Schachter  HBR  leadership  M&A  McKinsey  mergers_&_acquisitions  metrics  organizational_learning  paradoxes  Pitney_Bowes  platforms  portfolio_management  process-orientation  rules_of_the_game  tips 
march 2009 by jerryking

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