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Cisco’s CEO on Staying Ahead of Technology Shifts - HBR
John Chambers
FROM THE MAY 2015 ISSUE

Mr. Chambers said that customers are the best indicators of when to make investments in new technology. “That’s one reason I spend so much time listening to CIOs, CTOs, and CEOs during sales calls,”
HBR  Cisco  anticipating  ksfs  transitions  indicators  market_intelligence  John_Chambers  IBM  layoffs  CEOs  market_windows  disruption  customer_relationships  sales_calls  CIOs  CTOs  listening 
may 2015 by jerryking
Also Stalking the Fund Industry: Obsolescence - WSJ.com
Dec. 10, 2003 | WSJ | Holman W. Jenkins.

Quiz for economists: Suppose you have a competitive, transparent industry that one day begins acting in a more short-sighted, exploitative way towards its customers. What's really going on?

Here's a hint: Think of the gradual slide toward sleazier marketing by the traditional long-distance companies. When your business has a future, you invest in customer relationships. When you see your future going away, you milk them like the wasting assets they are. Big swaths of the fund management business are behaving exactly like an industry in decline...Mutual funds exploded in the 1990s, growing from less than $2 trillion in assets to $7 trillion. A long bull market helped to conceal the fact many of these entrants brought no value to the table. Their managers were, on average, merely as lucky as everyone else to be standing in the right place at the right time.
mutual_funds  Holman_Jenkins  Eliot_Spitzer  industry_analysis  obsolescence  customer_satisfaction  financial_services  luck  short-sightedness  sleaze  customer_relationships  exploitation  bull_markets  imposters  decline  '90s  cash_cows 
december 2013 by jerryking
Push to exploit an ocean of information
Richard Waters Source: The Financial Times. (Dec. 10, 2012): News: p19

Like anticipating film demand and judging the effectiveness of window displays, much of the effort in the field of big data analytics is aimed at making existing companies more effective. Designing products, setting optimal prices and reaching the best prospects among potential customers are turning into data-driven exercises.

But it is also throwing up disruptive new businesses. Companies set up from scratch have the chance to draw on public streams of digital data to enter markets that were once closed to incumbents with long-established customer relationships and proprietary information. And such businesses come without the legacy technology platforms, entrenched business processes and cultural norms that make it hard for big groups to change.

"Even if you're not a bank or a healthcare company, you can play in banking or healthcare," says James Manyika, director at McKinsey's research arm.
massive_data_sets  Quantifind  Hollywood  Climate_Corporation  sensors  Euclid_Analytics  Kabbage  Factual  disruption  start_ups  McKinsey  data_driven  new_businesses  large_companies  open_data  legacy_players  digital_disruption  customer_relationships  legacy_tech  cultural_norms  Richard_Waters 
february 2013 by jerryking
Go Ahead, Take a Risk
June 22, 2004 | WSJ | By ADRIAN SLYWOTSKY

What are the risks you should be taking but aren't? Most managers treat risk as an unwanted byproduct of the business. They think narrowly of financial, operating, and hazard risks, such as currency fluctuations, employee fraud, and earthquakes. And they defend themselves through practices like hedging, internal controls, and insurance.

But disruptive strategic risks can be a much larger source of value destruction for a firm. I looked back to the bull market of the 1990s to analyze movements of the Fortune 1000 stocks; even then, before the market collapsed, 10% of stocks lost over one-quarter of their value in a single month, primarily because of strategic-risk events.

The most successful companies do not try to simply minimize strategic risk; they embrace such risk by making prudent bets in their growth-oriented strategies. Strategic risks include not just the obvious, high-probability events that a new ad campaign or new product launch will fail, but other less-obvious risks as well: Customers' priorities will change quickly -- as when baby-boomer parents quickly migrated from station wagons to minivans, catching most automakers off guard. New technology will overtake your product -- as mobile telephony has stolen market share from fixed-line voice. A one-of-a-kind competitor will render your business model obsolete -- as the Wal-Mart tidal wave has washed over mid-range department stores.

Although insurance and hedging can't address strategic risks, there are an array of countermeasures that can, including these three:
1) Smart sequencing for new growth initiatives. Look for incumbents that are moving deliberately, leveraging existing assets and customer relationships to gain the experience, knowledge, and reputation necessary to take the next step with confidence.
2) Proprietary information to reduce the risk of each new initiative. Gather and generate proprietary information that produces a depth of insight into the customer's needs and activities that traditional suppliers cannot match. This will make you a supplier of choice, reducing bidding volatility and allow you to plan with greater certainty.
3) Double betting to minimize the risk of obsolescence. When several versions of a new technology are competing to become the standard, it's impossible to predict which will prevail. So smart managers make double bets. Betting on both Windows and OS/2 positioned Microsoft to be the winner, regardless of which operating system prevailed.

Traditional risk management seeks to contain losses. But that's just one-half of the growth equation. By embracing strategic risk, Cardinal, JCI, and other risk-savvy companies have raised their growth potential in addition to reducing their economic volatility. That's important at a time when aggregate market growth is sluggish: The biggest risk of all is not to take the right growth risks for the business.
leaps_of_faith  Adrian_J._Slywotzky  risk-taking  proprietary  sequencing  scuttlebutt  information  growth  strategic_thinking  Mercer  Oliver_Wyman  product_launches  nonpublic  low_growth  slow_growth  insights  customer_insights  value_destruction  disruption  insurance  new_products  obsolescence  countermeasures  volatility  customer_risk  one-of-a-kind  hedging  overly_cautious  risk-aversion  de-risking  double_betting  risk-management  bull_markets  customer_relationships  dark_data  risk-savvy  internal_controls  financial_risk  risks 
june 2012 by jerryking
Packed Calendars Rule Over Executives - WSJ.com
June 16, 2008 WSJ column by CAROL HYMOWITZ. CEOs today are
hard pressed to meet of all today's demands from many stakeholders,
while operating under more scrutiny, making themselves more visible, and
making themselves more available. It is difficult to predict months in
advance, when trips are being planned, which customers will be the most
important to see. Importance of scheduling in downtime.
Carol_Hymowitz  leadership  CEOs  time-management  slack_time  calendars  customer_engagement  customer_relationships  customer_visits  downtime 
january 2009 by jerryking

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