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Business leaders are blinded by industry boundaries
April 22, 2019 | Financial Times | Rita McGrath.

Why is it so hard for executives to anticipate the major shifts that can determine the destiny of their organisations? Andy Grove called these moments “strategic inflection points”. For some, he wrote, “That change can mean an opportunity to rise to new heights. But it may just as likely signal the beginning of the end.”

Industry leaders would do well to focus on productive opportunities, even when they lie outside a fairly well-bounded industry. Want to survive a strategic inflection point? Stop focusing on traditional metrics and find new customer needs that your organisation can uniquely address.

Why do business leaders so often miss these shifts? Successful companies such as BlackBerry maker Research In Motion and Nokia did not heed the early signs of a move to app-based smartphones. Video rental chain Blockbuster failed to acquire Netflix when it had the chance, in 2000.

Senior people rise to the top by mastering management of the KPIs in that sector. This, in turn, shapes how they look at the world. The problem is a strategic inflection point can occur and render the reference points they have developed obsolete. Take traditional retail. Its key metrics have to do with limited real estate, such as sales per square metre. Introduce the internet and those measures are useless. And yet traditional systems, rewards and measures are all built around them.....British economist Edith Penrose grasped this crucial link, she asked, “What is an industry?” In her studies, executives did not confine themselves to single industries, they expanded into any market where their business might find profitable growth.

Consider the energy sector: Historically, most power generators and utilities were heavily regulated...The sector’s suppliers likewise expected steady demand and a quiet life....that business has been rocked by slow-moving shifts many players talked about, but did not act upon. The rise of distributed energy generation, the maturing of renewable technology, increased conservation and new rules have eroded the traditional model. Many failed to heed the warnings. In 2015, General Electric spent about $10bn to acquire Alstom’s power business. Finance chief Jeff Bornstein crowed at the time that it could be GE’s best acquisition ever. Blinded by traditional metrics, GE doubled down on fossil-fuel-fired turbines just as renewables were becoming cost competitive.

Consider razor blades: Procter & Gamble’s Gillette brand of razors had long enjoyed a competitive advantage. For decades, the company had invested in developing premium products, charged premium prices, invested heavily in marketing and used its clout to get those razors into every traditional retail outlet. A new breed of online rivals such as Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s have upended that model, reselling outsourced razors that were “good enough” and cheaper, online via a subscription model that attracted younger, economically pressured customers...... Rather than fork out for elaborate marketing, the upstarts enlisted YouTube and Facebook influencers to get the word out.
Andy_Grove  BlackBerry  blindsided  Blockbuster  brands  cost-consciousness  customer_insights  Dollar_Shave_Club  executive_management  GE  Gillette  good_enough  Harry's  industries  industry_boundaries  inflection_points  Intel  irrelevance  KPIs  metrics  millennials  movingonup  myopic  obsolescence  out-of-the-box  P&G  power_generation  retailers  reward_systems  sales_per_square_foot  shifting_tastes  slowly_moving  warning_signs 
april 2019 by jerryking
Apple sceptics are looking at the wrong metrics
Tien Tzuo APRIL 30, 2018.

.....When Apple reports its earnings on Tuesday, analysts will be watching closely to see what it says about smartphone sales. The big tech group’s shares are down more than 7 per cent in the past 10 days amid concerns about soft demand for the latest iPhones.

But investors are focusing on the wrong numbers. Apple may be the world’s most valuable company, but its future depends on more than product sales. It must adapt to a profound shift that is changing consumer behaviour. We are witnessing the end of ownership as we know it.
.......With every day that passes Apple cares less about how many iPhones it sells, and more about how many Apple IDs its customers create and how it can make money from those IDs.
.....The end of ownership is disrupting nearly every industry: from retail and entertainment to heavy equipment and healthcare. It is a fundamental shift not just in the way we work and live and accumulate things, but in the way we value ourselves and each other.......Knowing the customers, their preferences, buying habits and how much they are willing to spend are the price of entry in this new economy. Once those relationships are forged and cemented, the data collected, the insights drawn, the real work starts — to anticipate the products and services customers will want next.
.....Volvo understands this. Its latest advertising encourages customers not to buy cars but to subscribe to them instead. The Chinese-owned company is rethinking everything from payment structure and auto design to sales centers and partnerships. Other big automakers including Ford and Porsche are also preparing for the shift away from ownership.....Amazon continues to school all of its rivals in the power of subscriber relationships. A case in point: it recently raised the price of its US Prime membership service by nearly 20 per cent, and its customers didn’t even blink.

That said, many investors are still evaluating companies based on the outdated idea that the number of products they produce will make or break them. But change is coming. The end of ownership is happening whether Wall Street wakes up or not.
Apple  Caterpillar  customer_insights  disruption  end_of_ownership  metrics  shifting_tastes  services  Shazam  subscriptions  Texture  Amazon  Amazon_Prime  Apple_IDs 
may 2018 by jerryking
How does Chinese tech stack up against American tech?
Feb 15th 2018 | Economist | Schumpeter.

The Chinese venture-capital (VC) industry is booming. American visitors return from Beijing, Hangzhou and Shenzhen blown away by the entrepreneurial work ethic. Last year the government decreed that China would lead globally in artificial intelligence (AI) by 2030. The plan covers a startlingly vast range of activities, including developing smart cities and autonomous cars and setting global tech standards. Like Japanese industry in the 1960s, private Chinese firms take this “administrative guidance” seriously.

Being a global tech hegemon has been lucrative for America. Tech firms support 7m jobs at home that pay twice the average wage. Other industries benefit by using technology more actively and becoming more productive: American non-tech firms are 50% more “digitised” than European ones, says McKinsey, a consulting firm. America sets many standards, for example on the design of USB ports, or rules for content online, that the world follows. And the $180bn of foreign profits that American tech firms mint annually is a boon several times greater than the benefit of having the world’s reserve currency.

A loss of these spoils would be costly and demoralising. Is it likely? Schumpeter has compiled ten measures of tech supremacy. The approach owes much to Kai-Fu Lee of Sinovation Ventures, a Chinese VC firm. It uses figures from AllianceBernstein, Bloomberg, CB Insights, Goldman Sachs and McKinsey and includes 3,000 listed, global tech firms, 226 “unicorns”, or unlisted firms worth over $1bn, plus Huawei, a Chinese hardware giant.

The overall conclusion is that China is still behind. Using the median of the yardsticks, its tech industry is 42% as powerful as America’s. But it is catching up fast. In 2012 the figure was just 15%.......For Silicon Valley, it is time to get paranoid. Viewed from China, many of its big firms have become comfy monopolists. In the old days all American tech executives had to do to see the world’s cutting edge was to walk out the door. Now they must fly to China, too.
China  China_rising  U.S.  Silicon_Valley  Alibaba  Tencent  metrics  standards  America_in_Decline?  work_ethic  complacency  Kai-Fu_Lee 
april 2018 by jerryking
GE’s flow of financial information has become fantastically muddled - Too little information
Jan 27th 2018

Jan 27th 2018

The curse of rotten information can strike companies, too. That seems to be the case with General Electric (GE), which has had a vertiginous fall. Its shares, cashflow and forecast profits have dropped by about 50% since 2015. .....GE’s boss, John Flannery, an insider who took office in August, must clear up the mess made by his predecessor, Jeff Immelt.....Is the conglomerate formerly known as the world’s best-run firm a victim of weak demand for gas turbines, a low oil price, lavish digital initiatives, timing lags in client payments, morbidity rates, bad deals, cost overruns or a 20-year squeeze in industrial-equipment margins because of Chinese competition? You can imagine GE’s 12-man board blinking at this list, like Pentagon generals huddled around maps of the Gulf of Tonkin which they are too embarrassed to admit they do not understand......Schumpeter’s theory is that GE’s flow of financial information has become fantastically muddled. There is lots of it about.....[does great granularity necessarily lead to greater insight].... it offers volume and ambiguity instead of brevity and clarity. It is impossible—certainly for outsiders, probably for the board, and possibly for Mr Flannery—to answer central questions. How much cashflow does GE sustainably make and where? How much capital does it employ and where? What liabilities must be serviced before shareholders get their profits?....GE's public accounting system reveals eight problems.
(1) No consistent measure of performance.....18 definitions of group profits and cashflow....there is a large gap between most measures of profits and free cashflow.
(2) GE’s seven operating divisions (power, for example, or aviation) are allowed to use a flattering definition of profit that excludes billions of dollars of supposedly one-off costs. Their total profits are almost twice as big as the firm’s.
(3) GE does not assess itself on a geographical basis. Does China yield solid returns on capital? Has Saudi Arabia been a good bet? No one seems to know.
(4) GE pays little attention to the total capital it employs, which has ballooned by about 50% over the past decade (excluding its financial arm). Its managers rarely talk about it and have set no targets. It is unclear which parts of the firm soak up disproportionate resources relative to profits, diluting returns.
(5), it is hard to know if GE’s leverage is sustainable. Its net debts are 2.6 times its gross operating profits, again excluding its financial arm. That is high relative to its peers—for Siemens and Honeywell the ratio is about one.
(6) the strength of GE’s financial arm is unclear. The new insurance loss will lower its tangible equity to 8% of assets. This is well below the comfort level.
(7) it is hard to calibrate the risk this poses to GE shareholders. GE likes to hint that its industrial and financial arms are run separately. But they are umbilically connected by a mesh of cross-guarantees, factoring arrangements and other transactions.
(8) is GE sure that its industrial balance-sheet accurately measures its capital employed and its liabilities? Some 46% of assets are intangible, which are hard to pin down financially: for example, goodwill and “contract” assets where GE has booked profits but not been paid yet.

Time for some command and control

GE’s situation is like that of the global bank conglomerates post-financial crisis. Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and HSBC did not entirely trust their own numbers and lacked a framework for assessing which bits of their sprawl created value for shareholders. Today, after much toil, the people running these firms know whether, say, loans in California or trading in India make sense.

This does not happen naturally. If neglected, financial reporting becomes a hostage to internal politics, with different constituencies claiming they bring in sales, while arguing that costs and capital are someone else’s problem. Flannery is a numbers guy who seeks to slim GE to its profitable essence. But he is trapped in a financial construct that makes it hard to pursue that mission intelligently. Until he re-engineers how GE measures itself, he will be stumbling about in the murk.
measurements  metrics  GE  financial_metrics  financial_performance  level_of_comfort  John_Flannery  Jeffrey_Immelt  cash_flows  ROCE  information_overload  financial_reporting  calibration 
february 2018 by jerryking
How to Build a Successful Team - Business Guides - The New York Times
By Adam Bryant

Make a Plan
You need a clear and measurable goal for what you want to accomplish.

HIRING WELL ISN'T ENOUGH - Hiring the right people is the most important part of building a strong team, of course, and delegating to give people more autonomy is a powerful motivator.

But managing a team is not that simple. Leaders have to play a far more hands-on role to make sure the group works well together and remains focused on the right priorities.

CREATE A CLEAR MAP - Leaders owe their teams an answer to .....“Where are we going and how are we going to get there?” In other words, what is the goal and how are we going to measure progress along the way? ..... What does success look like? If you were to set up a scoreboard to track success over time, what would it measure?

The trouble often starts when leaders start listing five or seven or 11 priorities. As Jim Collins, the author of the best-selling management books “Good to Great” and “Built to Last,” is fond of saying: “If you have more than three priorities, you don’t have any.”

HAVE A SHARED SCOREBOARD - Another benefit of having a simple plan is that it creates a shared goal that will offset the tendency of people to identify themselves as part of smaller groups. Think of a football team, for example. There are many “tribes” within a team – offense and defense, linemen and receivers, running backs and defensive backs. But because the goal of the team is clear, and there’s an external scoreboard to track progress, there is a greater sense of “us” on the team than the “us and them” dynamic that can often divide colleagues in companies.

“Metrics are actually the way that you can harmonize a large number of people, whether it’s dozens or even thousands,

YOU MAY FEEL LIKE A BROKEN RECORD--Once you have a simple plan... keep reminding your team of the priorities, even if it can feel repetitive. ....“You say something seven times and they haven’t heard you,” he said. “Until they start making jokes about how often you repeat it, they haven’t internalized it.”

Rules of the Road
You’ll need a set of values, behaviors and cultural guardrails so that everybody knows how to work together.

CREATE YOUR TEAM'S CULTURE

All families have values, even if they aren’t discussed explicitly. There are certain behaviors that are encouraged and discouraged — like rules of the road — for how everyone is going to (try to) get along and spend their time. ...As a leader, you can take a laissez-faire approach and hope the team meshes well over time. Or you can look for opportunities to set some shared guidelines for how people will work together.

There are no hard and fast rules for developing the cultural values of a team. In some cases, the founder of a company will issue them to employees. In others, top executives will turn the exercise over to employees to make it a bottom-up effort.

...AND STICK TO IT
teams  howto  lists  specificity  sticktoitiveness  shared_goals  cynicism  Jim_Collins  organizational_culture  values  repetition  priorities  metrics  subordinates  guardrails  the_right_people  cultural_values  tribes 
december 2017 by jerryking
A Former CIA Executive’s Advice On How To Make Hard Decisions | The future of business
05.28.15 | Fast Company | BY STEPHANIE VOZZA.
A Former CIA Executive’s Advice On How To Make Hard Decisions
A five-step decision-making process from a man who spent 25 years making life-and-death decisions.
(1) Question
(2) Drivers
(3) Metrics
(4) Data
(5) What's Missing/Blind Spots

1. FIND THE REAL QUESTION
Questions are NOT self-evident, says Mudd. Focusing on better questions up front yields better answers later.
“Good questions are hard to come up with,” he says. Delay data gathering and the conclusions.... think about exactly what it is we want to know..... Start with what you’re trying to accomplish and work your way back, instead of moving forward and making conclusions. The right question provides a decision advantage to the person at the head of the table.

2. IDENTIFY YOUR “DRIVERS”
Break down complex questions into characteristics or “drivers.” This approach gives you a way to manage data.
For example, sort data on Al Qaeda into information baskets that included money, recruits, leadership, communications, training, and access to weapons. When information flows in, rather than adding it to one unmanageable pile, sorting through it periodically, and offering a recitation of what appears to be relevant from the most recent stuff you’ve seen, file each bit into one of your baskets. Limit your drivers to 10.

3. DECIDE ON YOUR METRICS
Identify the metrics you’ll use to measure how the problem and solution are evolving over time.
What are the right metrics?
What are the new information sources and metrics?
Compare your thought process to the training process of an Olympic sprinter who measures success in hundredths of a second. “If we don’t, the analysis we provide will suffer the same fate as a sprinter who thinks he’s great but has never owned a stopwatch: he enters an elite competition, and reality intervenes,” Metrics provide a “mind mirror”–a system for judging your decisions. It provides a foundation for coming back to the table and assessing the process for success.

4. COLLECT THE DATA
Once you’ve built the framework that will help you make the hard decision, it’s time to gather the data. Overcome data overload by plugging data into their driver categories and excising anything that doesn’t fit. “Too much data might provide a false sense of security, and it doesn’t necessarily lead to clearer analytic decision making,”

Avoud intuition. It’s dangerous. Aggressively question the validity of your data. Once you have your data sorted, give yourself a grade that represents your confidence in assessing your question.

5. LOOK FOR WHAT’S MISSING
Complex analysis isn’t easy. Assume that the process is flawed and check for gaps and errors. Three common stumbling blocks are:

Availability bias: The instinct to rely on what you know or what has been most recently in the news.
Halo effect: When you write off the negative characteristics because you’re mesmerized by the positive attributes.
Intuitive versus analytic methodologies: when you go with your gut. Relying on intuition is dangerous.

Mudd says making complex decisions is hard work. “It’s a lot of fun to be an expert who bases their ideas on history and not a lot of fun to be an analyst who must always be assessing potential scenarios,” he says. “Every time you go into a problem, and before you rip into data, ask yourself, ‘Am I sure where I’m heading?’”
asking_the_right_questions  availability_bias  biases  decision_making  false_sense_of_security  gut_feelings  halo_effects  hard_choices  intuition  intelligence_analysts  life-and-death  metrics  Philip_Mudd  problem_definition  organizing_data  problem_framing  sorting  thinking_backwards 
october 2017 by jerryking
Schafer: Retailing's new reality spawns a new metric
JULY 8, 2014 | - StarTribune.com | LEE SCHAFER @LEEASCHAFER.

sales per square foot(print)

There aren’t many retailers left that don’t let customers buy anything online. What if a third of the total sales never go through a store at all? Should those be counted?

By tacking on “print” to foot, Rubin is measuring productivity by calculating total sales on all the selling space the company occupies, its entire real estate footprint.

What selling space should get added to the stores in the calculation? Rubinson decided to include those vast warehouses all of these companies seem to operate. After all, the stuff sold online has to be stored, picked and boxed up someplace before the UPS truck can take it away.
metrics  retailers  e-commerce  sales_per_square_foot  warehouses 
september 2017 by jerryking
Nordstrom Tries On a New Look: Stores Without Merchandise - WSJ
By Suzanne Kapner
Sept. 10, 2017

Nordstrom Local, doesn't stock clothes.....it's a new concept as retailers across the U.S. are wrestling with how to best to use their physical spaces and attract customers who are migrating to the web. For department-store chains like Macy’s Inc., J.C. Penney Co. , Kohl’s Corp. and Sears Holdings Corp. , one answer has been to shrink their footprint by closing stores or experimenting with smaller ones......consumer habits are changing.....“There aren’t store customers or online customers—there are just customers who are more empowered than ever to shop on their terms,”...Nordstrom Local, scheduled to open Oct. 3 in West Hollywood, Calif., will span 3,000 square feet, far less than the 140,000 square feet of one of Nordstrom’s standard department stores. It will contain eight dressing rooms, where shoppers can try on clothes and accessories, though the store won’t stock them. Instead, personal stylists will retrieve goods from nine Nordstrom locations in Los Angeles, or through its website. The stylists can also pull together looks for shoppers through a “style board” app.

“Shopping today may not always mean going to a store and looking at a vast amount of inventory,” said Shea Jensen, Nordstrom’s senior vice president of customer experience. “It can mean trusting an expert to pick out a selection of items.”..In addition to manicures, Nordstrom Local shoppers will be able to order wine, beer, coffee or juice from an in-store bar, and those who place orders on Nordstrom.com by 2 p.m. can pick them up there that day. They will also be able to return items at the store that they bought online or from other Nordstrom locations. Tailors will be available for alterations or to help members of Trunk Club, an online clothing service that Nordstrom acquired in 2014, select fabrics for custom garments.

Other retailers have experimented with inventory-free stores, including Bonobos, the men’s fashion brand bought by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. over the summer. Stores such as Pirch, a purveyor of high-end home appliances and decorative plumbing, have taken the experiential route, inviting shoppers to bring bathing suits to test their $1,000 showerheads....the traditional retail store hasn’t changed much over the years. One hindrance, according to Doug Stephens, founder of the consulting firm Retail Prophet, is that Wall Street measures success by sales per square foot and other metrics that are becoming outdated in a world where shoppers still visit stores but increasingly make their purchases online.
Nordstrom  Nordstrom_Local  Macy  personal_stylists  BOPIS  Doug_Stephens  retailers  sales_per_square_foot  physical_space  experiential_marketing  small_spaces  curation  department_stores  inventory-free  e-commerce  store_footprints  downsizing  Bonobos  metrics  in-store 
september 2017 by jerryking
DigitalSignageToday.com: 10 'Big Ideas' from ICX Summit 2016
June 6, 2016 | Newstex Trade & Industry Blogs, | by Christopher Hall

1. Media has become the store, so the store has to become the media

How many websites or digital signage or kiosk screens ha...
Doug_Stephens  metrics  retailers  kiosks  digital_signage  experiential_marketing 
august 2017 by jerryking
The Future Of Retail: Experiences Per Square Foot -
March 18, 2014Posted in Big Data, Blog, Customer Service, Marketing, Shopper Marketing, Social Media, Store Experience, Strategy, Technology, The Future
By Doug Stephens
metrics  experience  retailers  Doug_Stephens 
august 2017 by jerryking
A Tale of Two Metrics
August 7, 2017 | | RetailNext | Ray Hartjen, Director, Content Marketing & Public Relations.

Traffic can’t alone measure the effectiveness of demand creation efforts, but some well-placed math can show retailers strong correlations over a myriad of relevant variables. More over, as my colleague Shelley E. Kohan pointed out in her post earlier this summer, “Expanding the Scope of Metrics,” Traffic is foundational for meaningful metrics like Conversion and Sales Yield (Sales per Shopper), key measurements that help managers make daily decisions on the floor from tailoring merchandising displays to allocating staffing and refining associate training.
With metrics, it’s important to remember there’re different strokes for different folks, with different measurements critical for different functions, much like financial accounting and managerial accounting serve different masters. Today’s “big data” age allows retailers to inexpensively collect, synthesize, analyze and report almost unbelievable amounts of data from an equally almost unbelievable number of data streams. Paramount is to get the right information in front of the right people at the right time.
Sometimes, the right data is Sales per Square Foot, and it certainly makes for a nice headline. But, not to be outshined, other instances call for Traffic. As Chitra Balasubramanian, RetailNext’s Head of Business Analytics, points out in the same Sourcing Journal Online article, “Traffic equals opportunity. Retailers should take advantage of store visits with loyalty programs, heightened customer service, and a great in-store experience to create a long-lasting relationship with that customer to ensure repeat visits.”
metrics  sales  foot_traffic  retailers  inexpensive  massive_data_sets  data  creating_demand  correlations  experiential_marketing  in-store  mathematics  loyalty_management  the_right_people  sales_per_square_foot 
august 2017 by jerryking
McDonald’s is going to play SXSW this year — Quartz
Svati Kirsten Narula
March 03, 2015

McDonald’s will host three “pitch sessions” at SXSW on March 13, offering an audience for tech startups with ideas for innovation in three categories:
Reinventing the Restaurant Experience: “This is not about tweeting, ordering online or Wi-Fi connectivity…. We are talking about multiple screens, proximity technology, personalization and even smart packaging.”
Content Creation: “Brands have to co-create content with communities, curate daily content to stay relevant, and create content with social in mind. How can brands tap into new content partners and models that can tackle these objectives?”
Transportation and Delivery: “Our existing idea of door-to-door delivery and drive-thru will soon be obsolete. Imagine a world where drones could deliver you food while you’re driving down the highway.”
The best pitch will earn the presenter a trip to McDonald’s corporate headquarters, where he or she will be invited to pitch directly to the company’s C-suite. McDonald’s says pitches will be evaluated based on “current traction and milestones,” “market potential,” “customer value proposition and service offering,” and “overall brand fit.”
brands  CAMEX  co-creation  McDonald's  SXSW  digital_strategies  sponsorships  millennials  Fortune_500  creating_valuable_content  content_creators  metrics  proximity  personalization  home-delivery  drones  Michael_McDerment  pitches  C-suite 
march 2017 by jerryking
Little metrics can make a big difference (and here’s how to use them) - The Globe and Mail
BRIAN SCUDAMORE
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Jun. 09, 2016

small businesses can concentrate on collecting different metrics that have an impressive impact on the bottom line. I call it little data. It’s easier to collect and it’s a great way to take the pulse of your company on a day-to-day basis.

Here’s how to find the little data that matters, so you can make impactful changes to your business without spending a fortune.

Sweat the small stuff

Looking at traditional metrics – sales revenue, cost of customer acquisition and overhead – is important, but it’s also worth tracking intangible elements that don’t make it onto a spreadsheet.

I like to look around the office and focus on the energy – is there a buzz or are people bored? – or I’ll look at notes from exit interviews to see who is leaving the company and why. Keeping this little data in mind has enabled us to make important changes to our culture when we need to.

External feedback is powerful, too. Whenever I’m in a new city, the first thing I ask my taxi driver is, “Who would you call if you needed your junk removed?” I’m not just making conversation or trying to name-drop one of our brands – I’m doing my own survey to see if our marketing efforts are sticking....you can’t run your business on anecdotes, focus on key numbers that provide meaningful insight and measure them consistently.... communicating these benchmarks, everyone in the company can understand and can react quickly to fluctuations.

Our key metrics are call volume, website traffic, and jobs completed. We also work on our “customer wow factor” by looking at our Net Promoter Score (NPS), asking every customer how likely they are to recommend our services to a friend.[aka delighting customers]
anecdotal  Brian_Scudamore  consistency  delighting_customers  feedback  Got_Junk?  Haier  insights  massive_data_sets  measurements  metrics  NPS  small_business  small_data  Wal-Mart  UPS 
june 2016 by jerryking
Why a Presidential Campaign Is the Ultimate Start-Up - NYTimes.com
JUNE 4, 2015 | NYT | By NEIL IRWIN.

Campaigns and start-ups share common challenges as they ramp up operations. A campaign that wins its party’s nomination must expand exponentially as it moves from early primaries to a general election. What was once a small, tightknit group must suddenly add many more people, often those with more experience.

It is much like a start-up that goes from a dozen people in a garage to hundreds of staff members, many with deeper résumés than the original ragtag crew. Part of the job for those at the top is massaging egos and trying to keep everyone committed and enthusiastic even as that transition takes place....Some of the management questions are fundamental. Should power be concentrated at the top of an organization or distributed broadly? Should there be strict lines of authority in which everyone stays in his or her narrow lane, or a more open management structure where people cut across organizational barriers?... They stressed the importance of the leaders setting clear goals and giving subordinates leeway to reach them — combined with accountability should they fail....Both the Bush and Obama campaigns emphasized measuring success and failure quantitatively....One of the biggest tests of management is how it copes with a crisis.
political_campaigns  start_ups  Campaign_2008  Obama  metrics  truth-telling  measurements  crisis_management 
june 2015 by jerryking
How Not to Drown in Numbers - NYTimes.com
MAY 2, 2015| NYT |By ALEX PEYSAKHOVICH and SETH STEPHENS-DAVIDOWITZ.

If you’re trying to build a self-driving car or detect whether a picture has a cat in it, big data is amazing. But here’s a secret: If you’re trying to make important decisions about your health, wealth or happiness, big data is not enough.

The problem is this: The things we can measure are never exactly what we care about. Just trying to get a single, easy-to-measure number higher and higher (or lower and lower) doesn’t actually help us make the right choice. For this reason, the key question isn’t “What did I measure?” but “What did I miss?”...So what can big data do to help us make big decisions? One of us, Alex, is a data scientist at Facebook. The other, Seth, is a former data scientist at Google. There is a special sauce necessary to making big data work: surveys and the judgment of humans — two seemingly old-fashioned approaches that we will call small data....For one thing, many teams ended up going overboard on data. It was easy to measure offense and pitching, so some organizations ended up underestimating the importance of defense, which is harder to measure. In fact, in his book “The Signal and the Noise,” Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com estimates that the Oakland A’s were giving up 8 to 10 wins per year in the mid-1990s because of their lousy defense.

And data-driven teams found out the hard way that scouts were actually important...We are optimists about the potential of data to improve human lives. But the world is incredibly complicated. No one data set, no matter how big, is going to tell us exactly what we need. The new mountains of blunt data sets make human creativity, judgment, intuition and expertise more valuable, not less.

==============================================
From Market Research: Safety Not Always in Numbers | Qualtrics ☑
Author: Qualtrics|July 28, 2010

Albert Einstein once said, “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” [Warning of the danger of overquantification) Although many market research experts would say that quantitative research is the safest bet when one has limited resources, it can be dangerous to assume that it is always the best option.
human_ingenuity  data  analytics  small_data  massive_data_sets  data_driven  information_overload  dark_data  measurements  creativity  judgment  intuition  Nate_Silver  expertise  datasets  information_gaps  unknowns  underestimation  infoliteracy  overlooked_opportunities  sense-making  easy-to-measure  Albert_Einstein  special_sauce  metrics  overlooked  defensive_tactics  emotional_intelligence  EQ  soft_skills  overquantification  false_confidence 
may 2015 by jerryking
Behind Martin Sorrell’s Data Binge - CMO Today - WSJ
Mar 12, 2015 | WSJ | By NATHALIE TADENA.

Sorrell, this is about putting his sprawling holding company in control of all the various data marketers are demanding nowadays to make sense of their ad campaigns. They want to know a lot about who is viewing. They want to know which TV shows or Web sites are ideal to reach their desired audience. And ultimately, they want to know how much an ad contributes to an actual sale of a product or service.

By becoming a global data powerhouse, WPP hopes to help clients draw connections across different data sources, better target audiences and ultimately improve the effectiveness of their advertising dollars.
data_sources  Martin_Sorrell  WPP  mergers_&_acquisitions  ROI  CMOs  M&A  data  metrics  measurements  advertising_agencies  advertising  marketing  data_driven  targeting  target_marketing 
march 2015 by jerryking
15 Business Buzzwords You'll Need to Know in 2015
Dashboard: "A dashboard should be a series of charts and graphs that incorporate a business's relevant data displayed in an easy-to-understand charts and graphs. When viewed together, it's easy for entrepreneurs to quickly gauge the financial health of their business." – Sabrina Parsons, CEO, Palo Alto Software
definitions  metrics  dashboards  lingo 
january 2015 by jerryking
Marketing sponsorships relying on blind faith - The Globe and Mail
SUSAN KRASHINSKY - MARKETING REPORTER
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jul. 11 2014

“One out of about every five marketing and communications dollars are going to sponsorship,” said Norm O’Reilly, a professor at Ohio University who specializes in sports marketing and a senior adviser with TrojanOne. “On one end there are those doing unbelievably sophisticated [return on investment measurement]. The Cokes and Pepsis of the world ... and there are a lot that just don’t.”
marketing  sponsorships  metrics  Susan_Krashinsky  ROI 
july 2014 by jerryking
Twitter Canada's push to sway the skeptics
June 5, 2014
A year after the social media company set up its Toronto office, Kirstine Stewart is pressing traditional media to take up tweeting
JAMES BRADSHAW

Among the success stories so far is the fact that all of Canada's major broadcasters signed on to Twitter Amplify, a program that lets them embed videos and other content into tweets targeted at users with particular interests. Thanks to the power of algorithms, the corporate account for Hockey Night in Canada can now blast out clips of goals scored in the NHL playoffs within moments, reaching targeted hockey aficionados who are not yet among its 248,000 followers.

The key is Twitter's ability to mine data on hundreds of millions of users - some of whom have come to view the network as an indispensable tool - that is more specific than the broad age and gender categories that have shaped decision-making in conventional television. ....marketers often carve up their budgets between conventional and digital media, which can hamstring investments in Twitter. The solution, Ms. Stewart says, is education. She has brought on board new managers to work closely with particular industries, such as head of sports Christopher Doyle, who joined recently from CBC Sports. Their message is that businesses "have to think more in real time" about reaching users, and that Twitter can be the connector.
metrics  Twitter  digital_media  social_media  Communicating_&_Connecting 
july 2014 by jerryking
Innovation: If you can’t make yourself obsolete, someone else will - The Globe and Mail
GUY DIXON
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Jun. 26 2014

I think at the root of the problem is a deficit of ambition [i.e. a lack of chutzpah or audacity] The larger the corporation, the safer they become. What I’ve witnessed, certainly between 2008, 2009, is this deficit of ambition.....All of our research points to the fact that companies that do manage and measure innovation outperform those that don’t. You can put resources into place, and that’s where managing it comes in: deploying resources that will support innovative, new ideas; ensuring that you have a strong knowledge architecture – and that it is a formal, systemic thing, so that people access knowledge that is already developed; ensuring access to markets – that’s a structural element. Do your people have access to customers and markets?; and actively managing talent and selecting people and promoting them and ensuring that they have an orientation toward innovation and the development of new ideas....What percentage of turnover or revenue is presented by products that have been introduced in the past number of years? And for different companies, in different industries, that’s going to vary. Companies that are very successful treat that number as sacrosanct for the sales projection for next year and the bottom line for next year....Way too many companies are focused on market share versus the modern metric of, ‘Are we gaining a disproportionate share of opportunity?’ [Is this distinction something to be explored with the help of sensors, location-based services and the LBMA??] And then we’re back to this abandonment thing.
Managing_Your_Career  organizational_culture  innovation  metrics  ambitions  opportunities  market_share  complacency  measurements  talent_management  ideas  obsolescence  disproportionality  latent  hidden  self-obsolescence  large_companies  new_products  Fortune_500  brands  Guy_Dixon  outperformance 
june 2014 by jerryking
The damaging legacy of discovery learning - The Globe and Mail
Konrad Yakabuski

The Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, Dec. 05 2013

The 2012 math rankings from the Programme for International Student Assessment, in which Canada slipped to 13th place, are based on average test scores..... it’s important to distinguish between what Canada’s notable drop in international student rankings can and can’t tell us about how our kids our doing.

First, some context: The two most damaging developments to hit public education have been the power of teaching fads and the proliferation of standardized testing. Fads are dangerous because they are often based on shaky hypotheses about how children learn, and are blindly embraced by impressionable teachers keen to make a difference but lacking in the experience and training needed to transmit knowledge or the talent to light the spark in their students.

Standardized testing is not bad in itself. But education policy has become hostage to testing data. The result is a disproportionate focus on raising the average scores of students from disadvantaged backgrounds and less emphasis on producing top students, regardless of income....As education historian and influential U.S. testing critic Diane Ravitch blogged after the latest PISA results were released, “what we cannot measure matters more. The scores tell us nothing about students’ imagination, their drive, their ability to ask good questions, their insight, their inventiveness, their creativity.”....[ Albert Einstein once said, “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” Although many market research experts would say that quantitative research is the safest bet when one has limited resources, it can be dangerous to assume that it is always the best option.]. The decade-long drop in math scores among students outside Quebec corresponds with the spread of “discovery learning” in the classroom. The idea that students must be free to solve problems based on their unique learning styles popped up in the education literature in late 1960s and went mainstream in the 1990s. But there was a huge revolt when U.S. parents discovered Johnny couldn’t multiply; the pendulum has since swung back to teaching the basics.

Yet most English-Canadian school boards embraced some version of discovery learning even after it was being questioned south of the border. It fit with the “equity” mantra that permeated the jargon of education bureaucrats and ministers. “Reaching every student” became the theme of education policies aimed at bringing up the bottom with “student-centred learning.”
Konrad_Yakabuski  education  high_schools  rankings  PISA  STEM  mathematics  test-score_data  standardized_testing  metrics  students  imagination  drive  questions  insights  inventiveness  creativity  discoveries 
december 2013 by jerryking
Eli Broad's Entrepreneurial Approach to Philanthropy
September 13, 2013 | WSJ | By ALEXANDRA WOLFE.

Eli Broad's Entrepreneurial Approach to Philanthropy
Billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad on art, education and revitalizing Los Angeles....Mr. Broad describes his approach to philanthropy as entrepreneurial. Mostly, he says, "what I do is I bet on people." Mr. Broad himself spends most of his time identifying effective leaders—and then he invests in them and their ideas. He also spends millions of dollars each year coming up with metrics to reveal hard data about performance, and only continues funding a school or institution if it is showing signs of improvement....
...Eli Broad enjoys artists' thoughts on "the human condition." He talks to them about social and global issues, from the disappearance of the middle class to the crisis in Syria. The gap between the rich and poor bothers Mr. Broad, he says, and has been an impetus for his philanthropy. "Artists see the world differently than us businesspeople," he says. "If I spent all my time with bankers, lawyers and businesspeople, it would be kind of boring."
moguls  entrepreneur  Eli_Broad  Los_Angeles  philanthropy  benefactors  school_districts  achievement_gaps  metrics  museums  collectors  art  artists  artwork  art_galleries  patronage  the_human_condition 
september 2013 by jerryking
Manage from a Single Piece of Paper
January/February 2007 | Business Owner | Anonymous.

Great managers know exactly where their company based on four or five key indicators. Gary Sutton, legendary turnaround expert and author of The Six Month Fix, urges all business owners to manage from a single piece of paper. Sutton suggests they monitor information that looks ahead, such as: inbound calls/responses by source, orders received by product or product line, returns or warranty claims, total gross profits, payroll expense and accounts receivable. In addition, include a breakdown of costs by expense category. Next add liquidity data, inventory data, and data more upstream in the sales cycle, such as cash on hand and credit available. Have this information delivered to your desk once a week, and you will be empowered with the information needed to do your job. Here as some data sheet items: breakeven point, and performance of each profit engine.
metrics  small_business  running_a_business  KPIs  dashboards  start_ups  data  books  data_driven  indicators  forward_looking  owners  simplicity 
september 2013 by jerryking
Canada gets good and bad news from a new measure of innovation
Jul. 22 2013 | The Globe and Mail | DAVID PARKINSON.

how does Canada fare? Among major industrialized economies, it’s a middle-of-the-pack innovator – nestled in between France and Sweden, a discernible notch or two below the traditional innovative leaders such as the United States, Great Britain, Germany and Japan. (Among all countries globally, Canada ranks 11th.)

But the details of Canada’s ranking by this measure are more telling. By the university education measure, Canada’s top three schools rank higher than every other country except the U.S. and Britain. Canada’s citations of scientific research are in the top five in the world.

Where Canada’s innovation falls down, however, is in international patents. Canada ranks a weak 19th in the world by this measure, well behind the likes of Denmark, Israel and even Barbados.

In short, we have great schools and world-class thinkers, but for some reason that’s not translating into a lot of global-scale breakthroughs. This finding suggests a need to address our policy approach to research and development; we’re stumbling on a critical step needed to convert big brains and great ideas into vehicles for economic growth and global leadership.
Canada  Canadian  innovation  metrics  competitiveness_of_nations  breakthroughs  mediocrity  patents  commercialization  industrial_economy  bad_news 
august 2013 by jerryking
What’s an Idea Worth? - NYTimes.com
By ADAM DAVIDSON
Published: July 29, 2013 (think about this for WaudWare)

Companies like G.E., Nike and Apple learned early on that the real money was in the creative ideas that can transform simple physical products far beyond their generic or commodity value....we have no idea how to measure the financial value of ideas and the people who come up with them.
fees_&_commissions  invoicing  intangibles  billing  transformational  GE  Nike  Apple  fees  goodwill  professional_service_firms  branding  metrics  time-management  productivity  knowledge_economy  creativity  pricing  value_creation  ideas 
august 2013 by jerryking
Data Firm StellaService Raises Funds - WSJ.com
February 27, 2013 | WSJ | By DANA MATTIOLI.

StellaService Inc., a startup that measures customer satisfaction with online shopping, raised a $15 million round of funding to help broaden the amount of data it collects about retailers....The New York based company collects data on thousands of retailers, including Amazon.com Inc. AMZN +1.25% and Macy's Inc., using a network of mystery shoppers. It then ranks the retailers based on metrics including shipping speed, packaging and ease of returns.
retailers  data  funding  customer_experience  customer_service  customer_feedback  customer_insights  metrics 
february 2013 by jerryking
Uniting for Cyberdefense - NYTimes.com
By RENÉ OBERMANN
Published: February 19, 2013

A set of basic and accepted rules-of-the-road protects our physical highways and traffic, and we have to have similar, internationally recognized rules for the information highway. We must define standards and functionalities in order to ensure a safe and coherent digital architecture. A good example is the German security standard for “smart meters” that monitor and bill power consumption.

This will not be easy for the I.T. industry. In Europe, the sheer number of Internet providers makes it difficult to find a common position. Again, transparency and information sharing is essential: Every sound effort to implement such rules and standards relies on feedback about vulnerabilities, as well as data on the quantity, quality and origin of attacks. One cannot manage a problem until one can measure it.
collaboration  metrics  cyber_security  Deutsche_Telekom  frequency_and_severity  vulnerabilities  transparency  information_sharing  smart_meters  defensive_tactics  forensics 
february 2013 by jerryking
Big Changes Drive Small Carpet Firm - WSJ.com
October 30, 2006 | WSJ | By PHRED DVORAK
Theory & Practice
Big Changes Drive Small Carpet Firm
Hong Kong's Tai Ping Sets Global Growth on Overhaul In Management, Marketing

The small Hong Kong carpet maker hired an American chief executive who had never been to Asia and installed him in New York. It revamped its executive team, centralized marketing and acquired a high-end carpet maker in the U.S...."We're trying to create a minimultinational," says director John Ying, who helped push Tai Ping in its new direction.... small companies can -- and sometimes must -- globalize as much as big ones....
globalization  CEOs  Hong_Kong  small_business  howto  carpets  multinationals  microproducers  tips  marketing  strategy  management  turnarounds  metrics  managing_change 
february 2013 by jerryking
Bill Gates on the Importance of Measurement - WSJ.com
January 25, 2013 | WSJ | by Bill Gates.
(Charles Waud & WaudWare)
From the fight against polio to fixing education, what's missing is often good measurement and a commitment to follow the data. We can do better. We have the tools at hand.

Without feedback from precise measurement...invention is "doomed to be rare and erratic." With it, invention becomes "commonplace."
An innovation—whether it's a new vaccine or an improved seed—can't have an impact unless it reaches the people who will benefit from it. We need innovations in measurement to find new, effective ways to deliver those tools and services to the clinics, family farms and classrooms that need them....As budgets tighten for governments and foundations world-wide, we all need to take the lesson of the steam engine to heart and adapt it to solving the world's biggest problems...information [needs to] go into a system—part paper-based and part computerized—that helps decision makers see where things are working and to take action in places where they aren't....the most critical change we can make in U.S. K–12 education, with America lagging countries in Asia and Northern Europe when it comes to turning out top students, is to create teacher-feedback systems that are properly funded, high quality and trusted by teachers....The process I have described—setting clear goals, choosing an approach, measuring results, and then using those measurements to continually refine our approach—helps us to deliver tools and services to everybody who will benefit, be they students in the U.S. or mothers in Africa.
billgates  metrics  problem_solving  problems  dashboards  innovation  instrumentation_monitoring  data  tools  Ethiopia  goal-setting  goals  feedback  measurements  assessments_&_evaluations 
january 2013 by jerryking
How to decode what lies ahead
January 22, 2013 | | CHRIS ATCHISON.
Companies are using vast data stores to predict everything from consumer trends to maintenance needs, to gain competitive advantage
predictive_analytics  CAA  data_driven  metrics  massive_data_sets 
january 2013 by jerryking
Surprise business result? Explore whether it is a hidden opportunity
June 18, 2007 | G&M pg. B8 | George Stalk Jr.

What does it take to capitalize on anomalies systematically?

For starters, you need to have metrics and information systems that are sufficiently refined to identify anomalies in the first place. Knowing the average margins and market share isn’t enough; look at the entire range of outcomes—across customers, geographies, products, and the like. This allows you to surface out-of-the-ordinary results for closer inspection.

The next step is to separate wheat from chaff: those anomalies that signal a potential business opportunity from those that are merely one-time events. The key is to examine the pattern of unusual performance over time. The customer who consistently buys high volumes or the market that outperforms the average year after year are, by definition, not random. Is there an underlying cause that can be identified and then replicated elsewhere?

Finally, you need to understand the precise mechanisms that animate the anomalies you identify. Why is the unusual pattern of performance happening? What specific features of the product or the local environment or the customer experience are bringing it about? Don’t accept the usual first-order explanations. It’s not enough to know that a particular customer has been loyal for years; find out precisely why.

It’s up to senior management to create the forum for asking why and to persist until the question is answered with genuine insight.
metrics  George_Stalk_Jr.  BCG  anomalies  growth  opportunities  customer_insights  surprises  systematic_approaches  quizzes  ratios  pattern_recognition  insights  questions  first-order  second-order  OPMA  Waudware  curiosity  new_businesses  one-time_events  signals  noise  overlooked_opportunities  latent  hidden  averages  information_systems  assessments_&_evaluations  randomness  5_W’s 
january 2013 by jerryking
Right Questions
New businesses proceed through distinct stages, each requiring a different management approach.Experimentation is only the first step in an extended, multistage process of business development. Each stage
introduces a different set of questions and challenges. (See the exhibit "The Right Questions.").Each stage also demands different talents and perspectives, and new leaders usually have to be brought in as businesses progress. The visionary who is well suited to leading a new business through its early experimental
stages is often poorly equipped to guide the venture through the expansion and integration stages, when sales and organizational skills become more important than bold thinking and creativity. Nor can performance measures remain immutable. Because new businesses are seldom profitable in their early, formative years, financial metrics
make little sense as a starting point for evaluation. Instead, milestones of various sorts-the number of prototypes in customers' hands; the number of times analysts mention a hot, new technology; the number of salespeople bringing in leads-are more useful indicators of early progress. During expansion, measures of market penetration and market share become important; as the business becomes established, traditional financial measures can be
installed.
asking_the_right_questions  start_ups  lean  experimentation  metrics  measurements  questions  new_businesses  Michael_McDerment 
december 2012 by jerryking
A Capitalist’s Dilemma, Whoever Wins the Election - NYTimes.com
November 3, 2012 | NYT| By CLAYTON M. CHRISTENSEN.

cash hoards in the billions are sitting unused on the pristine balance sheets of Fortune 500 corporations. Billions in capital is also sitting inert and uninvested at private equity funds.

Capitalists seem almost uninterested in capitalism, even as entrepreneurs eager to start companies find that they can’t get financing. Businesses and investors sound like the Ancient Mariner, who complained of “Water, water everywhere — nor any drop to drink.”

It’s a paradox, and at its nexus is what I’ll call the Doctrine of New Finance, which is taught with increasingly religious zeal by economists, and at times even by business professors like me who have failed to challenge it. This doctrine embraces measures of profitability that guide capitalists away from investments that can create real economic growth.

Executives and investors might finance three types of innovations with their capital.
(1)“empowering” innovations. These transform complicated and costly products available to a few into simpler, cheaper products available to the many.

The Ford Model T was an empowering innovation, as was the Sony transistor radio. So were the personal computers of I.B.M. and Compaq and online trading at Schwab. A more recent example is cloud computing....Empowering innovations create jobs, because they require more and more people who can build, distribute, sell and service these products. Empowering investments also use capital — to expand capacity and to finance receivables and inventory.
(2) “sustaining” innovations. These replace old products with new models. For example, the Toyota Prius hybrid is a marvelous product. But it’s not as if every time Toyota sells a Prius, the same customer also buys a Camry. There is a zero-sum aspect to sustaining innovations: They replace yesterday’s products with today’s products and create few jobs. They keep our economy vibrant — and, in dollars, they account for the most innovation. But they have a neutral effect on economic activity and on capital.
(3) “efficiency” innovations. These reduce the cost of making and distributing existing products and services. Examples are minimills in steel and Geico in online insurance underwriting. Taken together in an industry, such innovations almost always reduce the net number of jobs, because they streamline processes. But they also preserve many of the remaining jobs — because without them entire companies and industries would disappear in competition against companies abroad that have innovated more efficiently.

Efficiency innovations also emancipate capital. Without them, much of an economy’s capital is held captive on balance sheets, with no way to redeploy it as fuel for new, empowering innovations....The economic machine is out of balance and losing its horsepower. But why?

The answer is that efficiency innovations are liberating capital, and in the United States this capital is being reinvested into still more efficiency innovations. In contrast, America is generating many fewer empowering innovations than in the past. We need to reset the balance between empowering and efficiency innovations.

The Doctrine of New Finance helped create this situation.. The Republican intellectual George F. Gilder taught us that we should husband resources that are scarce and costly, but can waste resources that are abundant and cheap. ...in the 1930s and the ‘50s, capital was relatively scarce in our economy. So we taught our students how to magnify every dollar put into a company, to get the most revenue and profit per dollar of capital deployed. To measure the efficiency of doing this, we redefined profit not as dollars, yen or renminbi, but as ratios like RONA (return on net assets), ROCE (return on capital employed) and I.R.R. (internal rate of return). ...

Three ideas to seed a productive discussion:
(A) CHANGE THE METRICS. We can use capital with abandon now, because it’s abundant and cheap. But we can no longer waste education, subsidizing it in fields that offer few jobs. Optimizing return on capital will generate less growth than optimizing return on education.
(B) CHANGE CAPITAL-GAINS TAX RATES
(C) CHANGE THE POLITICS
Clayton_Christensen  capitalism  metrics  George_Gilder  Gilder's_Law  taxation  tax_reform  innovation  idle_funds  taxonomy  Fortune_500  cash_reserves  abundance  ratios  ROCE 
november 2012 by jerryking
The Measure of Success
February 1996 | Across the Board | Brian McWilliams. About using a balanced scorecard.
(1) Profits are a lousy star to steer by. These organizations are attempting to navigate by a constellation of measures--including customer satisfaction, quality, innovations, employee development, and of course, financial soundness.
(2) Use scorecards that focus the organization on carefully chosen, "actionable" measures--things that business line managers and their employees can influence directly, such as customer satisfaction, yield and reliability.
(3) Any collection of non financial measures, will be the product of compromises. The information that's most strategic--how customers view you vs. competitors, for example--is nearly impossible to gather.And information that is readily available--your cost of processing an invoice, for example,doesn't tend to be highly strategic.
(4) Resource allocations are often subjective decisions, with the squeakiest wheels sometimes getting the grease. Most important, a single-minded focus on financial yardsticks doesn't ensure that investments are aligned with long-term corporate strategy.
metrics  boards_&_directors_&_governance  balanced_scorecard  Octothorpe_Software  actionable_information  Junior_Achievement  UFSC  measurements 
july 2012 by jerryking
The One Number You Need to Grow
December 2003 | HBR | by Frederick F. Reichheld, director emeritus of the consulting firm Bain & Company and a Bain Fellow. He is the author of Loyalty Rules! (Harvard Business
School Press, 2001) and “Lead for Loyalty” (HBR July–August 2001).
If growth is what you’re after, you won’t learn much from
complex measurements of customer satisfaction or retention.
You simply need to know what your customers tell their friends
about you.
growth  HBR  Bain  customer_loyalty  metrics  Fred_Reichheld 
july 2012 by jerryking
Small Firms Can Survive Squeeze By Revamping Marketing Efforts - WSJ.com
January 28, 2003 | WSJ | By JEFF BAILEY | Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL. Small Firms Can Survive Squeeze By Revamping Marketing Efforts
(1) Measure your results.
(2) Building a brand is different from closing a sale. (In marketing your firm, decide whether broad-based brand awareness is a goal or whether you're merely looking for that next sale)
(3) Think narrow.
(4) You're not too small
small_business  sales  marketing  metrics  target_marketing  branding  measurements  narrow-framing 
may 2012 by jerryking
Lessons from Private-Equity Masters
June 2002 | Harvard Business Review| by Paul Rogers, Tom Holland, and Dan Haas.

The Four Disciplines of Top Private-Equity Firms

Define an Investment Thesis

Have a three- to five-year plan

Stress two or three key success levers

Focus on growth, not just cost reductions

Don’t Measure Too Much

Prune to essential metrics

Focus on cash and value, not earnings

Use the right performance measures for each business

Link incentives to unit performance

Work the Balance Sheet

Redeploy or eliminate unproductive capital—both fixed assets and working capital

Treat equity capital as scarce

Use debt to gain leverage and focus, but match risk with return

Make the Center the Shareholder

Focus on optimizing each business

Don’t hesitate to sell when the price is right

Act as unsentimental owners

Get involved in the hiring and firing decisions in portfolio companies

Appoint a senior person to be the contact between the corporate center and a business
HBR  Bain  lessons_learned  private_equity  metrics  investment_thesis  measurements  dispassion  incentives  constraints  leverage  focus  sweating_the_assets  unsentimental  debt  owners 
november 2011 by jerryking
The new masters of the universe - Bain & Company - Publications
July 27, 2005 | The Wall Street Journal | By Hugh MacArthur and Dan Haas.

Blueprint the path to value:
Hire hungry managers:
Measure what matters:
Make equity sweat:
private_equity  KKR  Bain  metrics  investment_thesis  measurements  value_creation  blueprints  what_really_matters 
november 2011 by jerryking
How high is your return on management?
January-February 1998 | HBR |Simons, Robert, and Antonio Davila.ROM
ROM measures the payback from the investment of a company's scarcest resource-managers' time and attention.
HBR  ROI  management  metrics  time-management  measurements 
october 2011 by jerryking
FORGET REVENUE & PROFITS, think about ROPE
| EDGE International | Friedrich Blase.

Making ROPE part of your cockpit dashboard
is a fairly straight forward exercise; it
promises that you individually as well as your
firm collectively are not overly focused on
achieving high revenue and profitability, but
the efficiency with which partner effort is converted
into revenue and ultimately profits.
law_firms  time-management  lawyers  Managing_Your_Career  billing  metrics  partnerships  professional_service_firms 
october 2011 by jerryking
The secret to controlled chaos - FT.com
June 20, 2011 By Tim Bradshaw . Stratospheric growth can
prove problematic... Your site may go down all the time.”... As
broadband access spreads and smartphones become mainstream in developed
markets, new technology companies are being built in months, not years,
acquiring millions of users with apparent ease...For small companies
thrust un­expectedly into the limelight, coping with such growth rates,
while maintaining the innovation and culture that brought them their
success, can be a significant challenge..Although internal culture is
important, companies must not become too inward-looking as they try to
manage growth and should be vigilant of the impact that the changes to
their business is having on customers. “The key element is to eliminate
surprises,” , “Growth is great but it must be measured. In fast times,
it’s metrics, metrics, metrics. You must measure where traffic comes
from, what the customers are doing...with that you can then focus on
serving your best customers.”
growth  start_ups  chaos  hiring  recruiting  growth_hacking  metrics  inward-looking  mojo  measurements  organizational_culture  scaling  accelerated_lifecycles  surprises  small_business  gazelles  high-growth 
june 2011 by jerryking
In a Data-Heavy Society, Being Defined by the Numbers - NYTimes.com
By ALINA TUGEND
Published: April 22, 2011
“Numbers make intangibles tangible,” said Jonah Lehrer, a journalist and
author of “How We Decide,” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009). “They
give the illusion of control.”[stories, anecdotes, and ratios make numbers memorable. See also Pinboard article, "To Persuade People, Tell Them a Story"]

Too many people shopping for cars, for example, get fixated on how much
horsepower the engine has, even though in most cases it really doesn’t
matter, Mr. Lehrer said.

“We want to quantify everything,” he went on, “to ground a decision in
fact, instead of asking whether that variable matters.” [jck: that is, which variables are incisive, worth paying attention to, act as signal in a sea of noise?]
obsessions  rankings  data_driven  metrics  statistics  analysis  incisiveness  quantitative  Jonah_Lehrer  dangers  intangibles  meaning  sense-making  data  illusions  false_confidence  anecdotal  books  sense_of_control  storytelling  decision_making  overquantification 
april 2011 by jerryking
Wealth and Fitness Secret – Ratios - Rich Karlgaard - Innovation Rules -
Dec. 21 2010 | Forbes | Rich Karlgaard. Success is often a
matter of getting the ratios right. Business and investing success is
hardly possible without understanding ratios. Knowing the numbers is
important. But knowing the numbers in relation to other numbers will
make you a millionaire. You will see anomalies that others miss. I’ll
never forget a comment made by George Soros in July 2008, when oil was
$147.50 a barrel. A Goldman Sachs analyst had predicted oil was headed
to $200, but Soros knew better. Why? Because oil was already too
expensive compared to gold. At $147.50, oil was 1:6 the price of gold.
The normal ratio band is 1:10 to 1:15, said Soros. Either gold had to
rise, or oil had to fall. Because Soros could not see any inflation that
might drive gold higher, oil had to fall.
ratios  metrics  Rich_Karlgaard  ksfs  pattern_recognition  George_Soros  jck  life_skills  lessons_learned  moguls  anomalies  fingerspitzengefühl  contextual_intelligence  insights  base_rates 
december 2010 by jerryking
For innovation success, do not follow the money
07-Nov-2005 | Financial Times | By Michael Schrage "There is
no correlation between the percentage of net revenue spent on R&D
and the innovative capabilities of an organisation – none,"...Just ask
General Motors. No company in the world has spent more on R&D over
the past 25 years. Yet, somehow, GM's market share has
declined....R&D productivity – not R&D investment – is the real
challenge for global innovation. Innovation is not what innovators
innovate, it is what customers actually adopt. Productivity here is not
measured in patents granted but in new customers won and existing
customers profitably retained...A successful innovation policy is a
competition policy where companies see innovation as a cost-effective
investment to differentiate themselves profitably. If a 1 % R&D
intensity buys market leadership, more power to them; if 15 % is what it
takes to keep up with the competition and satisfy customers, that is
fine, too.
Michael_Schrage  innovation  R&D  productivity  measurements  metrics  ROI  customer_acquisition  correlations  customer_adoption  customer_profitability  GM  decline  competition_policy  innovation_policies 
october 2010 by jerryking
Tip Sheet: Advocacy Advertising: More Than Slightly Alive
Sep 22, 2008.! PR News. ! Anonymous. Cost-conscious clients
make the fatal error of thinking earned media is a better route because
it is free media, as opposed to advertising (paid media). The most
ambitious earned media campaign can be more expensive and less effective
as a well-thought-out ad campaign. No longer can a clients measure the
success of an advocacy campaign solely by the # of news hits. Because
clients love metrics, they are drawn to many of the newer online tactics
that crank out multiple reports about how their msg. fared on the Web.
But before anyone writes the obituary on print publications, they may
want to consider that lawmakers, especially on Capitol Hill, continue to
rely on must-read publications, including The Hill, The Politico,
National Journal and The Weekly Standard. An October 2007 Nielsen
study, "Trust in Advertising," noted that ads in newspapers ranked
second worldwide among all media categories.
ProQuest  advertising  advocacy  metrics  newspapers  cause_marketing  campaigns  effectiveness 
october 2010 by jerryking
Using data to enhance customer experience
: January 24, 2006 | FT.com | By Ian Limbach. "“Call
centres are often seen as a way to manage costs rather than enhancing
the quality of [customer] service,” warns Wes Hayden, CEO of Alcatel’s
Genesys subsidiary. This has discouraged investments in new technology
and led management to measure efficiency with metrics such as throughput
and call duration, rather than customer-centric measures. “There needs
to be a change in C-level executives’ view of call centres,” he says.
This narrow focus has led to call centres being one of the most
under-used corporate assets today, says McKinsey. Beyond fielding
customer complaints, the call centre should be closely integrated with
other company functions such as sales & marketing.

Some leading companies are focusing on ways to turn calls from customers
into new selling opportunities, and finding that callers are more
receptive to buying after a positive service experience than they are
when reached by outbound telemarketing campaigns. "
call_centres  contact_centres  customer_experience  McKinsey  customer_centricity  CRM  data  upselling  cross-selling  unstructured_data  churn  predictive_modeling  metrics  mismanagement  underutilization  assets  cost_centers  C-suite 
august 2010 by jerryking
When Art Meets Science: The Challenge of ROI Marketing
12/17/03 / Spring 2009 Issue | Strategy + Business |
Anonymous. These days, there’s more pressure than ever to make
marketing more of a quantifiable science than an ephemeral art. In
response, a new management discipline called ROI marketing is emerging
to help businesses attain the highest possible return on their marketing
investments.
advertising  local_advertising  ROI  marketing  metrics  Pat_Condon  pay-for-performance  measurements 
july 2010 by jerryking
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