Friday, November 30, 2012

Sourcing Growth
A review of Build, Borrow, or Buy, by Laurence Capron and Will Mitchell.
by Ken Favaro
Build, Borrow, or Buy: Solving the Growth Dilemma
by Laurence Capron and Will Mitchell
Harvard Business Review Press, 2012

We have found the major reason growth initiatives tend to whither and eventually fail is the inability of a business to resource them to win. This offers an interesting thought process to address this very important issue

In our current environment,  companies must field the right resources — the know-how, technology, processes, and people — in the right way if they are to have any chance of generating consistent, healthy levels of growth. 
The book is a highly structured examination of the three fundamental modes — or “pathways” — for obtaining the resources needed to grow. They are: developing the needed resources internally, or “building” them; contracting or partnering to obtain resources, or “borrowing” them; and acquiring, or “buying” them. According to the authors, companies should be adept at all three…. 
….What is most striking about Build, Borrow, or Buy is its finding that most companies use only one or two of the pathways. Perhaps that is because it is hard to use all three effectively and to smoothly switch between them. The authors offer a litany of obstacles, including internal conflicts of interest, organizational biases, entrenched habits, and past mistakes. Given these barriers to obtaining the right resources in the right way for any particular strategy, it’s surprising that any company can sustain growth beyond its initial market success… 
….Capron and Mitchell provide a simple decision tree for navigating the build, borrow, and buy choice. It requires answering four sequential questions:
1. Do you have internal resources that “are similar to those you need to develop and superior to those of competitors”? If so, build.
2. Can you easily trade for the necessary resources? If so, borrow via contract.
3. Do you need to collaborate closely with the resource supplier? If so, borrow via alliance.
4. Can you successfully acquire and integrate the resource supplier? If so, buy.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Global Innovation 1000: Making Ideas Work
The early stages of innovation can be challenging. But Booz & Company’s annual study of R&D spending reveals that successful innovators bring clarity to a process often described as fuzzy and vague

Please, read the article in full. It is very insightful!!

"Those companies are the quiet stars of our annual Global Innovation 1000 study of R&D spending. As our study has consistently shown over the past eight years, there is no long-term correlation between the amount of money a company spends on its innovation efforts and its overall financial performance; instead, what matters is how companies use that money and other resources, as well as the quality of their talent, processes, and decision making. Those are the things that determine their ability to execute their innovation agendas. In 2011, corporate spending among the Global Innovation 1000 increased 9.6 percent over the previous year, slightly faster than the 9.3 percent gain in 2010. But because corporate revenues grew by a robust 13 percent last year — even faster than the year before — R&D intensity, or the percentage of sales that companies spend on innovation, actually declined to traditional pre-recession levels 
If you have a creative idea and it doesn't create value,” says Matthew Ganz, vice president and general manager of research and technology at the Boeing Company, “it’s not technology. It’s art. If you’re all about value creation with no creativity, the accountants are going to take over. You need to prime the pump with creative ideas, and then you need to have rigorous processes in place to turn those ideas into dollars."

Monday, November 12, 2012

What is your definition of entrepreneur?
Richard Branson

Simple and elegant discussion! What does being an entrepreneur mean to you? Look forward to hearing your thoughts.

"What is your definition of entrepreneur? 
Speaking at an entrepreneur event in Egypt earlier this week with President Carter, he mentioned how President George W Bush had reportedly said "the French don't have a word for entrepreneur." 
A quick Google will tell you that the word entrepreneur is a loanword from the French verb "entreprende", which means "to undertake". That sounds quite fitting, as entrepreneurs are always undertaking new challenges and coming up with new ideas.Joseph Schumpeter's definition is pretty good. "Entrepreneurs are innovators who use a process of shattering the status quo of the existing products and services, to set up new products, new services." Peter Drucker was onto something too when he made the following definition in 1964: " An entrepreneur searches for change, responds to it and exploits opportunities. Innovation is a specific tool of an entrepreneur hence an effective entrepreneur converts a source into a resource." 
But to me, being an entrepreneur simply means being someone who wants to make a difference to other people's lives. 
When making a start in business with Student Magazine, I didn't even know what an entrepreneur was. All that interested me was starting a publication to protest against the Vietnam War - and having some fun along the way. If that meant becoming an entrepreneur, then that was fine too. 
Over the years the nature of entrepreneurship has changed as new businesses have developed and the world has evolved. New innovative business people will keep coming along and changing the game all over again. Was inspired at a recent B Team gathering of young business leaders who have successfully built businesses that prioritize people, planet and profits. They are well on their way to building and spreading better business practices. Here at Virgin, we intend to keep changing the game for good too"

Monday, November 05, 2012

5 Ways to Get People to Actually Listen to You

Great stuff!!!!

You may be a fact- and logic-driven leader, but others don't think like you do. Learn to get your point across through emotional connection.
Have you ever stood before an audience, uncertain whether you are truly connecting with them? Or, have you spoken to an employee who appears to be getting the message--but whose actions later tell another story?... 
…"Humans are wired to connect with each other," says Garcia. "And we connect with one another by feeling, not thinking." 
Why? Because of the structures in the brain that allow people to experience someone else's plight as if it were their own. These structures, called mirror neurons, are also referred to as empathy neurons. 
"Emotion is now increasingly recognized as the key to moving hearts and minds," says Garcia. "All too often leaders assume that facts matter," he says. "That if only we let the facts speak for themselves, people will understand and agree with us."  
Here are five strategies that can help you stop reciting facts--and start making a true connection.1. Keep your mouth shut--for a couple of moments: Don't say anything substantive until you have an audience connection….2. Get your audience engaged: Get the eyeballs looking up before you say anything…. 3. Grab their attention to make it memorablePeople remember the very first substantive that you say. Once you have their attention, jump right in to the most important thing you have to say…. 4. Use verbal cues: Use attention-provoking signals when you move from one part of the speech to the next. For instance, you might verbally number your key points or use other verbal signals like "Let's move on" or "My next topic is..."  Always give the audience verbal cues to look up at you.5. Recap what matters: Take all of the substantive points from your talk and group them all together at the very end of the presentation….
"In summary," your audience must be able to feel and experience your communications, or you simply won't have the impact that you set out to achieve.