Monday, April 27, 2015

A Goliath Can Become a David Again

A Goliath Can Become a David Again

This summarizes the article—READ IT

“A company can grow big without losing the passion and personality that built it, but only if it’s driven by values and by people, not by profits.” — Howard Schultz

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Big Shift in Strategy - Part 2

In the last posting, the author suggested that we’re going through a big shift in strategy from strategies of terrain to strategies of trajectory. This positing summarizes what the author thinks strategies of trajectory might look like. Again, I urge you go to the original source

Most strategies (strategies of terrain) tend to look from the present out to the future. Strategies of trajectory start with a view of the future and work back to the implications for action in the present. 

Here’s the paradox: strategies of trajectory become more and more essential in times of rapid change and uncertainty, while at the same time becoming more and more difficult.  But that’s exactly what makes strategies of trajectory so valuable…
…So, what’s required to craft these strategies of trajectory? Five elements can help to make these strategies successful:
In a world of accelerating change, one of our greatest imperatives is to "unlearn" - to challenge and ultimately abandon some of our most basic beliefs about how the world works and what is required for success
What about the opportunity to materially alter the probabilities regarding potential future outcomes?...In times of rapid change and growing uncertainty, we actually have far more degrees of freedom to restructure entire markets and industries than in more stable time…haping strategies are classic strategies of trajectory – they begin by defining a desired market or industry structure and then focus on mobilizing third parties to invest to support the shaping strategy
 Successful strategies of trajectory need to find ways to motivate people to overcome risk adverseness and to take bolder action
As the name suggests, strategies of trajectory are ultimately about measuring movement in a particular direction.  Any strategy of trajectory must therefore be explicit about the metrics that will indicate whether we’re on track to establishing the desired position in the future
In a time of accelerating change, learning is essential to success=

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Big Shift in Strategy 

Fascinating article that I strongly urge you to read

In an exponential world, it stands to reason that our traditional, linear approaches to strategy will need to be re-thought from the ground up. One way to characterize the big shift in strategy is that we are moving from strategies shaped by terrain to strategies shaped by trajectory. What do I mean by this? 
Strategies of terrain 
If you think about traditional approaches to strategy, they were profoundly shaped by the current landscape. The job of the strategist was to look across the surrounding terrain from the vantage point of the company and determine what were the most favorable positions to occupy – where could the company build positions of sustainable competitive advantage? … 
…Strategies of trajectory 
What we need to do at this point is to step back and reassess at a more basic level our approach to strategy.  Rather than focusing on terrain, however narrowly or broadly defined, perhaps we should shift our attention to trajectory.
Here’s the paradox. At precisely the time that change is accelerating and uncertainty increasing, we need more than ever to have a clear view of the trajectory of change and how it will reshape the business landscape in the decades ahead….
…..Rather than looking from the present out to the future, we need to look from the future back to the present to determine which actions will have the greatest impact and create the most economic value over time. …
.Position in the future, not the present 
….strategies of position still matter, but I didn’t sufficiently emphasize that these new strategies need to focus on the most attractive and advantaged positions in future landscapes, not the current landscape.. 
…Anticipating the future 
But I can already hear the pushback. “John, the future’s just too uncertain. We can’t possibly know what the landscape is going to look like a decade from now…
… the more we shrink our time horizons, the more uncertain the world looks….
…..It helps to know that we don’t need a detailed blueprint of that future landscape – all we need is enough detail to give us a sense of direction and to help us make some difficult choices in the near-term. 

Monday, April 06, 2015

Do you really understand how your business customers buy?
B2B purchasing decisions increasingly trace complex journeys, challenging the long-standing practices of many sales organizations.

For our B2B participants:

Welcome to the new dynamics of B2B sales. Decision-making authority for purchases is slipping away from individuals in familiar roles—often those with whom B2B sales teams have long-standing relationships. Just as the digital revolution has transformed once-predictable consumer purchasing paths into a more circular pattern of touch points, so too business-to-business selling has become less linear as customers research, evaluate, select, and share experiences about products. More people within (and, thanks to digital engagement, even outside) the organization are playing pivotal roles in sizing up offerings, so the path to closing sales has become more complicated. 
The best response is to embrace the new environment. Sellers who are ready to meet customers at different points on their journeys will exploit digital tools more fully, allocate sales and marketing resources more successfully, and stimulate collaboration between these two functions, thereby helping to win over reluctant buyers. Our experience with upward of 100 B2B sales organizations suggests that while the change required is significant, so are the benefits: an up to 20 percent increase in customer leads, 10 percent growth in first-time customers, and a speedup of as much as 20 percent in the time that elapses between qualifying a lead and closing a deal…… 
Three priorities for reshaping the sales organization 

B2B companies across industries are moving toward journey-based sales strategies. We’ve seen success among organizations as varied as industrial-equipment manufacturers, software firms, professional-services firms, telecom providers, and basic-materials companies. Three actions are decisive:
charting decision journeys by customer segment and drilling down on customer expectations and needs at each stage of the journey
tackling the difficult process of reallocating sales and marketing resources to the activities most likely to influence decisions
changing organizational structures to ramp up collaboration between marketing and sales
As B2B executives in marketing and sales organizations push ahead with these moves, they will also need to reach across the enterprise and sharpen the customer focus in every business unit and function.2