Destructive and constructive actions

When change is required, and you are defining the actions you want to put in place, you have to define properly the actions and its sequence.

In the same way the see builds the line of the coast with destructive and constructive waves, on a transformation program or change initiative you can have these two type of actions that will shape the beach in different ways.

Destructive waves erodes the current status quo, removes processes, behaviors even people. These actions use to be identified as negative actions but they are a necessary step if you want to put in place constructive actions. You have to evaluate the level of destruction you want to put in place, and measure the consequences of them. Destructive waves have high energy, these actions should be concrete and punctual. Too much destruction is not desired.

Constructive waves carries strong swash and have low energy. These actions requires more time to be put in place and space in the beach to let the sand there.

destructive-constructive-actionsThe combination of these two type of actions will enable you to build a beautiful wide sloping beach.

Strategy analysis of environment

Understand your business environment is key when defining the approach of your strategy, the way you want to promote the change, penetrate a new market or just achieve your goal.

  • Can I predict it?
  • Can I shape it?
  • Can I survive in it?
  • Can I change it?
  • What are my limits?

For each type of business environment you have to put in place a set of combined actions, but they have to share a common pattern/approach that enable to fit with the environment.

The identification of the pattern and the use of it on actions will improve the efficiency of your plan.

There are thousand of environments, but these ones defined by BCG could be a good summary:

  • Environment  —> Approach
  • Classical        —> Be Big
  • Adaptive         —> Be fast
  • Visionary        —> Be first
  • Shaping         —> Be orchestrator
  • Renewal        —> Be viable

For instance if you are working on a adaptive environment and you are thinking on an action that is not “fast” take into account that the efficiency of this action is not going to be so much high.

This analysis is also done for the selection of vendors. If I am a aircraft manufacturer and I have a complex engineering environment composed by highly customized processes which requires a strong support of the selected vendors, I presumably will partner with a big vendor. In case I’m a start-up growing up quickly and with the need of reacting fast, it will enable me to succeed.

Fix mobile usability issues found

Google Sending Mobile usability warnings to huge number Of Webmasters. And the platforms as wordpress, prestashop, shopify…  are part of this massive communication.

The message I receive is:  “Fix mobile usability issues found…”  follow by the domain name.

My honest opinion is that this is the way Google is saying us: check out your mobile usability because we are going to change the search algorithm and this will be important.

I checked the tools offered by Google for checking and fixing the issues and at the end of the day the main factor is the template you have.

For sure every single web is different and a deep analysis is required, but the template is key here.

The first question that comes to my mind is,

which platform has the community with better ability to react to this change?

Any thought about this?

Red and me, Bill Russel

I was doing my visit to the Barnes & Noble store and I found this book, read some pages randomly and I decided to buy it.

The behavior principles of a person, the way to evolve in a relationship with a person who came from a different world, team management, leadership, respect, how to align common goals, talent…

So many interesting anecdotes during the period of 1950 to 1969. Nice book that did my last couple of trips more pleasant.

red-and-meThis is not mentioned in this book, but one of the innovations introduced in the game by Red Auerbach was the Zipper Offense; he was able to develop and utilise the zipper offense before his competitors. The zipper offense created the term “zipper cut”, which we often use when talking about a particular cut that starts off the offense.

In the era of Big-data, we consume opinions, isn’t it ironic?

Before there were “serious” press and tabloids, now I don’t know how to find the difference, they all seem to be tabloids. Almost everything on newspapers are opinions and there is little “data”.

Today is the international day of the press without borders and to celebrate Reporters Without Borders is enabling access to certain websites in countries where they are inaccessible; I think is a nice initiative by the way.

But next year I want to propose they will launch a campaign to recover “the verified data”, at least in the Spanish press.

Another idea that comes to my mind is that press could notify in a given news the percentage of data and the percentage of opinion. In the same way than the food describes the % of ingredients and add the % daily recommended amount, I would like to see when I read a newspaper the percentage  “data” and the percentage of “opinion” in a given news.

Imagine!, in this way  I can know if my quota of daily tabloids reading is covered.

Quality of Data Disclaimer

Quality of Data Disclaimer

Give me the data, and I will build my own opinion!

Donkey and Carrot in modern corporate life

What can you do with a current vendor who is not part of your future vendor strategy road map?

Vendor management strategy is composed by complex set of actions based on basic principles and tactics. You have a current scenario, and you define future set of alliances with respect your portfolio of assets. Nothing new here.

Vendors behavior is simple, they are hungry of opportunities, new contracts and you have to feed them in some way or other. In your list of vendors, you have preferred vendors and non-preferred vendors.

You have a vendor who is strongly working with you but that for some reason is not part of your future vendor future picture. The situation is:

  • You cannot ignore it, you have risk exposure and need this vendor to continue being committed with you.
  • You do not want to award this vendor with new big contract.
  • The vendor knows very well their area of influence and they are so much competitive in such area, you have to erode their competitiveness.
  • They are starving to continue working with you and in their plans they want to increase their presence on your portfolio.

Which tactics should you put in place to drive this vendor?

  • Ignore them, give the message at top level with indirect actions.
  • Is a risk to do not invite the vendor to the new RFPs? Invite them, add requirements to the RFPs that excludes it, or add specific data with low influence on the rating for gathering information for free.
  • Open renegotiation discussions of current contracts: look for opportunities for savings, take the control of the understanding of the real TCO of your assets.
  • Keep active communication speech with the vendor: “you are strategic partner, we want you being part of our future”.
  • Keep the vendor busy with “strategic” information required for future coming discussions: “I want to renegotiate this strategic contract, before to start discussing it, give me this data, this other info…”.
  • any other suggestion?
Carrot-and-donkey

Carrot and donkey in modern corporate life: keep your enemy busy, how? fulfilling excels.

 

 

Same picture, same feelings

Reporting consumers are very hungry about the data, the details and the different perspectives they want to have on a single topic. I have not objection on the existence of reports for management, but there is a limit on all of this so we should be focused on the customer and not just doing internal reports.

Back-office employees, do not use to meet the customer, so it’s important to establish a direct link between then and the customer. Ok, you have the software, the products… but in a big organizations you also have people doing management stuff and they do not deliver software, they produce reports. These guys are part of the team, they are part of the E2E value chain delivery and they are part of what your customer see from your company.

Same picture, same feelings, is a sentence I use when I look at the perspective of the reports my customer is receiving. Having the same reports internally and externally ensures me the team is aware of what the customer is seeing, and they react when some trend or data is unusual or out of context.

I do not use to ask for new reports if they are not for my customer. If I find a set of data that can be valuable for the customer, I ask the creation of such report and I send to my customer with a question:

is this type of information valuable for you?

After some months I ask again if receiving that report is valuable or not. If it is not, then I stop sending it (time is gold).

Keep reporting lean and very focused on what your customer wants, this will enable you to react quickly when they want changes, keep overhead costs at minimum, and keep the people generating reports with a clear sense of customer value.

bike in Netherlands

bike in Netherlands

(Den Haag, Netherlands, passion by bikes)

Are you taking care of your career?

I found this picture that summarizes very well how the evolution of the work as we know today has changed, at least in the professional services environment that is where I work.

Apart of these perspectives, I would like to highlight some others.

You are a company, what is your value proposition?

You have to provide value to your company, to your customer, to your own organization. This also has to be shown, explained in different formats and environments.

Internet is the channel

You can advertise about your self internally to your direct management, but this is not enough anymore. To build a personal brand outside your current employer is also needed. LinkedIn, a blog, twitter, the next social environment….

Belong to a professional syndicate

Work with your colleagues, establish relationships, understand what are the new trends, the real direction of the market, know people and be known.

employee-status-quo

“Contract title” defense

You won last contract a couple of years ago, a big one, and you were so happy about it.

Time runs fast and now the new RFP is going to be published again. You feel as the owner of the work and from your point of view you deserve to continue handling this contract.

But the reality is other, you have to jump to the ring and defend your title.

First you have to remove from you and your team’s head some behaviors that will not help you:

  • Arrogance.
  • Limit yourself to the use of the same team that is working on the service.
  • Limit your solution to what you are offering right now, killing the out-of-box thinking.
  • Focus on maintaining the jobs and losing the focus on having the right team/right price.
  • Deny the existence of negative past performance.
  • Underestimate the ability of the competitors to sell a low-risk and low-cost transition story.

You have been invited again, so I’m sure you are doing well, but you have to change your mindset and force yourself to do not fall into the trap.

What can I do then?

You are out, so assume and transmit to the team that you are out. I remember a manager moving the offer team to a room in the other side of the building to physically remind the team that if they want to come back to their seats, they have to win the right to do it. Do not show you are just hungry, show you are starving.

Challenge your past performance, and the weak points of your model, so you have to be honest and serious about this. Don’t be complacent, you are out!.

Emphasize innovative thinking and fresh ideas, Add new people that promotes new ideas. Challenge your existing solution and think of ways to improve it.This potentially can generate conflicts, so be very carefully on this.

Listen customer feedback from a third party, gain perspective taking information from a trusted source, do not assume that you know how the client feels about your delivery.

This is a new deal, so manage it as a new win, a new logo. Show enthusiasm for this new logo, this new opportunity…

Show Corporate commitment to the RFP, identify people in your customer that are important (start from scratch) and visit them, identify people in your organization that needs to show-up. Your customer wants to understand your whole company is committed on their business, to have senior management showing the importance of this RFP is important.

Any other thing we have to think about? Just step into the ring and fight for a new contract!