Posts tagged “Analysis

The Sure Thing

Posted on December 4, 2015


Today, I attended an annual meeting that a colleague predicted would be contentious. And it was…with undertones of mistrust. The voting majority chose to postpone decisions on the main proposed changes – we choose to choose later – so there will be more time for discussion and analysis. And of course, there will be an indefinite period of status quo and more risk to the ultimate outcome as time passes. Recognizing your relevant time horizon can help you make more conscious decisions and better manage expectations. Mike Tyson went broke, in part, because most of the people he grew up with died young. Why save money for the future when you won’t live to see it? Why trust a negotiation that promises the equivalent of a good…

Data Endorsement

Posted on November 13, 2015


A few thoughts triggered by Amazon’s fight against fake reviews: There is an increasing tendency to quantify and apply big data concepts to measurement as access to data expands and comfort with data use increases…the big data hammers around you will look for nails. The more underlying drivers to a single measurement, the greater the subjectivity and confusion that will result…if you want actionable information, you can do better than star ratings. The more value derived from a measurement, the greater the inherent risk of manipulation…one extra star on a restaurant’s Yelp rating boosts revenue by 5-9%. Without diligence and reinforcement, the perception of trustworthiness with online reviews will fall over time…of course the Amazon lawsuit is peppered with words of trust: authentic, honest, unbiased, credibility, integrity, etc. The dynamics across social media, celebrity, critics and other gatekeepers…

A Fractional View

Posted on May 22, 2015


A grand piano sits on the baggage claim level of the Minneapolis airport. I’ve passed it more than 50 times in the past two years while riding the escalator up to departures, and I’ve seen it played three times. Once by a laughing young couple banging out a few chords together. Once by a lady expertly working the keys and pedals into concert music. And once, also beautifully, by a ground crew worker in jumpsuit and kneepads. This is the nature of a fractional view: seeing a group of people perform a specific task in a particular setting over a distinct time period AND recognizing the limits of the observation. Asking who plays the piano is similar to asking who does what in an organization. Your analysis…

CPR Trends

Posted on January 11, 2015


Back to work this past week, I was privileged to participate in a working session focused on trends in the Consumer Products & Retail (CPR) sector. The following may be particularly relevant for consideration: Continued Globalization – As firms continue to evolve internationally, many are using dynamic and creative operating model structures. This applies to customer-facing operations – such as using online distribution in some countries and physical stores, with brand management variations, in others – and back-office operations providing services across geographies, functions or business units. Digital Challenges – Manufacturers increasingly need to manage digital paths to purchase (e.g., porting to retailers), and retailers must redefine the shopper experience beyond the four walls of stores or beyond a single website. Both often struggle with reverse logistics made more…

The Sizzle and the Steak

Posted on October 7, 2014


Early in my consulting career, while working a project in New Jersey, I drove to Atlantic City for an evening. I met some teammates for dinner, played cards for a few hours and then drove back to my usual hotel near the client site. The next morning I walked into the office and was immediately confronted by one of my project managers – where did you go last night, who was with you, etc. – turns out some guys hadn’t made it back yet, and along with eight others I was now branded a member of the “AC9”. It didn’t matter what exactly was done or not done by each individual, what mattered was the negative narrative for the group. Dealing with communication as much as we did, we should have…

Aligned Choices

Posted on September 1, 2014


Start looking, and you’ll see misaligned choices in your environment. Organizations want something done but don’t dedicate resources toward it. Managers want teamwork but don’t screen candidates appropriately. People who claim to want quality products purchase the lowest sticker price solution. Families want to get out of debt but don’t put in the effort. Little decisions can undermine big goals. If it’s truly important, ensure alignment across Purpose, Method and End State. “I decided to stop messing around in life early. I knew what I wanted to do and I did it. I think there’s a lot to be said for giving up some things for others that are more valuable. Sometimes I will go on location with guys who just want to party. That’s…