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Actionable Insights

McKinsey's Harry Bowcott on Data Strategy and Data Hype

Feb 14, 2018 10:18:58 AM / by Adam Nathan posted in Strategy, Value & Friction

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An actionable insight from Harry Bowcott, a Senior Partner at McKinsey.

In a recent article Bowcott looks at some prevalent myths around the current data hype. If there's a general takeaway from this insightful article, it would be that human insights will remain the dominant source of value for the forseeable future, and that a company needs to think of the value it provides (and receives from) its employees.

Keep your head on when building out your data strategy.

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It Would Seem Like the Simplest Question

Feb 13, 2018 5:31:43 PM / by Adam Nathan posted in CEO, Strategy, Value & Friction

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"What is our value proposition?"

You would think that everyone in an organization - and certainly everyone on the same leadership team - would identify a common value proposition for their customers.

Surely the CXOs are on the same page.

I mean they must be.

How could we have gotten this far! We all work in the same organization, we gather in the same conference rooms, we work on the same projects, we budget together.

We dine with the same customers!

We know it's not what it says on the website. That's all wrong. But that was just marketing. They never get it.

They nagged us about it, and then just wrote whatever. What they always write. The usual stuff.

But, come on, we know why our customers stay with us. Right?

Right?

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Your CEO Dashboard: A 5-Point KPI Health Check

Jan 29, 2018 11:08:15 AM / by Adam Nathan posted in CEO, Strategy, Dashboard, Business Model

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The most important dashboard in an organization is the one on the CEO's mobile phone or desktop. Other dashboards may provide insight into critical issues: financial health, marketing spend, operational efficiency, customer satisfaction and much more. 

The CEO’s dashboard tells the story of the company’s business model .

The key performance indicators here are vital signs that indicate how well the business model itself is functioning - and they provide predictive and actionable insights into future challenges and growth.

This article provides a five-point sanity check for your own CEO dashboard. Lock the door, hold your calls, and open up your current dashboard. 

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Voices on Value: "7 Questions" with Corné Brouwers

Jan 25, 2018 11:56:29 AM / by Adam Nathan

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We spoke this week with Corné Brouwers, a recent transplant from Amsterdam to California's Mendocino County.

With 25 years of experience as an Director of Information Technology, System Architect, and Business Consultant, Corné's work has spanned both the business and IT communities and provides insights into an analytics and data strategy.

His career has afforded him powerful and actionable insights into how technology can create data ROI in an enterprise.

We asked Corné Brouwers our 7 Questions on Creating Value from Data. Answers have been edited for clarity and length.

1. What professional experience has led to your understanding on how to deliver data ROI?

What I have noticed is that data analytics projects are started with a very optimistic view: “The data we have is a goldmine. We just have to get the value out of it. Therefore we need to invest in a tool and start some projects."

This mostly happens in companies that are just getting their feet wet. What I have also noticed is the need for a change of mindset.

You have to shift your mindset from merely reporting and dashboarding to digging deeper and analyzing the data. This requires out-of-the-box thinking, data mining and a R&D approach.

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Other Voices, Other Blogs...

Jan 5, 2018 4:57:17 PM / by Adam Nathan posted in Actionable Insights, Other Voices, Other Blogs

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"Why You Should Quit Brainstorming KPIs" - Stacey Barr

"KPI and measure selection is not a creativity exercise." I love this quote.

Stacey Barr, an Australian-based expert on defining and implementing key performance indicators, wrote a recent column about the pitfalls of brainstorming KPIs.

With her reliably cogent, analytical and thoughtful perspective, she makes a case against open-ended KPI definition sessions (vague goals, persuasion contests, and shallow levels of detail). If you don't now about her already, Stacey is a must have for your KPI RSS feed.

More links to stand-out articles from the last few weeks below the fold.

 

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Actionable Insights: Peter Samson on Technology

Jan 3, 2018 10:53:09 AM / by Adam Nathan posted in Actionable Insights, Strategy, Value & Friction, Key Performance Questions

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An actionable insight from Peter Samson, CEO of 8folios.com. In a recent article on Gartner's CloudAdvice, Peter dives into the myth that digitalisation requires new technology.

He argues that most companies get hung up on technology and toolset, when they should be focused on how they service their customers.

The challenge, as he sees it, is to make sure a customer feels as valued in the new digital world as they used to feel in relationships with a more "human touch."

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Actionable Insights: Stacey Barr on KPIs

Jan 2, 2018 2:55:23 PM / by Adam Nathan posted in Actionable Insights, KPI, Instrumentation, Key Performance Questions

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An actionable insight: Stacey Barr, an Australian-based expert on defining and implementing key performance indicators, wrote a recent column about the pitfalls of brainstorming KPIs. With her reliably cogent, analytical and thoughtful perspective, she makes a case against open-ended KPI definition sessions (vague goals, persuasion contests, and shallow levels of detail).

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Santa, These Are the Droids You're Looking For

Dec 21, 2017 4:54:33 PM / by Adam Nathan posted in Thought Leader, Actionable Insights, Strategy, Value & Friction

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Amazon's Squat Little Robots

Right now, at an Amazon fulfillment center near you, squat little robots are carrying your holiday presents like elves.

They are moving about on a grid, making way for other robots along small highways. When they get to their warehouse quarry, they spin beneath the target totes like barbershop chairs, lifting entire stacks of shelves.

Once these bins of products are mounted on their powerful torsos, they glide back across the warehouse and into a queue of other robots waiting for their turn with a human. The human reaches the length of their arm, grabs one of your presents, and blisterpacks it into a cardboard box.

Right now this is happening. Hundreds of thousands of items.

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CEO Playbook - A Tale of Two Lemonade Stands

Dec 16, 2017 2:57:05 PM / by Adam Nathan posted in CEO, Strategy, Business Model

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As your company's CEO, you are the chief strategist, designer and evangelist for your business model. The clarity you create around your target customer, your value proposition and the differentiated activities your organization delivers is critical.

If your business model isn't clear - or even defined - then you’re not ready for an investment in an analytics strategy. Put down your checkbook, and Don't Pass Go.

How can you gut check whether your business model is ready? This article contains some key questions and a relatable anecdote about two lemonade stands that should start you on your way.
 
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Actionable Insights: Michael E. Porter on Business Strategy

Dec 16, 2017 11:18:39 AM / by Adam Nathan posted in Actionable Insights, CEO

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An actionable insight from Michael E. Porter's seminal work on business strategy. He makes a salient point about defining what's "out of scope" as one of the 5 keys to strategic success. Essentially, when you try to do everything, you do nothing.

One of Porter's five tests on what strategy is includes the directive to understand trade-offs and choose what not to do. If you own your company's business strategy, then the must-read Harvard Busines Review "What Is Strategy" can be found here. This is a long form collection of articles, but the included callout summaries get at the heart of his thinking.

If you're not familiar with his work, Michael E. Porter was awarded Harvard's highest academic distinction for his contributions to strategic thinking.

How it relates to our The Bartlett System approach lies within the Business Model section at the top of the diagram below (and, critically, drives everything below it.)

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