MANAGING in the

NEW WORLD

Corporate Strategy

Sports is one field where team managers are consistently either praised to the hilt or derided for the performances. In the business world, the glorification of management practices though is less obvious. To cite an example management consulting has long been known as a profession where the expert simply arranges already known obvious facts in an aesthetic manner. This perception however is inaccurate as a recent study on firms’ performances vis-à-vis the practices adopted shows. Data is paradoxically low when it comes to the field of management, and even the material available is often in the form of case studies on top companies taught at various MBA institutions. Thus in this latest study a more holistic approach was adopted with manufacturing plants all over the US sampled. Questions were phrased under three broad heads- monitoring, targets and incentives. It clearly emerges that only a fifth of them make use of the latest management practices recommended but these were far more productive. For each ten percent increase in adoption of best management practices, there was a fourteen percent productivity increase. There was even a difference in performance within the same firm’s separate plants. Other factors were also studied and it emerged that for every increase in productivity, eighteen percent may be directly attributed to management practices, a bit less to research and development, then come employee skills and finally IT investment at single digits.

Source:https://hbr.org/2017/04/good-management-predicts-a-firms-success-better-than-it-rd-or-even-employee-skills?referral=00563&cm_mmc=email-_-newsletter-_-daily_alert-_-alert_date&utm_source=newsletter_daily_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=alert_date&spMailingID=17048645&spUserID=OTY0OTMwNTk5NwS2&spJobID=1001676407&spReportId=MTAwMTY3NjQwNwS2

Uploaded Date:07/07/2017

 

There are all kinds of acquisitions in the business world, but some more successful than others. In order to be in the former category, six broad types have been identified. In neither case, will overpaying for acquiring ever work. One such corporate strategy for acquiring is to improve the other company’s performances. Another is to remove excess competition from the market. Sometimes smaller companies may have great produce or service in their portfolio but being small limits their market access which may get rectified by such an acquisition. It will also help in scaling up the business’s industry-specific capabilities. Another factor in the acquisition could be inorganic skill or technology capture at lower cost than building in-house. Savvy acquirers identify winners early on and facilitate their seamless growth.

Source:http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/strategy-and-corporate-finance/our-insights/the-six-types-of-successful-acquisitions?cid=other-eml-cls-mip-mck-oth-1705

Uploaded Date:05/07/2017

There is enormous focus these days on technologies that create new business models. While static knowledge is important, it is evolving at alarming rate due to such technologies taking over. Similarly, the return on assets in public institutions in the US has gone down to a record low. A study conducted by business consulting firm Deloitte revealed that more than three-fifths of employees’ productive time is spent on resolving exceptions rather than executing tasks. Most organizations these days are leveraging new technologies to automate tasks and reduce jobs. This is a trend going back to the Industrial Revolution when there was a huge time lag between growth of actual productivity and the introduction of machinery. This is because the workers took time to develop such skills. So that such a repeat does not take place, the really great business must use technology to scale their learning and not just operations. Business transformation demands that the existing workers be provided management training on these new skills so that the company can cover up for these trends. Such learning will also accelerate with work environments getting a design facelift with physical, management and virtual systems being interconnected.

Source:https://hbr.org/2017/06/great-businesses-scale-their-learning-not-just-their-operations?referral=00563&cm_mmc=email-_-newsletter-_-daily_alert-_-alert_date&utm_source=newsletter_daily_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=alert_date&spMailingID=17404749&spUserID=OTY0OTMwNTk5NwS2&spJobID=1040538221&spReportId=MTA0MDUzODIyMQS2

Uploaded Date:29/06/2017

General Motors (GM) and Ford, both American automobile giants have never occupied a double digit market share in India. GM has recently even announced an exit plan by the end of the year from the country. This and the exits of other American multinationals such as Mary Kay raises several questions about why certain American companies are failing in this market which now attracts greater FDI than China even. Generally speaking, European and East Asian brands seem to have greater presence in India. Yet, several American companies have been successful such as PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Cisco, Boeing, GE, Cummins, HP, Google, Dell and McDonald’s. Certain key reasons exist for this lopsided success ratio. First of all, a consistent leadership over time is crucial in this market as India is a complex one consisting of a mix of Western and Asiatic values. GE for example has had a single leader over the last fourteen years as opposed to the constantly shifting leadership at GM. Local leaders need autonomy to even tweak products or servicing suited to the market as done by PepsiCo in launching Kurkure snacks, Whirlpool during their campaign to attract hand washers to washing machine and by Western Union for partnering with the national postal services. Since GM’s competition is expected to be India-centric, the corporate strategy too needs to be centred around such a philosophy as done by Japan’s Suzuki and Korea’s Hyundai. GM is a mass player, and thus their focus should not be limited to the top of the pyramid but also reflect towards the middle of it to truly take advantage of the market. Finally, every entrant into India must recognize that there will be no instant gains, but only long-term thinking ought to succeed. PepsiCo and Boeing both followed this approach.

Source:https://hbr.org/2017/06/what-u-s-ceos-can-learn-from-gms-india-failure?referral=00563&cm_mmc=email-_-newsletter-_-daily_alert-_-alert_date&utm_source=newsletter_daily_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=alert_date&spMailingID=17463422&spUserID=OTY0OTMwNTk5NwS2&spJobID=1041158494&spReportId=MTA0MTE1ODQ5NAS2

Uploaded Date:29/06/2017

Usually most companies set others in the same industry as their main rivals. This however deflects attention from the genuinely main competition, which is a market trend to reject the product or service altogether. A focus on customers ultimately brings more benefits to marketers than any similar focus on competitors. Thus for a health maker, the main rivals are fast or junk food producing companies or the natural human tendency to crave fats and sugars. Thus the marketing team’s time or effort needs to be re-geared in certain ways. Firstly, there must be a rethink on what exactly is the mission or corporate strategy of the firm. This involves a rethink on what exactly is being sold and how is it relevant to the customers. Then, a rethink on the wider customer base is needed which includes not only present buyers but potentially all who may end up using the service or product. Their problems must be listed in order to be relevant to them. This includes obstacles they face in product usage and resolving them. The competition too must be redefined according to specifics of the broader industry rather than using rivals as reference pieces. Content marketing may be used to advertize the benefits of the game rather than attacking rival claims.

Source:https://hbr.org/2017/05/obsess-over-your-customers-not-your-rivals?referral=00563&cm_mmc=email-_-newsletter-_-daily_alert-_-alert_date&utm_source=newsletter_daily_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=alert_date&spMailingID=17210565&spUserID=OTY0OTMwNTk5NwS2&spJobID=1020926896&spReportId=MTAyMDkyNjg5NgS2

Uploaded Date:28/06/2017

Competitive advantage differs from one company to another. Global tech giants such as Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon are all known for separate niches. What is common between them all is the constant improvisation to adopt. Apple started off as a computer company, but is now into self-driving cars, augmented reality and has even broken into the payment space, traditionally reserved for banks. Google was initially just a search engine, but is now the dominant player in mobile operating systems and the navigation or mapping industry. It has now ventured into self driving cars and its latest business innovation is in internet-beaming balloons. Facebook isn’t just a social network, but a producer of augmented reality glasses and is now experimenting with the possibility of typing being done by the brain. The biggest differentiator for Amazon is the sheer convenience that gets induced. With the click of a button, one can order anything delivered to one’s doorstep. Its latest merger with Whole Foods though will have challenges, as the company cultures of the two are totally disparate. Establishing cross-pollinated teams will now be a challenge.

Source:https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffboss/2017/06/20/amazons-competitive-advantage-isnt-cost-or-convenience-its-this/#189093574958

Uploaded Date:27/06/2017

Different companies stand at different stages in terms of strategic maturity. A study has been conducted by PwC’s research arm to gauge the maturity levels of companies’ corporate strategy. Eleven levels have been identified. One of them is strategically adrift where the firm is on the verge of failing or simply lucky to still survive. Then there is undifferentiated where the final product or service is not unique enough to make a dent in the market. The third variety is underleveraged. These are firms where several aspects are well executed, but there is lack of coherence between various components. Another is the portfolio-constrained variety where products or services offered are too many leading to chaos in their execution. A fifth variety is unfocused. Here the company is good at several tasks, but not particularly renowned at anything. Distracted are the ones that do have a coherent strategy, but keep getting sidetracked. Resource-constrained ones are those that struggle to arrange the funds to execute to diverse tasks at hand. Capability-constrained on the other hand are those that simply lack the intellect or knowledge to build capabilities. Another version is overstretched. These are those that do have a proper identity, but the actual execution is veering away from main goal. The tenth and best type so far are the coherent ones. They are truly aligned to their goals. The super-competitors lie on top of the pie. They are not only coherent but constantly strive to do newer things with full perfection.

Source:https://www.strategy-business.com/blog/11-Types-of-Strategic-Maturity-Which-One-Describes-Your-Company?gko=9aa3b

Uploaded Date:27/06/2017

Due to the digital nature of modern workplaces, employees across the board are struggling with work-life balance. There is the constant pressure of work through the connected environment so people are constantly under the scrutiny of work. Management consulting giant Ernst & Young has outlined through its latest research that a full third of full-time employees surveyed revealed a struggle to them is where incremental changes are made, while the other focuses on the bigger picture. In the first approach, adopted by The Glint and Rakuten Marketing, a community feeling is being fostered at the workplace. People must feel the connect so common spaces have been designated and days earmarked for fun, social events among employees. They are being encouraged to go home with a free mind and not carry work. The other approach tries to rectify from the very route through three steps. They listen to employee recommendations, leverage existing solutions for business advantage and get all employees hooked to the work process. At such places, the talent recruitment is particularly crucial so that there is the correct match between organization and employee culture. The likes of BMS Software, DISYS, Siegel + Gale and Omega have adopted this technique.

Source:http://www.computerworld.com/article/3198185/it-management/what-s-your-strategy-to-create-a-great-company-culture.html

Uploaded Date: 19/6/2017

Just as Charles Dickens put it about Paris in his novel Tale of Two Cities, similarly the present times may also be dubbed as both the best and worst of times. It simply depends on which side one is one. Technology is changing rapidly, and along with it making wholesale transformation to the very way we live. This has paved the way for the SCaaP Model or Societal Change as a Platform. Technology has the power to help solve problems. As per SCaaP, civic society now has to work has a holistic unit. There are some organizations that have already applied bits of the SCaaP system. They are Donors Choose, Health leads, College for America and Salesforce. Health Leads for example leverages the collaborative knowledge of the entire ecosystem for its solutions. This also provides ample scope for covert digital marketing along the way. All these organizations are allowing the society to co-create new products.

Source:http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/technology-can-help-solve-societal-problems/

Uploaded Date: 22nd May 2017

Some interesting finds were discovered from the internal research on employee happiness commissioned by Facebook. It was carried out by the HR team along with a professor from Wharton. The first find was that company pride was tied to three factors- optimism in company growth, mission about corporate strategy and goals, and social consciousness in improving the world. These three elements were observed as critical across all roles like technology, sales and marketing. The team members at Facebook truly appreciated when someone created value by making a difference. This happened at fundraising meets for colleges resulting in improved traction for the brand.

Source:https://www.fastcompany.com/40397753/heres-what-facebook-discovered-from-its-internal-research-on-employee-happiness-2?

Uploaded Date: 20th May 2017

There are some executive coaches such as Carla Fugit who plan things in great detail and execute perfectly. It emanates out of a genuine passion to genuine help others by proving them management training. The process involves a lot of fun by leveraging innate creativity each trainee possesses. They are encouraged to step out of their respective comfort zones and do something greater, perhaps become a thought leader in a field. Relaxation is necessary to understand that the person involved is not the centre of the universe. To achieve all of this, the first step is to believe in oneself. The belief stems from own abilities, customers and team mates.

Source:https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidkwilliams/2016/12/19/what-you-believe-you-will-see-preparing-your-business-for-2017-and-beyond/#f288998532cf

Uploaded Date: 17th May 2017

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