Mainstream media is in an orgiastic frenzy of coverage about Twitter. Everyone's Tweeting, from celebrities to CEOs according to CNN, The View, Today, the NY Times, the Wall St Journal and just about everyone else. Each of them covers Twitter like it's an overnight phenomenon that came out of nowhere, although Twitter has been gaining traction for three years and now has 14 million members. Should your company be on Twitter? Not necessarily.
Tag: business strategy
Most corporations consist of multiple divisions, which set their own strategy (what we generally refer to as "business strategy"). But more often than not, these dvisions have very little to do with one another.
Our fifth annual survey on the way organizations use social tools and technologies finds that they continue to seep into many organizations, transforming business processes and raising performance.
The whole world seems to have woken up to the notion that great ideas can come from anywhere and anyone. Exhibit A is the effort to write a new constitution in Iceland where the surge of crowdsourcing, mass collaboration, co-creation, and open innovation initiatives is seeking to channel those ideas and leverage that talent in every realm of endeavor. But when it comes to taking those ideas and turning them into a comprehensive view of the future, a compelling set of priorities, and a genuinely involving and ongoing collaboration with a community of stakeholders, there aren't many instructive models.
A couple of days ago, in the WSJ, I noticed an ad for Chevron. They claimed to be getting out of the dirty energy business into the clean energy business. The other day I was surprised to see that Nike Plus has embraced a new model that dispenses with one of their revenue sources, the chip. Nimble business are learning to abandon the existing business model before someone rips it out from under them.
About an hour south of Seoul, bulldozers are demolishing the last vacant factories at Samsung Electronics Co.’s Suwon campus, erasing signs that South Korea’s most valuable public company once made its headquarters in a smoke-fuming industrial complex. In their place are ice cream and pizza parlors, research labs and open space that’s been groomed as parks. Engineers in T-shirts play basketball on this sunny June morning before heading to their choice of nine cafeterias for a free lunch featuring Korean, Indian and Western dishes prepared to please employees from 50 countries. Women, who until recently were forced to wear conservative business suits and were absent from top jobs, stroll through gardens in slacks and formerly banned open-toed shoes, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its October issue. The 28,000 engineers, designers and marketers who arrive by bicycle or one of 556 company-funded buses at this bustling center could be in Silicon Valley or a technology park in India except for a sign at the eight-lane entrance: Samsung Digital City. The campus, along with required English lessons for managers and research into everything from solar cells to humanoid robots, are part of Samsung Electronics’ mission to vault itself into the ranks of the world’s great innovators and become one of the top five brands.
I worked at Intel in the late 70’s, and saw the Moore’s Law business strategy firsthand. Intel’s business depended on launching ever more powerful microprocessors, and charging high profit margins at the beginning of each technology life cycle, before competitors could “second-source” designs, and slice margins wafer thin. For the next 3 decades, Intel became the world-leader in microprocessors, the clock of Silicon Valley, by relentlessly investing in new fabrication facilities and new designs against their belief that Moore’s Law holds true. I met Gordon Moore in 2005, and asked him to predict how much longer his Law would hold. After all, who should know better? Mr. Moore answered, “I never actually thought of it as a law, more as an observation to bet on.”
Repositioning your company can be an invigorating move — it's exciting to take a fresh approach and go after new opportunities. But change is also risky and over time, the momentum behind it can wane. When that happens, it's not uncommon for individuals, units, or entire organizations to default to the old strategy. If your team relapses, how can you get things back on track and people re-focused on the new direction?
While they continue to slog through the longest economic downturn in decades, companies are no longer making cost-cutting their primary focus. Innovation is now front and center on the corporate agenda, according to a global survey we recently conducted with 65 senior executives from diverse industries. Executives are adding more breakthrough innovations and business model changes to their portfolio to fuel the growth engine for the recovery. Yet our survey reveals that companies by and large are having trouble making innovation efforts work. Executives are struggling to find the right combination of business strategy, operational model, and execution to deliver profitable growth.
Establishing competitive advantage is one of the basic tenets of business strategy. Companies must establish a way of standing out from competitive offerings and being perceived as different and better from those offerings. One business aspect that I believe is underutilized as a lever for competitive advantage is business size and scale. Often a large business size is equated with large distribution and that is considered a competitive advantage. However in many cases that kind of advantage is not sustainable or it doesn’t reflect true customer preference. It’s a forced advantage.
When Guy Kawasaki talks about business innovation, as he did recently at a University of Pennsylvania technology conference, he brings more than 25 years of major league experience to the conversation--a background that the good-humored investor and entrepreneur calls "my checkered past." At Penn, he spoke at a conference marking the 20th anniversary of the Executive Master's in Technology Management (EMTM) program, offered by Penn Engineering and co-sponsored by Wharton. His talk, titled "The Art of Innovation," amounted to a 10-point manifesto on how to make something of value for customers.