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Steering the ship – the new business management reality

Blog: KWKeirstead's Blog

Increased global competition has more corporations chasing after the same opportunities.

The impact on strategic planning has been a reduction of 5-year planning cycles, with annual reviews, to 18 month cycles, with quarterly reviews.

The playing field has changed in other ways as well.

Corporations used to strive for “satisfied” customers.  Today, they need “delighted“ customers.

In certain cases, the primary focus needs to be on future customers, not on current customers.

Behind the scenes, the corporate mission remains unchanged – i.e. building, protecting and enhancing competitive advantage, but with shorter-term initiatives characterized by increased risk and uncertainty.

The traditional role of the steering the ship i.e.  “plan->monitor->control” needs upgrading to “plan->monitor->re-assess”, where “monitor” now includes advanced decision support, and predictive analytics.ship

Whereas initiatives traditionally were allowed to run their course, “plan->monitor->re-assess” means more are at risk of being the focus of budget cuts or outright termination.

SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) continues to be front-and-center, except that the number of corporate assets likely to be impacted an initiative has increased.

Corporations are finding it more difficult to build competitive advantage based on one or two key assets.

Success comes from innovation in the way clusters of assets are put into service

Here is a partial list of corporate assets that need to be under constant review:

(Capital, Access to Capital, Land, Equipment, Tools, Premises, Staff, Intellectual Property/Knowhow, Current Products/Services, Products / Services Under Development, Projects Awaiting Approval, Technology Trends, Changing Legislation, Competitors)

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

It is not surprising that the process of decision-making has changed.

Whereas in the past, decisions were often made on the basis of information with a heavy reliance on experience and intuition, today’s decision makers look for ways and means of rapidly converting knowledge into information.

Free-Form-Search Kbases are the environment of choice for rapid conversion of knowledge to information, for the following reasons:

  1. Ability to see the big picture,
  2. Connect-the-dots facilities,
  3. Availability of map/build environments for rapid rollout of operational plans
  4. Facilities for dynamic management of work at work alone,
  5. Real Time Data collection and uploading / consolidation of operational data to Kbases.

The changes I have described here not been without casualties.

Survivors include flow-graphing (mid 1950s) and F.O.M.M. (1960s).

Both are alive and well and are pretty much “must-haves” for anyone working in business today.

So, what’s next?

Filed under: Competitive Advantage, Decision Making, FOMM, Risk Analysis, Strategic Planning

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