domingo, setembro 30, 2018

"a framework for decision making is gaining ground"

“The order is critical: first the strategy, then the plan.
.If the notion of strategy as a plan is moribund, the notion of it as a framework for decision making is gaining ground
strategy as “simple rules” which guide decision making
the keys to success are “an overall sense of direction and an ability to be flexible.”
more successful companies are developed through this sort of planful opportunism than through the vision of an exceptional CEO
We are extraordinarily reluctant to admit that luck plays a part in business success. [Moi ici: Nunca esquecer o que é a "luck" - "Be prepared: "luck" is where preparation meets opportunity"]
Strategy, then, demands a certain type of thinking. It sets direction and therefore clearly encompasses what von Moltke calls a “goal,” “aim,” or “purpose.” Let us call this element the aim. An aim can be an end-point or destination, and aiming means pointing in that direction, so it encompasses both “going west” and “getting to San Francisco.” The aim defines what the organization is trying to achieve with a view to gaining competitive advantage. How we set about achieving the aim depends on relating possible aims to the external opportunities offered by the market and our internal capabilities.
A good strategy creates coherence between our capabilities, the opportunities we can detect, and our aims. Different people have a tendency to start with, and give greater weight to, one or other of these three factors. Where they start from does not matter. Where they end up does. The result must be cohesion. If any one of these factors floats off on its own, dominates thinking at the expense of the others, or is simply mismatched, then in time perdition will follow.
The task of strategy is not completed by the initial act of setting direction. Strategy develops further as action takes place, old opportunities close off, new ones arise, and new capabilities are built. The relationship between strategy development and execution is also reciprocal. Doing strategy means thinking, doing, learning, and adapting. It means going round the loop. The reappraisal of ends and means is continuous.”

Excerto de: Bungay, Stephen. “The Art of Action: Leadership that Closes the Gaps between Plans, Actions and Results”. iBooks.

sábado, setembro 29, 2018

Curiosidade do dia

"They tend to be naïve. They assume that cooperation should be the basis of all social transactions, and they avoid conflict (which means they avoid confronting problems in their relationships as well as at work). They continually sacrifice for others. This may sound virtuous— and it is definitely an attitude that has certain social advantages— but it can and often does become counterproductively one-sided. Because too-agreeable people bend over backwards for other people, they do not stand up properly for themselves. Assuming that others think as they do, they expect— instead of ensuring— reciprocity for their thoughtful actions. When this does not happen, they don’t speak up. They do not or cannot straightforwardly demand recognition. The dark side of their characters emerges, because of their subjugation, and they become resentful.
You might think, “if they loved me, they would know what to do.” That’s the voice of resentment. Assume ignorance before malevolence. No one has a direct pipeline to your wants and needs— not even you. If you try to determine exactly what you want, you might find that it is more difficult than you think. The person oppressing you is likely no wiser than you, especially about you. Tell them directly what would be preferable, instead, after you have sorted it out. Make your request as small and reasonable as possible— but ensure that its fulfillment would satisfy you. In that manner, you come to the discussion with a solution, instead of just a problem. Agreeable, compassionate, empathic, conflict-averse people (all those traits group together) let people walk on them, and they get bitter. They sacrifice themselves for others, sometimes excessively, and cannot comprehend why that is not reciprocated. Agreeable people are compliant, and this robs them of their independence."

Peterson, Jordan B.. "12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos"

sexta-feira, setembro 28, 2018

"manage value in order to make a profit " parte III

Parte I e parte II.
"Increase your firm’s bargaining ability In addition to securing a higher added value, firms may also improve the share of created value that they appropriate by improving their bargaining ability towards buyers and suppliers. In essence, this includes different strategies for increasing price without raising the firm’s added value. This may be accomplished by investing in pricing capability, and commercial decision resources, such as IT-based systems, commercial organization, control systems, and commercial experience that improve the quality of commercial decisions made under uncertainty. It may also be accomplished by the development of particular persuasion resources that allows the firm to negotiate more successfully, and ultimately strike a better deal with buyers and suppliers."

Trecho retirado de "What Is Value and How Is It Managed?" de Niklas L. Hallberg, publicado em Journal of Creating Value 3(2) 173–183, 2017.

quinta-feira, setembro 27, 2018

Fazedores de experiências - a alquimia do futuro

Acho esta estória uma mina de oportunidades para os que tiverem olhos para ver. Diz-se que vamos a caminho de uma economia de experiências:
When Doug Dietz set out to visit a local hospital that had recently installed a new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine, he had little idea of what life was like inside a children’s ward. [Moi ici: BTW, a sua empresa faz isto? Vê os produtos ou serviços a serem usados no contexto pelos seus utilizadores?] A soft-spoken midwesterner with a wry, endearing smile, Doug is a twenty-four-year veteran of General Electric (GE). He works as an industrial designer at GE Healthcare, where he is responsible for the overall machine enclosures, controls, displays, and patient transfer units.
“I see this young family coming down the hallway, and I can tell as they get closer that the little girl is weeping. As they get even closer to me, I notice the father leans down and just goes, ‘Remember we talked about this, you can be brave,’” Doug recalled. As the MRI began to make a terrible noise, the little girl started to cry. Doug later learned that hospitals had routinely resorted to sedating young patients because they became too scared to lie still for long enough. As many as 80 percent of the patients had to undergo general anesthesia.
After witnessing the anxiety and fear his life-saving machine had caused, Doug resolved to redesign the imaging experience. His boss at GE, who had visited Stanford’s while working at Procter & Gamble, suggested that Doug fly to California for a weeklong workshop. Doug knew he couldn’t launch a big research and design (R&D) project to redesign an MRI machine from scratch. But at, he learned a human-centered approach to redesigning the experience. Over the next five years, with a new team, Doug would elicit the views of staff from a local children’s museum, hospital employees, parents, and kids and create many prototypes that would allow his ideas to be seen, touched, and experienced. Testing and evaluation with young patients and interviews with their parents then revealed what worked and what didn’t, helping Doug to generate even more ideas in a continuous cycle.
The result was the Adventure Series, through which young children were transported into an imaginary world where the scanning process was part of an adventure. Hospital wards included “Pirate Island,” “Jungle Adventure,” “Cozy Camp,” and “Coral City.” in one of them, children would climb into the scanner’s transfer unit, which had been painted like a canoe, and then lie down. The normally terrifying “BOOM-BOOM-BOOM” noise of the scanner became part of the adventure—it was the sound of an imaginary canoe taking off. “They tell children to hold still so that they don’t rock the boat, and if you really do hold still, the fish will start jumping over the top of you,” Dietz said. Children loved the experience so much that they begged their parents to let them do it again. Sedation rates went down by 80 percent, while parent satisfaction rose by an astounding 90 percent. A mother reported that her six-year-old daughter, who had just been scanned in the MRI “pirate ship,” came over, tugged on her skirt, and whispered, “Mommy, can we come back tomorrow?”"

Fiquei a pensar, com um pouco de contextualização, com algum investimento no cenário conseguiram aquele:
“Mommy, can we come back tomorrow?”
Em quantos outros sectores um "human-centered approach to redesigning the experience" pode fazer milagres?

Esta manhã, a caminho da camioneta para Bragança passei pela Confeitaria do Bolhão e juro, quase 12 anos depois, ainda me recordei desta cena e deste título: "I'm not an order taker. I'm an experience maker!"

Excerto de “Leap”. de Howard Yu.

Curiosidade do dia

"Finanças não sabem quantos funcionários públicos temos"

Um estado que aspira a controlar todos os aspectos da vida das pessoas e que não sabe tratar da sua própria casa é uma anedota trágica.

"a strategy is a framework for decision making"

“A business is a collective enterprise that has to prosper in a competitive environment. Before the 1970s, business success was widely regarded as a matter of participating in attractive markets. As everybody followed this precept, competition within these markets increased, making them less attractive, and returns became mediocre. To sustain good returns, each business had to work out not only which markets to participate in but how it was going to prevail against the others who were trying to do the same thing. Strategy had arrived.
How are we going to compete?” A good strategy is derived from insight into the basis of competition.
Because it involves preparation, we tend to identify strategy with a plan.
Doing strategy is a craft which, like all practical skills, can only be mastered through practice, by learning from our own and others’ experience.
Rather than a plan, a strategy is a framework for decision making. [Moi ici: Recordar van den Steen] It is an original choice about direction, which enables subsequent choices about action. It prepares the organization to make those choices. Without a strategy, the actions taken by an organization degenerate into arbitrary sets of activity. A strategy enables people to reflect on the activity and gives them a rationale for deciding what to do next. A robust strategy is not dependent on competitors doing any single thing. It does not seek to control an independent will. Instead, it should be a “system of expedients” – with the emphasis on system.
“So strategy becomes “the evolution of an original guiding idea under constantly changing circumstances.” A strategy is thoughtful, purposive action.”

Excerto de: Bungay, Stephen. “The Art of Action: Leadership that Closes the Gaps between Plans, Actions and Results”.

quarta-feira, setembro 26, 2018

Mongo: "a kind of reversion to the pre-industrial world"

Um texto que parece retirado deste blogue. Tudo acerca de Mongo:
"the distinction between B2C and B2B is no longer useful. Instead, we should begin thinking about “B2I,” in which the I stands for individual. Companies succeed or fail these days based on their ability to build and maintain lasting relationships with individuals. We have to earn our customers’ trust or those relationships will not grow.
This reality represents a kind of reversion to the pre-industrial world, when most purchases were personal. In many clothing purchases, for example, the maker was also the seller. Through continued measurements and alterations, the tailor or seamstress came to know the customers: their build, the fabric they preferred, and the way they wanted to look. Mass production and retailing changed all that. Customization disappeared from most purchases as people bought clothing off the rack, with sizes and styles designed to fit many people.
Today, companies are once again shaping their selling experience to fit each customer individually. That means constantly modifying the standard product or service, like the tailors of a bygone era, but now companies add that type of craftsmanship at scale. No matter what their industry, businesspeople are learning to measure and outfit many customers every day, one individual at a time."
Trecho retirado de "Forget B2C and B2B — We Need B2I"

Validar conteúdos - negócio de futuro

Ontem ao ver este tweet:

Pensei logo neste artigo "Is content validation the next growth industry?".

Mas atenção, isto não é exclusivo das redes sociais. Recordo sempre: "O FMI já não vem".

terça-feira, setembro 25, 2018

"manage value in order to make a profit " parte II

Parte I.

Esta parte II serve só para reforçar uma mensagem clássica deste blogue, mas que muita gente ainda não descobriu.

Há dias fiz este comentário no Twitter:

A parte I refere quatro alternativas para a reforçar a procura pela oferta de uma organização:
  1. Diferenciação;
  2. Reduzir o valor da oferta dos concorrentes;
  3. Ter o custo mais baixo; e
  4. Aumentar o custo dos concorrentes.
Competir pela redução do custo da nossa oferta é só uma das possibilidades. E como escrevi aqui há muitos anos, competir pelo preço mais baixo não é para quem quer, é para quem pode.

Qual é a identidade?

Há anos que escrevo aqui que Mongo, um mundo de tribos apaixonadas, não vai ser fácil para as empresas grandes. Recordo, por exemplo:

Uma empresa grande que queira servir a tribo vermelha, vai descobrir que não vai ser bem vista pela tribo azul, e vice-versa. E Mongo não aprecia a simetria: Não é imponentemente que se muda.

Ontem, em linha com isto, descobri este texto "No Matter Your Game, Ultimately This 1 Thing Separates You From The Pack":
""The toughest thing is to have an identity."
It was an insight with implications and value reaching far beyond a single team, pursuit, or time. His point was this - no matter your assets or the odds, there is something deeply powerful about knowing and consciously seeking to cultivate who you are, an investment that pays dividends in how you show up to do whatever it is you do.
The New 21st Century Game Plan: Cultural Clarity
Ever-shifting conditions now characterize every environment in which we work, play, and live, and because they do, adaptability is what we most need. What enables it? While many things certainly come into play, at the heart of any successful team is a strong and clear culture. And at the heart of a robust and vibrant culture is identity, both individual and collective. It sounds simple, but somehow we are missing it.
A 2017 study found that 70 percent of companies will eventually face the impediment of unengaged employees. In that study, a lack of transparency and unclear goals and roles were identified as culprits. But think further, beyond the stats and the typical commentary. Each of these reasons is a symptom of the larger issue of unclear identity."

segunda-feira, setembro 24, 2018

"absolute clarity of purpose"

“Experience suggests,” he wrote, “that every order which can be misunderstood will be.” The intention should convey absolute clarity of purpose by focusing on the essentials and leaving out everything else. The task should not be specified in too much detail. Above all, the senior commander was not to tell his subordinate how he was to accomplish his task, as he would if were to issue an order. The first part of the directive was to give the subordinate freedom to act within the boundaries set by the overall intention. The intention was binding; the task was not. A German officer’s prime duty was to reason why.
It recognized that battle quickly becomes chaotic. It emphasized independence of thought and action, stating that “a failure to act or a delay is a more serious fault than making a mistake in the choice of means.” Every unit was to have its own clearly defined area of responsibility, and the freedom of unit commanders extended to a choice of form as well as means, which depended on specific circumstances. The responsibility of every officer was to exploit their given situation to the benefit of the whole.
The guiding principle of action was to be the intent of the higher commander. ”

Excerto de: Bungay, Stephen. “The Art of Action: Leadership that Closes the Gaps between Plans, Actions and Results”.

"manage value in order to make a profit " parte I

"Entrepreneurs who seek to manage value in order to make a profit should focus on three key items: increasing the added value of the firm, investing in bargaining ability and improving their bargaining position relative to internal stakeholders.
Increase your firm’s added value in the vertical chain. As a base rule, no firm can appropriate more value than its added value. Raising the firm’s added value is, therefore, crucial. There are four basic strategies by which a firm can increase its added value and, thus, its prospect for appropriating value and making a profit. First, the most straightforward strategy is simply to increase the firm’s V by means of differentiation, improving product quality and the match between product attributes and the subjectively perceived needs of consumers (segmentation). Second, a firm may also improve its added value by lowering the V of its competitors. This slightly less intuitive strategy may for example involve creating switching costs for buyers by building platforms with strong network effects. Third, a firm may also increase its added value by being more cost efficient than its competitors (lower C). This may, for example, involve establishing value-based partnerships with suppliers that reduce transaction costs and increase trust and transparency (traditional value-based management). The fourth and final strategy for managing added value is to increase the cost of competitors. Symmetrical to the previous point, this may involve disrupting competitors’ supplier relationships by making upstream supplier industries less efficient. This can, for example, be accomplished by increasing supplier-switching costs by locking them into a certain platform or ecosystem."
Trecho retirado de "What Is Value and How Is It Managed?" de Niklas L. Hallberg, publicado em Journal of Creating Value 3(2) 173–183, 2017.

domingo, setembro 23, 2018

"Competitive Advantages Are Transient"

Competitive Advantages Are Transient.
When industry knowledge matures, copycats will catch up. Because latecomers often inherit a lower cost structure without the legacy assets, they exert competitive pressures on industry pioneers.
It Is Possible to Maintain Your Competitive Advantage
To avert this trajectory requires executives to reassess a firm’s foundational or core knowledge and its maturity. Circumventing the seemingly inevitable begins by acknowledging where we are. Managers must therefore ask themselves what knowledge discipline is the most fundamental to their company. What is the core knowledge of your business? And how mature or widely available is it?
How likely will the core competencies of your business be devalued, and how soon?.
If Leaping Is So Important, When Is the Best Time to Leap?
A performance crisis, whether perceived or real, legitimizes top leaders’ push for an abrupt reorientation. In breaking the grip of the existing organization, top management may simultaneously announce a new strategy and centralize resource allocation to make major investments in new areas or to force divestiture of unpromising projects. But such an abrupt change with such a wide scope also incurs huge risks because it leaves no margin for errors. It is therefore better to experiment, making small bets, while time is still on our side. In fact, one doesn’t need to be a super-forecaster to know where to leap next. The inevitable is often quite apparent. Companies just need to leap while time is still on their side.
Successful executives often exhibit a bias for action. But it’s even more important to separate the noise from the signal that actually pinpoints the glacial movement around us. Listening carefully to the right signals requires patience and discipline. Seizing a window of opportunity, which means not necessarily being the first mover but the first to get it right, takes courage and determination.”

Excerto de “Leap” de Howard Yu.

O papel dos individuos

Ontem ao final da tarde encontrei este tweet:

Isto depois de uma caminhada onde comecei a ler esta tese de doutoramento "Micro-foundations of value- based pricing and selling" de Mario Kienzler, onde sublinhei:
"it is not enough to enable customer value creation, firms also have to take value capture seriously. Value capture is defined as the processes that allow firms to claim some of the value created in exchange relationships. For supplier firms, value capture means making a profit from enabling customer value creation.
value-based selling has on average a positive relation with performance at the level of the salesperson and value-based pricing with performance at the level of the product and the firm.
since “organizations are systems of coordinated action among individuals and groups whose preferences, information, interests, or knowledge differ”, it is germane to recognize how these differences influence firm performance.
Indeed, evidence suggests that individuals have a sizable impact on firm performance
If one accepts that organizational activities, routines, capabilities and processes tell only part of the story, then the individuals within organizations become an important unit of analysis."

sábado, setembro 22, 2018

Acerca das mudanças

Volta e meia procuro esta imagem e não a consigo localizar. Agora que a encontrei fica aqui para utilização futura.

sexta-feira, setembro 21, 2018

"You have to trust in something"

"This, according to Steve Jobs, is the heart of his approach to making decisions:
You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something--your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
Steve Jobs was aware of something special when he made his decisions: He knew that he didn't know everything.
As leaders, we often feel pressure to be the smartest person in the room--to know about every move being made, and every piece of information pertinent to our organization. However, this is incredibly unrealistic--no one person can know everything there is to know about an organization in today's increasingly complex and volatile business environment."
 Aquele "You have to trust in something" é aquilo a que há muitos anos aqui chamei, influenciado pelo Paulo Vaz, de "optimismo não documentado", ou que costumo referir nas empresas como: "perder o pé":

Fortnite e Mongo

Pelos títulos, tenho apanhado cada vez a referência ao nome "Fortnite". Como só jogo Sudoku, problema meu certamente, nunca tive curiosidade de ler algo mais sobre o Fortnite, embora os títulos fossem suficientes para me aperceber que se trata de um jogo muito popular.

Entretanto, na semana passada fui levar o meu filho mais novo a Tikrit, para o recomeço dos seus estudos de Cinema, durante a viagem contou-me uma particularidade do Fortnite que me surpreendeu e que logo cataloguei no domínio de Mongo.

- Os criadores do Fortnite têm ganho muito, muito dinheiro.

- O que é o Fortnite?
- É um jogo que as pessoas podem jogar online de forma gratuita!
- Espera aí! SE o jogo é gratuito como é que fazem dinheiro?
- Fazem dinheiro porque as pessoas compram roupas, compram danças, ...
- Ah! Compram "peças" para terem mais chances de ganhar, como mais armas, mais balões de oxigénio, vida extra, ...
- Não! O que as pessoas compram não tem nada a ver com o terem mais ou menos possibilidades de ganhar o jogo. o que as pessoas compram é só para show-off
- Get out of here! Não acredito!

Claro que o moço tinha razão
"Within nine months of its debut last September, the free-to-play game had attracted 125 million registered users, more than 40 million of whom play every month, from sixth graders to pro gamers to NBA all-stars. Meanwhile, users are popping into Fortnite’s in-game Item Shop to buy outfits for their survivalist characters to wear, as well as emotes (funny dances and gestures) for them to perform. As a result, Epic Games has reportedly already generated more than $1 billion in revenue from Fortnite, which—once again—costs nothing to play."
Contou-me o meu filho que volta e meia, Bruxelas entra em campo e proíbe jogo ou aplica multas por causa de ser um jogo e haver muito dinheiro envolvido. Até mencionou um caso recente que não retive. Com o Fortnite é um jogo grátis, ponto. E o que as pessoas compram não é para o jogo ponto! É para alimentar o nosso lado biológico/psicológico assente em danças nupciais.

Lembram-se dos economistas que defendem modelos económicos baseados no pressuposto da racionalidade dos humanos? Gente que nunca ouviu falar da Little Miss Matched, que descobri aqui,  ou do Fortnite. Quanto menos racionais, mais Mongo faz sentido, mais a PME tem vantagem, mais a customização faz sentido e tem mercado.

Trecho retirado de "If you think Fortnite is just a video game, you’re missing the big picture"

quinta-feira, setembro 20, 2018

"Specifying too much detail actually shakes confidence and creates uncertainty "

Uma delícia estes textos de von Molkte, escritos em 1869 e tão actuais.
“In 1869, von Moltke issued a document called Guidance for Large Unit Commanders. It was to become seminal, laying out principles of higher command which remained unchanged for 70 years, by which time the Prussian Army had become the German Army. Some passages are echoed in the doctrine publications of US and NATO forces to the present day. It contains von Moltke’s solution to the specific problem he identified in the Memoire, and directly addressed the general problem posed by the greatly increased scale of modern warfare: how to direct an organization too large for a single commander to control in person. As such, it is probably the first document of modern times to define the role of the senior executive in a large corporation.
What is of interest here is the approach to command and control. The emphasis is on the former rather than the latter
With darkness all around you, you have to develop a feeling for what is right, often based on little more than guesswork, and issue orders in the knowledge that their execution will be hindered by all manner of random accidents and unpredictable obstacles. In this fog of uncertainty, the one thing that must be certain is your own decision… the surest way of achieving your goal is through the single-minded pursuit of simple actions
There are numerous situations in which an officer must act on his own judgment. For an officer to wait for orders at times when none can be given would be quite absurd. But as a rule, it is when he acts in line with the will of his superior that he can most effectively play his part in the whole scheme of things.
not commanding more than is strictly necessary, nor planning beyond the circumstances you can foresee. In war, circumstances change very rapidly, and it is rare indeed for directions which cover a long period of time in a lot of detail to be fully carried out.
Specifying too much detail actually shakes confidence and creates uncertainty if things do not turn out as anticipated. Going into too much detail makes a senior commander a hostage to fortune, because in a rapidly changing environment,
In any case, a leader who believes that he can make a positive difference through continual personal interventions is usually deluding himself. He thereby takes over things other people are supposed to be doing, effectively dispensing with their efforts, and multiplies his own tasks to such an extent that he can no longer carry them all out.
The demands made on a senior commander are severe enough as it is. It is far more important that the person at the top retains a clear picture of the overall situation than whether some particular thing is done this way or that.
The higher the level of command, the shorter and more general the orders should be. The next level down should add whatever further specification it feels to be necessary, and the details of execution are left to verbal instructions or perhaps a word of command. This ensures that everyone retains freedom of movement and decision within the bounds of their authority."

Excerto de: Bungay, Stephen. “The Art of Action: Leadership that Closes the Gaps between Plans, Actions and Results”.

"an era of hyperpersonalization"

Um título que é a cara deste blogue e de uma das mensagens que aqui se veiculam, "The Industrial Era Is Coming To An End. Here's What's Next".

O que defendemos aqui acerca de Mongo, acerca da do fim do modelo do século XX, acerca do fim do modelo da massa, acerca do fim do modelo da homogeneização?
"The industrial era model, from the factory to the classroom, was built for scale. It worked for 200 years.But something new is replacing it.
Big transitions are fascinating examples of how desperately companies try to hold onto the past; driving by using their rearview mirror. That never works. Case in point, the transition out of the industrial era.
According to research done by Accenture, 93% of chief strategy officers across all industries believe that their company will be disrupted within five years. And yet, only 20% feel they are ready for it.
The bottom line is that we are living through a transition from the industrial era, in which scale meant depersonalization and delivering one size fits all products, to an era of hyperpersonalization in which every product will have to fit the unique needs of each consumer. The Answer to what's next is that we are entering the era of individualization where every product and service is not just customized but built to the specific needs of each person.
It may be hard to buy into that after having grown up in the era of industry, but companies that don't get that, be they in insurance, banking, healthcare, education, manufacturing, retail, or any other industry will soon find themselves at the helm of the past"

quarta-feira, setembro 19, 2018

"psychological ownership"

"psychological ownership. That’s when consumers feel so invested in a product that it becomes an extension of themselves.
Companies that encourage psychological ownership can entice customers to buy more products, at higher prices, and even to willingly promote those products among their friends. But if businesses disrespect this feeling, sales can suffer."
Em "How Customers Come to Think of a Product as an Extension of Themselves" um texto sobre como promover a "psychological ownership":

  • "One way is to allow customers a hand in forming the product"
  • "Businesses should strive to make products customizable. When consumers can personalize products, they buy more and are happy to recommend those products to friends."
  • "Building intimate knowledge - This occurs when customers believe they know every facet of a product or brand so well that they have a special, unique relationship with it."
"Companies legally own their brand, but their most devoted customers may own it psychologically. Businesses should cultivate this feeling—and then respect it."

E um bocado de pensamento estratégico?

"Almost every leader wants to make more time for strategic thinking. In one survey of 10,000 senior leaders, 97% of them said that being strategic was the leadership behavior most important to their organization’s success.
And yet in another study, a full 96% of the leaders surveyed said they lacked the time for strategic thinking."

Claro que é mais fácil pedir ao governo de turno uma protecção suplementar qualquer.

Aposto nisto que se segue:
"What seems to really power creative thinking, according to a Stanford University study, is activities such as taking a short walk, especially outside. But that behavior may well be penalized in a corporate milieu that prizes face time."
Sugiro também, antes da reflexão estratégica, uma meia-hora de aguarelas ou lápis de cor num desenho abstracto. É magia!
"First, it’s important to remember that strategic thinking doesn’t necessarily require large amounts of time; it’s not about taking endless sabbaticals or going on leadership retreats. ... It takes zero time to have an innovative idea or to make a decision, but if you don’t have psychic space, those things are not necessarily impossible, but they’re suboptimal.”[Moi ici: A importância do distanciamento, do fim de semana, das férias, dos retiros]

Trecho retirado de "If Strategy Is So Important, Why Don’t We Make Time for It?"

terça-feira, setembro 18, 2018

Atirar recursos para cima de problemas para salvar o coiro

Esta manhã durante o noticiário das 07h00, já num semáforo, ouvi que tinham metido 100 precários na Segurança Social para ver se reduziam os tempos de resposta de alguns job-to-be-done tais como:

  • responder a uma reclamação - 1 ano
  • trata de um reforma - 9 meses
Vários entrevistados referiam que meter 100 pessoas a mais era irrelevante porque não se mexiam nos gargalos.

Cada vez menos empresas fazem isto, porque ter pessoal é caro e o dinheiro não nasce nas árvores, mas o estado continua a fazê-lo e, sinceramente, não sei se algum vez o deixará de fazer, porque é sempre mais fácil subir a carga fiscal para pagar a mais funcionários. A técnica é: perante um problema lançar dinheiro para cima do problema e esperar que a coisa se resolva, ou pelo menos salvar o coiro porque se fez alguma coisa e ninguém pode dizer que nada foi feito ou tentado.

Uma empresa perante um desafio como este actuaria da seguinte forma:

  • escolher um job-to-be-done concreto;
  • estabelecer um desafio, um critério de sucesso, por exemplo responder a uma reclamação em 3 meses;
  • escolher um líder de projecto e uma equipa que integra quem participa nas várias fases de resolução de uma reclamação (no estado estas equipas têm tendência a ter 15 a 20 membros, o que é um convite ao insucesso. Nas empresas a regra é 7 +/- 2 membros)
  • descrever o processo actual num fluxograma;
  • pegar nas últimas 100 reclamações fechadas e registar no fluxograma quanto tempo cada uma demorou em cada etapa;
  • normalmente o principio de Pareto funciona e descobre-se que 2 ou 3 passos ocupam 70 a 80% do tal ano de espera para dar uma resposta;
  • então, o desafio deixa de ser responder a uma reclamação em 3 meses mas foca-se em: reduzir o tempo de fluxo nas etapas X, Y e Z em pelo menos T dias;
  • perante situações concretas, pessoas com experiência sairão com sugestões sobre o que mudar nas práticas actuais para atingir o objectivo;
  • depois, há que testar, implementar as sugestões e verificar se são eficazes, ou não.
Claro que isto dificilmente funcionará no estado. Quem protesta contra o jugo fiscal é logo apelidado de querer transformar isto numa Somália. No entanto, à custa de nunca se reduzir o número de pessoas no estado, o dinheiro é cada vez mais para pagar salários e não para proporcionar os serviços que supostamente justificam a existência dos postos de trabalho no estado.

"a willingness to show independence of mind and challenge authority"

O meu parceiro das conversas oxigenadoras começou por me dizer, logo no primeiro almoço, que desafiava as pessoas da sua equipa a desobedecer a ordens, a descobrirem que há uma forma alternativa de fazer melhor.

Entretanto, os prussianos aprenderam:
“Prince Friedrich Karl of Prussia, the nephew of the future Kaiser Wilhelm I, and a practicing soldier. In a series of essays published in the 1850s and 1860s, he reinforced the growing idea that what made the Prussian officer corps distinctive, and gave it an edge, was a willingness to show independence of mind and challenge authority. In an essay dating from 1860 entitled “The Origins and Development of the Spirit of the Prussian Officer,” he tells the story of a staff officer dutifully carrying out an order without question, only to be pulled up short by a high-ranking general with the words: “The King made you a staff officer because you should know when not to obey.” In contrast to other European officer corps, Prince Friedrich Karl comments, the Prussians do not allow themselves to be hemmed in with rules and regulations, but give rein to the imagination and exploit every opportunity opened up by unexpected success. Such behavior would not be possible if senior commanders were to demand full control over every unit.”

Excerto de: Bungay, Stephen. “The Art of Action: Leadership that Closes the Gaps between Plans, Actions and Results”. iBooks.

segunda-feira, setembro 17, 2018

"helping them break through the limitation of this thinking"

"There is a difference between price and cost. Price is what you pay for something, and the cost is representative of the value (of which price is only part of the equation). Some people prefer to use price as the value, eliminating all other factors from consideration. Helping clients to recognize and address the other factors can shift them away from looking only at price.
Sometimes ... you have to engage your client about what else they value outside of price, or you have to prompt them with the value by addressing it directly. You have to point them at the additional costs they are going to incur by being cheap, things like missed deadlines, rework, reordering, waiting for product, additional labor, poor speed to market, falling behind their competition, more labor, disappointed clients, lost clients or customers, poor experience, frustrated internal employees, loss of reputation and on and on.
When your dream client weighs price more heavily than other factors that are equally—or more—important, you are responsible for helping them break through the limitation of this thinking. You are also responsible for not allowing them to underinvest in the results they real need—and avoiding the higher price they pay by being cheap."

Trechos retirados de "Helping Your Clients Understand Value"

Altos e baixos

Ontem, durante uma caminhada matinal de cerca de 7,7 km comecei a ler "Leal: “How to thrive in a world where everything can be copied" de Howard Yu.

De rajada li quase 1/8 do livro (pensei logo em 60 km de caminhadas para o completar) e encontrei uma série de coisas interessantes. No entanto, gostaria de começar por um relato, o relato da experiência de vida do autor, natural de Hong Kong:
“my fascination—or perhaps, obsession—with industry dynamics and the constant displacement of early pioneers goes back much further to a time before I thought of joining academia. Born and raised in Hong Kong, I watched the inevitable migration of knowledge and capital. I remember my elementary school teachers describing the economy of Hong Kong as an “entrepôt,” a term the British applied to my city when it served as the only window between China and the rest of the world. Virtually all merchandise and goods—cheese, chocolate, automobiles, raw cotton, and rice—had to pass through Hong Kong on their way in and out of China.
With its low labor costs, Hong Kong rose as a major manufacturing hub for labor-intensive industries. The once-sleepy fishing village became “the Pearl of the East,” a shining example of economic development. By 1972, Hong Kong had replaced Japan as the world’s largest toy exporter, with garment and apparel manufacturing forming the backbone of our economy. Li Ka-shing, one of the richest men in Asia with an estimated net worth of $30 billion, started out as a factory man, a supplier of hand-knit plastic flowers, before he moved into property development, container port operation, mass transportation, retailing, telecommunications, and much else.
But in the early 1980s, Hong Kong’s manufacturing cluster imploded. Factories moved to mainland China and, with them, manufacturing jobs. They first moved across the border to Shenzhen, then to Guangdong Province, and then to the rest of China. Unemployment in Hong Kong soared, crushing the optimism that had characterized residents for so many years. “In the year of my graduation from college, my classmates were speaking of the need to acquire new skills to remain self-sufficient. That was before we had landed our first jobs. To survive, we told ourselves, we had to reinvent.
And Hong Kong did just that. It cast aside its former manufacturing and colonial identity and reinvented itself as a financial and logistics hub for the region. That reinvention of Hong Kong was where I grew up. It happened at the time when policy makers throughout the world were singularly praising outsourcing as “efficient.” It all happened before any free-market economist became alarmed that emerging market firms might one day catch up with established ones in the West. It was an era of unbridled trust in globalization. But for us Hong Kongers, including myself, it was the age of distrust. Everyone I spoke to yearned for stability and continuity. I wanted to find out how to achieve just that.”
Por cá a maioria das pessoas associa os altos e baixos da economia, a azar, a ignorância ou a falcatrua. No entanto, a economia é uma continuação da biologia, com os seus altos e baixos mesmo para quem trabalha bem. Em vez de confiar que o ovo vai estar no cu da galinha, em vez de confiar que os planetas se alinharão quando for preciso, é preciso tentar estar um passo à frente e, mesmo assim perceber que pode não ser suficiente.

domingo, setembro 16, 2018

Tudo a conjugar-se para asneira da grossa (parte II)

Parte I.
A gap in knowledge prompts the collection of more data. ... Seeking to improve its information-gathering and processing capability, the company became more complex, adding committees and overlays, some permanent, some ad hoc. ... So it pumped more data through its existing systems. No one took a decision to do so. It was just the natural result of how the organization as a system was programmed. ... the data flow paralyzed decision making, because no matter how much there was, there was always more to obtain. Meetings were about analyzing problems rather than resolving them.
A gap in alignment is often indicated by top-level frustration and lower-level confusion. ... Top-level managers felt increasing pressure to specify exactly what they wanted people to do. They began to stress actions rather than outcomes, in the one case by spelling things out “in painful detail” and in the other through SOPs and central processes.
A gap in effects is typically responded to by an increase in control. The favorite control mechanism is metrics. As time goes on, the emphasis is switched from outputs to inputs, so that in the end everybody’s actions are detailed, analyzed, and controlled by a few people who look to everyone else as if they are seeking to become omniscient about the world outside and omnipotent in the world inside. Controls have a cost. Overhead builds up around the controllers, and the reporting burden increases for the controlled.
These natural reactions do not simply fail to solve the problem, they make it worse. Because the cause-and-effect cycles are systemic and reciprocal, all three reactions interact with and exacerbate each other."
Quantas empresas caem nesta armadilha?

Lembram-se dos relatos dos bombeiros em Monchique, parados enquanto populares combatiam fogos a poucos metros? Parados porque não tinham autorização superior para agir!

Há muitos anos ouvi falar em Blitzkrieg, como "Guerra Relâmpago", e sempre pensei que tinha a ver com surpresa e velocidade. Só há cerca de 10 anos aprendi com Boyd o que estava por trás da Blitzkrieg. A origem da Blitzkrieg assenta lá atrás no tempo, quando os exércitos de Napoleão limparam o sebo ao exército prusfsiano, uma eficaz máquina de combate da guerra anterior.

Uma catástrofe militar tem o poder de acabar com direitos adquiridos e colocar como objectivo número um a sobrevivência da comunidade. Isso, liberta as pessoas para colocar tudo em causa, até a impossibilidade de militares do povo poderem subir na hierarquia militar até ao topo por não serem de boas famílias.

Excerto de: Bungay, Stephen. “The Art of Action: Leadership that Closes the Gaps between Plans, Actions and Results”.

O Espírito Santo providenciará uma resposta!

Tenho um tio com mais de 90 anos que é padre.

Há anos perguntei-lhe como é que a ICAR iria resolver o problema da falta de vocações sacerdotais. Eu a pensar que o tinha entalado recebi uma resposta que me desconsertou:

- O Espírito Santo providenciará uma resposta!

E quantos mais anos passam mais eu acho a resposta cheia de sabedoria.

Reconheço que em certa medida é o que eu escrevo aqui quando falo da tolice que é acreditar que os modelos de funcionamento da economia, que hoje nos são familiares, têm centenas de anos, mas parecem ser eternos. Mentira!

Talvez por isso, em inglês se diga que:

- Trends are for suckers!

Muita gente faz previsões assumindo que uma variável muda e que todas as outras se mantêm constantes. Por exemplo, assumir que vão faltar empregos por causa da ascensão das máquinas e considerar como constantes aquilo que é variável:

  • demografia; e
  • Mongo com a sua exigência de mais diversidade, de mais customização.
E esquecer que o emprego, algo que nos parece tão natural como a chuva ou a noite e o dia, é uma criação recente. E como sublinha Nassim Taleb com o efeito Lindy, é mais fácil que o livro em papel ainda exista daqui a 100 anos do que um iPad. Se a humanidade prosperou durante milhares de anos sem empregos e sem escola pública poderá prosperar outros tantos depois dessas realidades serem abandonadas.

Escrevo isto depois da leitura de "A World With Fewer Babies Spells Economic Trouble". Sigo aqui no blogue há muitos anos uma postura do contra. Não creio que seja uma catástrofe, um futuro onde os humanos têm menos filhos, se calhar investem mais nesses filhos, se calhar esses filhos serão vistos pela sociedade em geral como algo escasso e, por isso, de maior valor. Escrevi aqui algures que um dia seríamos (os nossos descendentes) todos tratados como Figos.

Catástrofe será caminhar para um mundo com uma população mais envelhecida, com menos gente nova, e não fazer nenhuma alteração no funcionamento das sociedades por causa de direitos adquiridos.

Este trecho:
"4. What happens when a country’s population stops growing?
Its economy can still expand, but the pace over the long run would be limited to the speed at which productivity -- output per hour worked -- is rising. Since the 2007-2009 recession, productivity gains have been relatively meager, making low fertility rates an added problem. If fewer people work, there’s less income to go around. Fewer workers also mean less tax revenue for retirement and health-care programs. And that means governments might have to cut benefits, raise taxes or borrow more, pitting the old and young against each other."
Faz-me lembrar uma reunião de condomínio recente. Um casal de idade, ambos reformados, protestavam contra o valor mensal a pagar pelo condomínio. A empresa que gere o condomínio explicou cada um dos items do orçamento, chamou a atenção para as obras que iriam ser feitas e as propostas que tinham recebido. Então, o casal propôs uma medida para reduzir os custos do condomínio, cortar a luz na garagem do prédio.

O que fará o Espírito Santo neste mundo secular?

Há uma citação que aprendi a valorizar: "nature evolves away from constraints, not toward goals"

Uns hão-de querer manter direitos adquiridos, outros acharão abominável fazer como fizeram este mês os japoneses e marcar a idade da reforma para os 70 anos, no fim algo há-de levar-nos para um equilíbrio.

Lembro-me de um comentador na oposição no tempo da troika dizer que querer ter défice zero, cortar cerca de 4,5 mil milhões de euros, era impossível. Agora, apoiante da geringonça, acha normal apontar a défice zero. Se antes achava o investimento público intocável, agora nem fala dele.

Como indivíduos, somos um resultado fantástico de milhares de milhões de anos de evolução, adaptamos-nos a tudo, com maior ou menor dor. Quando a necessidade se impuser acabaremos por chegar a uma alternativa sustentável.

sábado, setembro 15, 2018

O outro lado das tabelas

Ontem à noite ouvia a RTP a referir que a evolução dos custos laborais em Portugal tinha sido uma das baixas da Europa e estranhei. Agora, pesquisei no Google e a primeira notícia que aparece sobre o tema é "Salários em Portugal sobem abaixo da média da UE", onde leio:
"Portugal é o quarto país da União Europeia (UE) onde os custos com o trabalho - um indicador onde também são contabilizados os salários - menos subiram."
Na semana que passou, em duas empresas diferentes, em diferentes zonas do país, discutimos sobre um factor crítico: a falta de pessoas para contratar.

Por isso, estranhei os números da RTP. Como imaginei que eram números do Eurostat fui à fonte pesquisar. Encontrei isto:

E continuei a não desistir. Há aqui algo que falta explicar.

E, mergulhando no documento vê-se algo que o jornalismo não refere... será que ainda existem jornalistas?

Atenção à figura que se segue:

A RTP e Correio da manhã falam dos números globais para a economia como um todo. Ora na economia como um todo existem dois mundos à parte: A economia dos negócios e a economia ligada ao estado e imagino que também ao sector social.

Assim, na página seguinte do Eurostat aparece outra tabela que separa os dois mundos:

E agora reparem na diferença dos dois mundos em Portugal:

Deu-me então para comparar a evolução dos custos laborais dos vários países no mundo dos negócios e cheguei a isto:
Engraçado como as coisas mudam: Portugal está com um crescimento acima da média. Em 28 países só temos 12 à frente. E mais, olhando para a composição da velha CEE com 12 países verificamos que o país da Europa Ocidental onde os custos laborais mais crescem é ... Portugal. E tirando a Grécia, que está sair do efeito de um rolo compressor tremendo, e os países que se livraram do comunismo, o país onde os custos laborais mais crescem é ... Portugal.

Por que é que os so-called "jornalistas" não fazem esta análise?

Imagino que para não prejudicarem a imagem do governo... porque há o outro lado das tabelas. O que esta análise revela é a austeridade no estado.

Victor Frankenstein e Mongo

A propósito de "Repair Café: transformar o velho em novo em comunidade", vejo aqui outro sintoma de Mongo. E vejo mais, vejo o fermentar de uma mentalidade que foi eliminada com a ascensão do modelo do século XX.

O século XX assim como criou o emprego, assim como criou a produção em massa, criou o sentimento de massa, de manada, em que todos comprávamos as mesmas coisas e víamos os mesmos filmes. Quem decidia o que íamos comprar, o que ia estar disponível na prateleira? O produtor.

Assim, hoje, temos enraizado na mente que quando precisamos de algo vamos a uma prateleira, escolhemos o que há e compramos. Acredito que em Mongo o modelo será outro. Em Mongo ninguém quer ser igual a ninguém. Por isso, cada um vai desenvolver uma ideia mais ou menos aproximada do que precisa (o job-to-be-done) e irá a um artesão do bairro, da cidade, da região e vai expor a sua ideia, receber sugestões (estou a escrever isto e a lembrar-me do "Pimp My Ride" - levo carro velho, digo o que procuro, mas estou aberto a sugestões dos artesãos com quem interajo e que são muito mais especialistas do que eu sobre materiais, tecnologia).

Há dias o amigo Hélder no FB protestava porque tinha um PC com ano e meio e já estava meio "pôdre". Em Mongo, ninguém compra PC's novos. Em Mongo todos fazem como o ET do filme com o mesmo nome. Pega-se no PC velho, na carcaça, e vai-se a um artesão (como nos anos 70/80 ia com o meu amigo André a esta casa comprar componentes eléctricos para montar rádios ou detectores de metais)

E o artesão comporta-se como um alfaiate (tenho uma vaga ideia, mas confesso que não sei se estou a inventar, de quando tinha 6 anos e morava em São João da Madeira a minha mãe levar-me a um alfaiate que havia no rés-do-chão do meu prédio por causa de um fato para um casamento): o cliente explica o problema, explica o desafio, explica os desejos e necessidades. O artesão pega no portfólio de materiais e de trabalhos feitos e lança possibilidades. Chegam a uma primeira versão de entendimento do que se pretende, estabelecem um preço e combinam timing para o trabalho final e para visitas de revisão.

O artesão será uma espécie de Victor Frankenstein - misturará o novo com o velho, muitas vezes sem desenho, porque não faz tenção de repetir para uma produção em série e porque é um artista que se deixa levar pelo que acordou com o cliente e o feeling do momento.

quinta-feira, setembro 13, 2018

"too much bread?" (parte II)

Parte I.

"If “the essence of strategy is choosing what not to do,” as Michael Porter famously said in a seminal HBR article, then the essence of execution is truly not doing it. That sounds simple, but it’s surprisingly hard for organizations to kill existing initiatives, even when they don’t align with new strategies. Instead, leaders keep layering on initiatives, which can lead to severe overload at levels below the executive team.
Sometimes leaders are unaware of all the initiatives under way and their impact on the organization. In other cases organizational politics conspires to let initiatives continue long after they should have run their course. Either way, overload can result in costly productivity and quality problems and employee burnout."
Há dias escrevia aqui:
"E para deixar tudo claro, não faz mal nenhum explicitar o que não é o nosso negócio"
Agora encontro:
"Establishing overall priorities without deciding what to cut.
Leadership teams often engage in prioritization exercises that define and communicate where people should focus their energy. However, they undermine those efforts if they don’t also do the hard work of explicitly deciding what trade-offs to make and what has to stop."
Trechos retirados de "Too Many Projects"

Tudo a conjugar-se para asneira da grossa

“Clausewitz describes the effects of friction in terms of two gaps. One gap, caused by our trying to act on an unpredictable external environment of which we are always somewhat ignorant, is between “desired outcomes and actual outcomes (as in the example of the simple journey of the overoptimistic traveler). Another gap, caused by internal friction, is the gap between the plans and the actions of an organization. It comes from the problem of information access, transfer, and processing in which many independent agents are involved (as in his example of a battalion being made up of many individuals, any one of whom could make the plan go awry).
The problem of strategy implementation is often reduced to one issue: the gap between plans and actions. How do we get an organization actually to carry out what has been agreed? However, because of the nature of the environment, even if the organization executes the plan, there is no guarantee that the actual outcomes will match the desired ones; that is, the ones the plan was intended to achieve. The two gaps interact to exacerbate each other. In both cases there is uncertainty between inputs and outputs. The problem of achieving an organization’s goals is not merely one of getting it to act, but of getting it to act in such a way that what is actually achieved is what was wanted in the first place. We have to link the internal and external aspects of friction and overcome them both at the same time. There is a third gap, the one between the two, which we must also overcome
So these two gaps collapse together, leaving three in all: the gaps between plans, actions, and the outcomes they achieve.
In the case of all three elements – plans, actions, and outcomes – there is a difference between the actual and the ideal. The ultimate evidence for this is that the actual outcomes differ from the desired ones. That means that the actions actually taken were different from those we should have taken. This in turn may have been because we planned the wrong actions (as in the case of the traveler) or because although we planned the right actions, people did not actually do what we intended (as in the case of the confused battalion). Or it may have been because of both. The causes of those shortfalls are different in each case.
And even if we make good plans based on the best information available at the time and people do exactly what we plan, the effects of our actions may not be the ones we wanted because the environment is nonlinear and hence is fundamentally unpredictable. As time passes the situation will change, chance events will occur, other agents such as customers or competitors will take actions of their own, and we will find that what we do is only one factor among several which create a new situation. Even if the situation is stable, some of the effects of our actions will be unintended. Reality will change...
So in making strategy happen, far from simply addressing the narrowly defined implementation gap between plans and action, we have to overcome three. Those responsible for giving direction face the specific problem of creating robust plans, and those responsible for taking action face the specific problem of achieving results in markets that can react unpredictably.
These real uncertainties produce general psychological uncertainty. We do not like uncertainty. It makes us feel uncomfortable, so we try to eliminate it.
[Moi ici: Isto gera uma tendência para mais informação, mais detalhe, mais controlo, mais procedimentos, mais...] show a consistent drive toward more detail in information, instructions, and control, on the part of both individuals and the organization as a whole. This response is not only a natural reaction for us as individuals, it is what the processes and structures of most organizations are set up to facilitate."
Tudo a conjugar-se para asneira da grossa, para microgestão, para big data...

Excerto de: Bungay, Stephen. “The Art of Action: Leadership that Closes the Gaps between Plans, Actions and Results”

quarta-feira, setembro 12, 2018

Para reflexão

Quando a fantochada de 2 + 2 = 22 é levada avante começam os jogos:
"Exposing negative statistics about immigration sparked angry accusations of bigotry"
"sometimes values such as academic freedom and free speech come into conflict with other values to which Penn State was committed
E tudo isto se transforma num sketch dos Monty Python.

Exportações YTD - 7 meses de 2018

Continuado daqui.
Um panorama completamente diferente. Os que só olham para os números vão dizer que a situação melhorou. Alguém como eu, com outra perspectiva, olha para a evolução do Parcial I e percebe que há algo a mudar numa direcção negativa.

terça-feira, setembro 11, 2018


Quando andava na 1ª classe já tínhamos aquela indefinição de saber se éramos 9 ou 10 milhões de portugueses a viver neste rectângulo. Agora, temos a previsão de lá para 2050 poderemos rondar os 7,5 milhões. Ou seja, um mercado doméstico a encolher.

Ou seja, as empresas que trabalham para o mercado interno vão ter de trabalhar cada vez mais só para não encolherem, ou para encolherem menos que o mercado.

Não é só o número de potenciais clientes que mudam, são também as suas expectativas, os seus sonhos, as suas necessidades. Por exemplo:
"The American population – the number of consumers – is growing less than 1% per annually. No product manager, no business manager, no CEO is going to be satisfied with revenue growth of less than 1% per year.
“Less population will require fewer stores and less expansion, meaning that existing stores must become more productive,” Sway advises. “This sets up a perfect storm considering the increase in competition from online shopping.”
the number of adult Americans in the middle-class, defined as people living in households that have incomes from two-thirds to double the national median, has fallen from 61% in 1971 to 50% in 2015. And their share of the nation’s aggregate income has declined precipitously, from 62% in 1970 to 43% in 2014.
These middle-class households simply have less money to spend on necessities, let alone discretionary purchases.
While the middle-class sinks lower, the fortunes of those at the top of the income pyramid are rising. They are taking an inordinate amount of the nation’s income, rising from 29% in 1970 to 49% in 2014, and accumulating a greater share of wealth, more than seven-times that of middle-class households in 2013,
One in five Americans live in a household with more than one generation – a record 60.6 million people, according to Sway, including about 40% of Millennials (18-to-34) who live with their parents or other family members, the largest percentage since 1940.
“ There are now more households with dogs than there are with children, 43 million vs. 33 million .”
“When Millennials do start having children, the numbers aren’t expected to surge as much as with prior generations,” Sway says. “Businesses depending on kids would be well advised to keep an eye on this birth population slowdown.”
By 2020 the Labor Department predicts that women’s labor force participation will be lower than in 1990.
“Since women account for about 80% of all consumer-purchasing decisions, reducing their presence and power in the economy may not bode well for retailers,” Sway says.
Further Asians are going to be the biggest in-bound ethnic group. “Asians are now on target to surpass Hispanics as the largest foreign-born group in American by 2055.” Today they make up less than 6% of the U.S. population."
Trechos retirados de "9 Demographic Trends Shaping Retail's Future"

Sem fugir do hollowing nada feito

Ler "O elevado preço das promoções" e recordar os marcadores "hollowing" e "radio clube".

Sugiro um olhar para este trecho:
"Urge recalibrar as expectativas dos clientes, com benefícios para todos, através de medidas como as seguintes:
  • Reduzir a frequência das promoções, idealmente através da sua calendarização, tornando-as previsíveis para os clientes;
  • Aumentar a seletividade, reduzindo as categorias abrangidas e direcionando as promoções ao nível da loja ou mesmo do cliente individual (utilizando informação detalhada e competências de analytics);
  • Reduzir a dimensão e ritmo de redução nas promoções, mas ajustando também os preços iniciais."
Há muitos anos, ainda na primeira metade da década de 90, o mundo da Qualidade começou a falar no modelo de Kano:
Aquilo que num momento é atraente e faz a delícia de um cliente, passado algum tempo passa a ser trivial, expectável e básico. Com o tempo, aquilo que gerava satisfação, aquilo que era crítico, passou a ser algo que nunca gerará satisfação, só insatisfação se as coisas correrem mal e indiferença se as coisas correrem bem - recordar o meu velho exemplo da EDP - A ausência de insatisfação não gera satisfação!

Voltemos ao trecho citado acima. Alguma das medidas passa por melhorar, diferenciar a oferta?

Portanto, por muito que tentem implementar as medidas acima haverá sempre um concorrente disposto a ganhar menos e a manter ou reforçar a promoção. Num país de incumbentes com a rédea solta, ou seja, sem a protecção da UE, os incumbentes pediriam uma ajudinha às elites que estabeleceriam barreiras à entrada e facilitariam um conluio de preços. Só há uma alternativa viável para fugir ao mundo das promoções: investir na diferenciação da oferta. Ou seja, fugir do hollowing.

Como não recordar os protestos da Centromarca?

segunda-feira, setembro 10, 2018

Não são parafusos, são pessoas

Um tema que os professores Guedes Miranda e Vitorino me deram a conhecer quando andava no 10º e 11º anos de escolaridade: o indeterminismo. A incapacidade de ter à priori toda a informação, mas mesmo que a tivéssemos teríamos de viver com o facto da mesma acção não gerar os mesmos efeitos ao longo do tempo. Einstein, da velha guarda, dizia que Deus não joga aos dados.
“War is an environment, he argued, in which getting simple things to happen is very difficult and getting difficult things to happen is impossible.
The gap is described as the difference between what we know and what we can do, as the gulf between planning and execution
It is important here to understand the nature of Clausewitz’s disagreement with von Bülow, and others of the school of scientific generalship. They too recognized that chance and uncertainty played a role in war. The difference was that they believed these factors could be eliminated by a more scientific approach to planning. Certainty of outcomes could be achieved by anyone who could gather and correctly process data about topological and geographical distances, march tables, supply needs, and the geometrical relationship between armies and their bases. They believed that in many cases this would render fighting unnecessary.
Clausewitz disagreed on two counts. First, he believed that friction was as inherent to war as it is to mechanical engineering and could therefore never be eliminated but only mitigated. Secondly, he believed that studying march tables and the like was not a fruitful means of mitigation. In fact, he came to think that friction had to be worked with. It actually provided opportunities, and could be used by a general just as much as it could be used by an engineer. The first thing was to recognize its existence. The second thing was to understand its nature. That was and remains more difficult.
The very business of getting an organization made up of individuals, no matter how disciplined, to pursue a collective goal produces friction just as surely as applying the brakes of a car. Because of the role of chance, actual outcomes are inherently unpredictable.
There is a gap between the actions we planned and the actions actually taken.
no one should develop a strategy without taking into account the effects of organizational friction. Yet we continue to be surprised and frustrated when it manifests itself. We tend to think everything has gone wrong when in fact everything has gone normally. The existence of friction is why armies need officers and businesses need managers. Anticipating and dealing with it form the core of managerial work. Recognizing that is liberating in itself.
Not only is an army not a “well-oiled machine,” the machine generates resistance of its own, because the parts it is made of are human. Although Clausewitz’s metaphors are all taken from mechanics rather than biology, he clearly sees where the metaphor itself begins to break down. He is reaching toward the idea of the organization as an organism. While the scientific school sought to eliminate human factors to make the organization as machine-like as possible, Clausewitz sought to exploit them.”
Clausewitz não via o factor humano como um defeito.

Excerto de: Bungay, Stephen. “The Art of Action: Leadership that Closes the Gaps between Plans, Actions and Results”

domingo, setembro 09, 2018

Em vez de abstracções, em vez de masturbações ...

No postal anterior, o primeiro passo é:
"Decide What Really Matters"
Este é o papel da gestão de topo, este é o papel de quem tem o comando. Estratégia ao mais alto nível é a expressão desta intenção, desta vontade, deste imperativo, desta escolha.
"Being strategic means consistently making those core directional choices that will best move you toward your hoped-for future.
This is, I think, a deceptively simple sentence. It implies that you know where you’re starting from, you’re clear on where you want to go, and you have the means and the will to make consistently good and powerful choices about how to get there. You can use this capability that I call being strategic to guide you through this wild time of ours."
Em vez de abstracções, em vez de masturbações, começar com o concreto:

  • em que é que somos bons?
  • em que é que fazemos a diferença?
  • o que nos dá pica?
  • o que nos faz ganhar dinheiro?
  • o que nos afasta da guerra dos descontos por causa da concorrência ter baixado o preço deles?
  • o que nos faz crescer intelectualmente?
  • o que nos dá orgulho?
Este é o nosso negócio. 

E para deixar tudo claro, não faz mal nenhum explicitar o que não é o nosso negócio:
  • porque não nos dá margem;
  • porque é um lago de tubarões;
  • porque é uma corrida para o fundo;
  • porque teríamos de competir com quem tem outra estrutura de custos;
  • porque não teríamos tempo de qualidade para os clientes que interessam;
  • porque é aborrecido;
  • porque ficaríamos estagnados;
  • ...

"No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy"

Bom senso, simplicidade - coisas que normalmente estão em défice:
“1 Decide What Really Matters .
You cannot create perfect plans, so do not attempt to do so. Do not plan beyond the circumstances you can foresee. Instead, use the knowledge which is accessible to you to work out the outcomes you really want the organization to achieve. Formulate your strategy as an intent rather than a plan.
2 Get the Message Across.
Having worked out what matters most now, pass the message on to others and give them responsibility for carrying out their part in the plan. Keep it simple. Don’t tell people what to do and how to do it. Instead, be as clear as you can about your intentions. Say what you want people to achieve and, above all, tell them why. Then ask them to tell you what they are going to do as a result.
3 Give People Space and Support.
Do not try to predict the effects your actions will have, because you can’t. Instead, encourage people to adapt their actions to realize the overall intention as they observe what is actually happening. Give them boundaries which are broad enough to take decisions for themselves and act on them.”
Recordar von Molkte:
"no plan of operations extends with any certainty beyond the first contact with the main hostile force
No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy."

Excerto de: Bungay, Stephen. “The Art of Action: Leadership that Closes the Gaps between Plans, Actions and Results”.

sábado, setembro 08, 2018

"Unfortunately, these reactions do not solve the problem"

"“We can measure the results until the outcomes we want are achieved. We can make plans, take actions, and achieve outcomes in a linear sequence with some reliability. If we are assiduous enough, pay attention to detail, and exercise rigorous control, the sequence will be seamless.
In an unpredictable environment, this approach quickly falters. [Moi ici: Imaginem ter um Estado-Maior numa sala, longe das operações no terreno, a dar ordens aos bombeiros sobre quando devem actuar e como. E comparar com o blitkrieg] The longer and more rigorously we persist with it, the more quickly and completely things will break down. The environment we are in creates gaps between plans, actions, and outcomes:

  •  The gap between plans and outcomes concerns knowledge: It is the difference between what we would like to know and what we actually know. It means that we cannot create perfect plans.
  •  The gap between plans and actions concerns alignment: It is the difference between what we would like people to do “and what they actually do. It means that even if we encourage them to switch off their brains, we cannot know enough about them to program them perfectly.
  •  The gap between actions and outcomes concerns effects: It is the difference between what we hope our actions will achieve and what they actually achieve. We can never fully predict how the environment will react to what we do. It means that we cannot know in advance exactly what outcomes the actions of our organization are going to create.
Although it is not common to talk about these three gaps, it is common enough to confront them. It is also common enough to react in ways that make intuitive sense. Faced with a lack of knowledge, it seems logical to seek more detailed information. Faced with a problem of alignment, it feels natural to issue more detailed instructions. And faced with disappointment in the effects being achieved, it is quite understandable to impose more detailed controls. Unfortunately, these reactions do not solve the problem. In fact, they make it worse.”

Excerto de: Bungay, Stephen. “The Art of Action: Leadership that Closes the Gaps between Plans, Actions and Results”. iBooks. 

Riscos e impactes

Um artigo interessante sobre diferentes alternativas para incorporar a análise de risco no desenvolvimento de um sistema de gestão ambiental em "Environmental Management System Risks and Opportunities: A Case Study in Pertamina Geothermal Energy Area Kamojang".

E para um visual como eu, o uso de esquemas é muito bom. Pessoalmente uso algo deste género:

Não sigo a abordagem que se segue, mas concordo que é bem possível alguém optar por ela:
Ou seja, considerar que os impactes ambientais significativos são o mesmo que os riscos e oportunidades prioritários.

Não consigo deixar de pensar que há muito a melhorar nesta norma ISO 14001:2015.

sexta-feira, setembro 07, 2018

"The problem is getting the right things done"

Acabei de ler até à última página  “The Art of Action: Leadership that Closes the Gaps between Plans, Actions and Results”de Stephen Bungay. 

Valeu a pena!

O livro começa com uma introdução sobre o blitzkrieg, tema que já abordei aqui há anos (2010 e 2009) e que os relatos do recente incêndio de Monchique avivaram.

O livro começa com o discurso estratégico de um CEO. Depois, alguém coloca a pergunta:
"“what do you want me to do?
she had had the courage to ask the risky question that everyone wanted answered.
The reply was measured, but evinced frustration of its own. As I said, the CEO observed, we do not have all the answers. But surely you don’t expect me to tell all of you what to do? This is not a command-and-control organization. You are big boys and girls. I am not running this company, we all are. We have a strategy, we have long-term objectives, we all have budgets. We are running a business and we have a direction. It is for each of us to decide what we have to do in our own area and to get on with it.
Answering that simple question “What do you want me to do?” is quite a problem.
Generating activity is not a problem; in fact it is easy. The fact that it is easy makes the real problem harder to solve. The problem is getting the right things done – the things that matter, the things that will have an impact, the things a company is trying to achieve to ensure success. A high volume of activity often disguises a lack of effective action. We can mistake quantity for quality and then add to it, which merely makes things worse.”