"do I really need to sell a brand? Isn't that just a distraction--a way to push an inferior product by confusing the buyer with a bunch of piffle paffle? Isn't my product the most important thing?...Let's face it, without a story, your product is likely just a commodity. Commodities do not sell themselves. It's the stories, myths, legends, grifts, and shticks that we tell about our products that do the heavy lifting. Nota bene: They don't have to be true. They just have to be interesting....Product attributes are never enough--unless your product attributes are exclusively yours or no one else has owned them yet."
terça-feira, junho 30, 2020
"If you’re looking to predict the shape of the economic recovery in the United States – be it V, W, L or even K – don’t look at the markets. Take a look at the small and medium-sized businesses that account for 50 percent of the country’s employment. They are the best economic indicator in America right now. They are also in trouble....By mid-April, revenues from personal service businesses – typically a single entrepreneur working, for example, as a locksmith, hairstylist, or pet sitter – were down 80%. These companies are disproportionately owned by minority entrepreneurs, another reason why the pandemic is increasing inequality. In mid-June, almost half of US small business owners said they did not expect to return to normal operations in the next six months, according to a Credit Suisse survey..These companies – from health clubs to restaurants and retailers – employ about half of the US workforce. These are not “strategic” or “high-growth” companies that policy makers and economists generally seek to encourage. But their pain “is a big problem for the macro economy,” as Deutsche Bank Securities chief economist Torsten Slok told me – not least because they provide far more jobs than the S&P 500 companies, which account for only 10 percent of the US nonfarm total wages....You don’t have to analyze public health statistics or wacky analyst reports to get a sense of the real economy in America. Just go down Main Street. The many small businesses that have closed represent two-thirds of the 20 million jobs lost since the pandemic. Some old hotspots, like New York, reopen with caution. But most small business revenue forecasts are not close to normal..A second wave of illnesses would certainly trigger a new wave of layoffs and insolvencies. According to the New York Fed, only one in five small businesses can survive a loss of income for two months. Many small businesses even reduce their rehiring when they reopen. For the most affected areas, things may never return to normal. The Credit Suisse survey found that 17% of hotels and restaurants believe their revenues will never return to pre-Covid-19 levels..The ripple effects from all of this will be huge. Many small businesses are physical, not virtual. They are not designed for locking. They do not have access to world capital. They are rooted in the communities they serve.Their fortunes are not flattered by the liquidity of the central bank. Any investor who really wants to take the economic pulse of America has only to speak to the owner of his local cafe, beauty salon or cinema. They will have a very different reading from that of Wall Street."
segunda-feira, junho 29, 2020
“The Oxford Dictionary defines risk as ‘the possibility that something unpleasant or unwelcome will happen’,
Risk in its ordinary meaning concerns unfavourable events, not beneficial ones.
Risk is asymmetric. We do not hear people say ‘there is a risk that I might win the lottery’ because winning the lottery is not something they would describe as a risk. They do not even say ‘there is a risk I might not win the lottery’ because they do not realistically expect to win the lottery. The everyday meaning of risk refers to an adverse event which jeopardises the realistic expectations of the individual household or institution. And so the meaning of risk is a product of the plans and expectations of that household or institution. Risk is necessarily particular. It does not mean the same thing to J. P. Morgan as it does to a paraglider or mountain climber, or to a household saving for retirement or the children’s education.
Very often, the risks that concern us are not risks to the status quo, but risks to our plans to change that status quo.
We believe the best way to understand attitudes to risk is through the concept of a reference narrative, a story which is an expression of our realistic expectations. For J. P. Morgan, the overarching reference narrative is one in which the bank continues profitable growth. A large corporation will have many strategies for achieving that overarching objective in particular areas of its business and there will be a reference narrative relating to each business unit. Some of these business unit reference narratives may be very risky, but the corporation may tolerate such risks provided they do not endanger the reference narrative of the organisation as a whole.
And since different people start with different reference narratives, the same risk may be assessed by different people in different ways. Risk may not be the same for those who work in an organisation as it is for the shareholders of that organisation.
Risk is failure of a projected narrative, derived from realistic expectations, to unfold as envisaged. The happy father anticipating his daughter’s wedding has in mind a reference narrative in which events go ahead as planned. He recognises a variety of risks – the prospective bridegroom has cold feet, a torrential downpour drenches the guests. There is an implied measure of risk in such assessment – an outcome can fall short of expectations by a narrow margin or a wide one. The scale of that risk may or may not be quantifiable, before or after the event. But this interpretation is very different to the view that has come to dominate quantitative finance and much of economics and decision theory: that risk can be equated to the volatility of outcomes.”
"A atenção deve ser concentrada no médio longo prazo. Sempre!Não é a fazer máscaras e viseiras que as empresas vão ter futuro."
"O fabrico de máscaras e outros equipamentos de proteção contra a covid-19 foi um balão de oxigénio para o setor têxtil, mas está a acabar. Com o mercado nacional saturado e as exportações impregnadas de burocracias para a certificação, as encomendas caíram a pique e Portugal já está longe do milhão de máscaras diárias que estava a produzir no início de maio."
"El Gobierno ha modulado recientemente la ley general tributaria que regula las relaciones entre la Administración y los contribuyentes para incluir la posibilidad de realizar inspecciones mediante videoconferencia y adaptarse así a la nueva realidad a distancia que marca el Covid-19."
domingo, junho 28, 2020
Existe mais variabilidade dentro de um sector de actividade do que entre sectores de actividade.
"João Duque defende que Portugal tem de “procurar setores de elevado valor acrescentado e com valor de marca. E, para isso, é fundamental o associativismo de setor e o estímulo a esse associativismo. Ganhar escala para sermos visíveis, como tão bem fizeram os industriais do calçado, por exemplo." [Moi ici: OMG! Aposto que João Duque nunca estudou o sector do calçado. Recordo a evolução do tamanho das empresas no sector em "Não vai ser nenhum 'lay-off' que as vai preparar para essa transição". Recomendaria a João Duque a leitura da série "Quantas empresas"]
"“Para começar, acho que podemos ir à lista de importações e começar a fazer o que importamos. Se conseguimos passar a fazer ventiladores, porque não outras coisas?”"
"preço médio de um par de sapatos exportado de Portugal: 26.08 USDpreço médio de um par de sapatos importado para Portugal: 10.76 USD"
"Acaso a indústria portuguesa de mobiliário pode competir, num mercado aberto, com os preços do mobiliário asiático?E, no entanto:"A taxa de cobertura das exportações pelas importações do período em referência é de 235%.""
"The Dutch (56%) are more then twice reliant on exports than Greece (21%), Turkey (20%), Portugal (26%) and Italy (24%)"
sábado, junho 27, 2020
"Portugal é o sétimo país da União Europeia com menor produtividade por hora de trabalho, divulgou este sábado a Pordata, num retrato ao tecido empresarial do país, a propósito do Dia das Micro, Pequenas e Médias Empresas....“Em termos de produtividade por hora de trabalho, face à média da UE27 (=100), Portugal é um dos países com menor produtividade (65% da média da UE27)”, revelou a base de dados estatísticos da Fundação Francisco Manuel dos Santos, que analisou dados de 2018."
"Our thesis is you have to invest in a product to have a chance at the digital media business. [Netflix chief executive] Reed Hastings believes that. What is striking to me is how few people [in news] have tried this. A lot of people are just trying to keep things from falling away.” The New York Times on Tuesday cut 68 jobs, largely in advertising, sparing the newsroom..‘The industry was so flush’Industry executives admit that the news business responded disastrously to the advent of the internet. Premium content was given away for free, while the publisher’s role between reader and advertiser was left wide open for others to intermediate, or replace..“We were extraordinarily naive, because the industry was so flush,” says Terry Egger, a veteran of the news business who recently retired as publisher of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “In the mid-1990s, there was so much profit . . . the internet was a novelty not taken seriously....The question is how far the subscriber model will stretch and whether it could ever replace the income from advertising. “Subscription revenue is more sustainable, it is recurrent, it has a lot of advantages,” says Kristin Skogen Lund, chief executive of Schibsted, the biggest publisher in Scandinavia, the region with the world’s highest density of news subscriptions. “The problem . . . is that the revenue base is simply not large enough. You would need to charge so much for a subscription to sustain the entire cost of running a media site.”
sexta-feira, junho 26, 2020
"There is no general theory of how best to make decisions. Much of the academic literature on decision-making under uncertainty tries to frame the challenge as a puzzle. All decisions, it is assumed, can be expressed as mathematical problems. And potentially capable of being solved by computers. Your smartphone will tell you what restaurants are nearby, how to get there, and perhaps what you ate last night; but not where and what you want to eat now. The probably apocryphal but nevertheless illuminating story about a decision theorist contemplating whether or not to accept a job offer from a rival university illustrates this well: upon being urged by his colleague to apply tenets of rational decision-making under uncertainty and maximise his expected utility, as his academic papers suggested, he responded with exasperation, ‘Come on, this is serious.’Humans have evolved to cope with problems which are not amenable to probabilistic reasoning...Our brains are not built like computers but as adaptive mechanisms for making connections and recognising patterns. Good decisions often result from leaps of the imagination. Creativity was the quality exhibited by that unknown Sumerian who invented the wheel, by Einstein, and by Steve Jobs. And, as Knight and Keynes emphasised, creativity is inseparable from uncertainty. By its nature, creativity cannot be formalised, only described after the event, with or without the help of equations."
quinta-feira, junho 25, 2020
"Money has never been cheaper. Governments and central banks have acted quickly to make it both plentiful and accessible to support companies through the pandemic downturn. The cure, however, has a sting in its tail. As policymakers begin to unwind job retention schemes and other support measures the concern is that economic recovery will be held back by a proliferation of debt-laden companies shuffling across a corporate twilight zone: a whole generation of zombies....Even before the Covid-19 crisis, a decade of low interest rates helped to fuel a rise in the number of “living dead”: companies unable to cover their debt-servicing costs from profits in the long term....The pandemic has created new ones. There are also fears of a proliferation of unviable “zombie jobs”, kept on life support through furlough schemes. People working in sectors struggling under strict social-distancing rules, such as hospitality and retail, are especially vulnerable....Allowing zombie companies to limp along, unable to invest or repay their debts, comes at a cost to the wider economy. Research has shown these companies are a drag on productivity growth."
quarta-feira, junho 24, 2020
"A study of behavior at breakfast buffets showed that the first item in the buffet was taken by 75% of the diners (even when the order of the items was reversed) and that two-thirds of all the food taken came from the first three items, regardless of how long the buffet is..This means that optimizing marketers usually put the things they most want to sell first..And that smart consumers benefit from adopting patience as they consider what’s on offer..Of course, this game theory applies to a lot more than food."
“All too often, this is precisely what happens to organizations that get stuck. They return to the same practices and methods well past their point of effectiveness. Sometimes we’ve had our line in the water in the same place for so long we don’t even notice we haven’t gotten any bites in a really long time. To see problems and their solutions in a different light—to become more radical in our approach—we may have to fish in a totally different body of water, with different crew members and wholly new tools. [Moi ici: Como não recordar Zapatero e o paradoxo dos peritos].“We don’t know who discovered water, but we’re certain it wasn’t a fish.”[Moi ici: Como não recordar "Beware of the invisible water in the tank"]—John Culkin”
terça-feira, junho 23, 2020
"Of course, strategic foresight also enables us to identify opportunities and amplifies our ability to seize them. Organizations don’t just prepare for the future. They make it. Moments of uncertainty hold great entrepreneurial potential. As Wack once wrote in these pages, “It is precisely in these contexts—not in stable times—that the real opportunities lie to gain competitive advantage through strategy.” It takes strength to stand up against the tyranny of the present and invest in imagination. Strategic foresight makes both possible—and offers leaders a chance for legacy. After all, they will be judged not only by what they do today but by how well they chart a course toward tomorrow."
segunda-feira, junho 22, 2020
"Bem sei que é inevitável a taxa de poupança aumentar quando a incerteza sobre o futuro se agrava. Costuma acontecer sempre. É natural e é humano. É isso que explica que o consumo caia mais do que o rendimento. As pessoas consomem menos porque têm menos dinheiro, em primeiro lugar, mas também por precaução, por não saberem o que aí vem....Poupar é abdicar de consumo presente em troca de consumo futuro: faz todo o sentido se acharmos que aquilo que nos espera é pior do que o que hoje vivemos. Mas o efeito agregado de todas essas decisões individuais não é nada simpático para a economia....Quando a família adia a compra de um carro, até pode ficar com mais dinheiro no banco, mas economia encolhe — e, lá está, a poupança aumenta....mais poupança é menos consumo e isso, já se sabe, só pode dar em menos PIB. Porque a economia são muitas famílias. É a família Silva que decidiu não comprar o carro. Mas é também a família Nunes, em que o pai, que trabalha num stand automóvel, ficou desempregado....Portugal é um país que tem poupado pouco desde que aderiu ao euro? Sem dúvida. É por isso que andámos anos a acumular défices externos. Reconhecer isto não é o mesmo que dizer que poupar é sempre bom. Há alturas em que, mesmo sendo compreensível, não é a opção mais vantajosa da economia. Na hora de poupar, é melhor ter cuidado. Enquanto poupa, pode haver alguém que também está a cortar-lhe o dinheiro que tem na carteira."
"If companies want to make effective strategy in the face of uncertainty, they need to set up a process of constant exploration—one that allows top managers to build permanent but flexible bridges between their actions in the present and their thinking about the future. What’s necessary, in short, is not just imagination but the institutionalization of imagination. That is the essence of strategic foresight....uncertainty precludes prediction but demands anticipation—and that imaginatively and rigorously exploring plausible futures can facilitate decision-making....Humans tend to conceive of time as linear and unidirectional, as moving from past to present to future, with each time frame discrete. We remember yesterday; we experience today; we anticipate tomorrow. But the best scenario planning embraces a decidedly nonlinear conception of time. That’s what Long View and Evergreen did: They took stock of trends in the present, jumped many years into the future, described plausible worlds created by those drivers, worked backward to develop stories about how those worlds had come to pass, and then worked forward again to develop robust strategies. In this model, time circles around on itself, in a constantly evolving feedback cycle between present and future. In a word, it is a loop..Once participants began to view time as a loop, they understood thinking about the future as an essential component of taking action in the present. [Moi ici: Ao ler isto, como não recordar Ortega Y Gasset e como ele nos mostra que o futuro pode ser uma causa a actuar no presente] The scenarios gave them a structure that strengthened their ability to be strategic, despite tremendous uncertainty."
domingo, junho 21, 2020
"A while later, Bessemer Trust, a leading private wealth management firm, ran an ad in the Wall Street Journal with the headline “We may not be right for you.” The copy then explained the bank’s narrow customer focus and highly specialized services.In the quest for maximizing revenue, many companies are afraid to make a similar leap. But as you design your journey to remarkable, one of the first questions you must answer is: who are we building this strategy for? Customer focus is a choice—and a critically important one. You must push yourself to go beyond the “affluent suburban soccer moms” target customer definition to get real clarity and granularity around which people in particular, under which specific set of conditions, are at the center of your bull’s-eyes. Notice the plural there: you likely have more than one target. You must also be able to articulate how your value proposition meets those customers in a unique, highly relevant, and remarkable way. With that precise definition you can build your strategies for the best-fit customers and be at peace with letting the ones go that aren’t right for you.Out of either inertia, lack of experience, or fear, retailers, organizations, bloggers, and all sorts of individual artists often chase the largest possible audience. They want the most followers, the most traffic to their website, the largest addressable market, and other goals that have way more to do with quantity instead of quality. In turn they dilute their pitch to become just okay instead of remarkable. If you have a great product, are serving a wonderful social cause, or have an incredible story to be told or an amazing song in your heart, it’s natural to want to reach more customers. If you are investing a lot of resources in pursuit of building a customer base or an audience, you should be mindful of the scale required to achieve viability. Sometimes size does matter.The flip side of gaining clarity and granularity around who is at the center of your bull’s-eye is also being crystal clear about who your product or service isn’t for. The siren song of growth at all costs may distract you and pull you away from your center. Resist the temptation. Being remarkable is often inherently linked to being, as Scott Galloway reminds us, “special, not big.” As you expand from those special qualities that first commanded certain customers’ attention, enrolled them fully in your mission, and motivated them to spread the word, you risk becoming less remarkable (or even alienating) to what I call “obsessive core customers” because what it takes to reach a wider audience waters down what made you successful in the first place."
- What can be remotely audited during an internal audit
- What are the differences between remote and on-site audits
- Which tools to use
- What risks can be found and how to overcome them
sábado, junho 20, 2020
"One of the byproducts of the pandemic has been to accelerate a series of trends that were already in motion; this includes our consumption habits. Buying “less but better” has become a popular mantra in recent years due to concerns about sustainability and waste. And in the past couple of months this talk has escalated: in lockdown people are reflecting on what they actually want and need – plus, in many cases, they have less money to spend. [Moi ici: É um discurso que há anos é partilhado entre algumas marcas, como a Patagonia, e os seus clientes. Lembro-me de uma campanha em que clientes mostravam-se a usar peças com mais de 20 anos. Agora daí até ser mainstream... a minha mulher passa na Baixa do Porto ao final da tarde e diz-me que a única loja com fila à porta, todos os dias, é a Bershka. No entanto, não o nego é uma tendência em linha com a hipótese de Mongo]...More considered buying is good and necessary – the fashion, design, cosmetics, technology and other industries produce too much stuff and churn through trends at alarming rates – but I do wonder about the ripples that a rethink will cause..Brands and factories make their money from manufacturing and selling lots of things. If shoppers are buying fewer products, adjustments will need to be made. Will there be a general hike in prices – and quality – to accommodate consumer preferences? Will brands need to increase product margins in order to make the same amount of money from selling fewer items? Is fast fashion as we know it slowing? This moment of reckoning comes with fewer products – but lots of questions." [Moi ici: A acreditar na tendência da hipótese de Mongo, no futuro teremos cada vez mais marcas, teremos cada vez mais tribos, teremos fábricas cada vez mais pequenas. Sim Pedro, concordo consigo, nem sei se as poderemos chamar de fábricas, talvez ateliês, talvez cooperativas. Façamos um exercício: sem custos afundados, começando com uma folha em branco, como poderá funcionar um negócio baseado na hipótese de Mongo?]
Seth Godin in a recent blog post, “The dominant culture”, wrote:
“One of the great cartoons involves two goldfish in a tank talking to one another. One responds in surprise, “wait, there’s water?””
This remind me of a growing concern in my analysis of the business world. Too often we analyze information about certain cases, about certain solutions, about certain methodologies and approaches, without being aware of the assumptions on which they are based. Why? Because no one cared about the water in the tank.
For example, for years and years I have heard comments and stories, I have read wonders about the Toyota Production System.
Is it spectacular? Yes!
However, it was only in 2017 that I read in an article something that nobody ever says, either because they are unaware or because it is the water in the tank ... - Toyota "freezes" production 8 weeks in advance.
How many companies can afford to do this? And how many companies cannot do it, but try in good faith to implement the Toyota Production System in their production?
Recently also, the Wall Street Journal published an interesting article, “The Surprising Way Companies Can Shore Up Their Financial Strength”:
“The Drucker Institute’s statistical model serves as the basis for the Management Top 250, an annual ranking produced in partnership with The Wall Street Journal.
In total, we examined 820 large, publicly traded companies last year through the lens of 34 indicators across five categories: customer satisfaction, employee engagement and development, innovation, social responsibility and financial strength.
To construct our ranking, corporations are compared in each of the five areas, as well as in their overall effectiveness, through standardized scores with a range of 0 to 100 and a mean of 50.
Our model reflects shareholder returns, along with a variety of metrics that capture how effectively a firm has deployed its capital, among other things.
For companies in the health-care sector, we found over the course of the seven-year period a significant statistical relationship between financial strength and one other category: employee engagement and development. To be precise, a five-point gain in the latter produced a 0.79-point increase in the former.
That may not look like a big deal on its face. But it would have been enough to vault a company from the 50th percentile in financial strength to the 56th in last year’s rankings—up 38 spots on the list.
Meanwhile, it is a whole other story for companies in the industrial sector, which includes the airlines. There, it is social responsibility that should command the most attention. A five-point rise in that category translated into a 0.49-point upturn in financial strength.
For example, a health-care company wanting to lift its customer-satisfaction score can expect to reap an extra 0.49 points in that category for every five-point advance in employee engagement and development. But an industrial company hoping to achieve a similar bump in customer satisfaction should shoot for a five-point improvement in another area: innovation.”
While reading the article I thought about the water in the tank. Do these recommendations, do these relationships apply equally to all companies in the same economic sector?
I don't think so.
Some days ago, someone made the following comment to me:
“KPIs for production are simple: efficiency, low losses.”
When I heard that the picture of Bruce Jenner came to my mind.
Beware of the invisible water in the tank.
sexta-feira, junho 19, 2020
"Implementing a human-centered strategy must begin by contemplating in some detail which groups are important to us, assessing their role in driving the outcomes we seek, and understanding what needs to happen to support our remarkable journey. With this knowledge we can identify and prioritize the actions we need to implement.There are many ways to group the constituencies and stakeholders we must consider. Here’s my preferred way to organize them.1. Consumers: Seems simple enough, but we must be sure to include current customers, lapsed customers, and prospects, i.e., all the important individuals we seek to acquire, grow, retain, and spread our story.2. Tribes: I’m using this term, at least broadly, in the way that Seth Godin did in his 2008 book of the same name: “a tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea.” The interplay among members of our target consumers’ tribes is what helps us gain insight into their collective needs. Importantly, tribes are central to spreading our brand’s story.3. Networks: The principal difference between a network and a tribe is that while many of the dynamics may be similar, there is less organization around a leader and a shared idea. Your book club is probably a tribe. Your group of Facebook friends or Instagram followers is a network.4. Employees: It’s not a new idea to include an organization’s employees (or “associates” or “team members” as many retailers call them) explicitly in our strategy. In human-centered retail there are two emphasized factors. One is to include and connect them to the broader view. The other is to be sure to dial in more of the emotional considerations.5. Investors: Without capital, few enterprises can achieve their goals, so we may find ourselves borrowing money and/or seeking equity funds....6. Collaborators: This used to be more straightforward. Every organization has different partners in their success: product vendors, marketing agencies, delivery companies, and so on. They are all included in this group....7. Our Community: Getting involved in city-wide or neighborhood activities has often been an arrow in the “quiver of local, independent retailers, but being mindful of both the critical inputs and our impact on the places we live is moving to the forefront....8. The Planet: Although one would hope that corporations and governing bodies alike would pay more attention to this, for the most part it isn’t happening."
"No Boletim Económico divulgado ontem, o Banco de Portugal reviu em baixa a sua estimativa de recessão para este ano, esperando agora uma contração económica de 9,5% este ano – que pode chegar aos 13,1% num cenário mais adverso. Em março, quando a pandemia tinha chegado a Portugal, os técnicos da instituição ainda liderada por Carlos Costa esperavam uma queda de 5,7% no PIB.O BdP, que era a instituição mais otimista, torna-se agora na mais pessimista, aproximando-se de outras instituições que recentemente apresentaram as suas projeções e que fazem crer que quanto mais recente é a estimativa para a economia portuguesa, maior a probabilidade de ser mais negativa."
quinta-feira, junho 18, 2020
"In the 1960s Roy Amara, a Stanford computer scientist, observed that “we tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run”....Supply chain managers in industrial companies will be busy right now studying alternative sources that are more local. They may trade efficiency for robustness. They may be looking at automation. Back in February, they may not have seen the need to fix what did not seem broken. But now it is..A recent 3D printing industry survey found that companies are looking at the technology differently, with more of them now considering using it for end production rather than just prototypes..A German study in 2015 predicted that the economic impact of 3D printing would be to lower barriers to entry, making it easier for companies to serve different markets and cutting prices for consumers. It would constitute what economists call a positive supply shock....More localised production would also cut the cost of transport and contribute to the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions....There are downsides. Export-led growth has been the business model of developing countries. More localised manufacturing would hurt them. Automation will improve the employment prospects of some but reduce those of others. A mechanical or chemical engineer can perhaps retrain and find niches in other high-tech areas....Like many technological inventions of the past, this one could also give rise to new forms of inequality. Economies with strong high-tech investment such as the US and China would do well. European countries would probably not be at the forefront — to put it mildly — but there may be niches for those with a strong technological focus,"
"So for many business and industries, recovery from the coronavirus crisis will instead require "discontinuous transformation" — a change not just in the rate but also the direction of travel, and not through mere incremental moves. Such radical reassessment of capabilities, operations and even the business model itself could become a routine necessity....Finance plays a key role in this type of rethinking and reorientation. Traditional forecasting methods and return on investment (ROI) benchmarks may need re-evaluation. The types of linear progress that finance managers have historically sought will become obsolete at many companies because of the economic disruption caused by coronavirus....First, transformation can occur without large capital expenditures —indeed, new capital will not help if the approach is wrong to begin with. The trajectory of change is difficult to discern at the start, and becomes clear only as the journey unfolds..By committing large sums up front, before the steps required are apparent, management creates a risk of significant waste; if backtracking is needed, there will be heavy capital loss as well as delay to factor in. Paradoxically, slower spending speeds up change: to borrow the US Navy Seals' saying: "slow is smooth, and smooth is fast."...Third, executives should not underestimate what they can do with savings in times of discontinuous transformation. Big cost reductions can flow from dismantling an existing business in favour of a new model. Liquidity will surely be a big issue for financial managers as they navigate a recovery from the economic impact of coronavirus, so such savings could be a lifeline for many companies. Finally, and on the other side of the ledger, liquidity can also be protected by not prematurely dismantling existing revenue streams that can help fund the transformation. The key is to tap these sources while not allowing them to impede progress by providing a false sense of security....This is not the only cultural shift that leaders need to assimilate. Traditional hierarchies and routines loosen during discontinuous transformation, with employees becoming empowered to think and act in new ways, and new types of collaboration across functions and teams emerging....While hierarchy serves a valid corporate purpose, that of ensuring accountability, it can also stifle creativity if it is too rigid. As companies emerge into the new economic landscape that coronavirus has given rise to, the capacity for creativity will be more valuable than ever. In an era of discontinuity, "business as usual" is a high-risk proposition."
quarta-feira, junho 17, 2020
"Most efforts at becoming customer-centric are well intentioned. Most people charged with implementing such initiatives are doing the best they can. The underlying reasons that most companies aren’t close to being customer-centric are varied....
Yet all too often the reason comes down to this: we are only pretending to care. Because if we really cared, we wouldn’t consistently choose efficiency over effectiveness.
Many problems rest in basic survey design and structure. We may be measuring our performance against what we have predetermined are important purchasing variables that may have once been valid but no longer are. We may be talking only to current customers, when more relevant insights could come from listening to lapsed customers and/or prospects.
once we understand that people buy the story before they buy the product, we have to expand our view of what goes into a purchase decision. It’s rarely all about the product or customers simply trading off price against functional features and benefits.
The second challenge of historical approaches is limiting our view of the people (individually and collectively) who need to be considered and enrolled in our efforts to drive remarkable results. Clearly a laser focus on our target consumers is critically important. Yet the journey to remarkable requires a broader system of people (those who work for us, with us, are connected to us), processes, practices, technology, and so on that must be engaged to drive the outcomes we desire."
"Mr Seto chooses his words carefully, but since Japan went into lockdown in April, he has evolved a contentious idea: that the pandemic, for all its misery, is a “disguised blessing” — not just for Lixil, but for the parts of corporate Japan that realise they can use this moment to make changes that would otherwise never happen. In the right hands, he says, it will accelerate a long overdue transformation of the way work is measured, and the way that information and ideas are transmitted within Japanese companies." [Moi ici: Com Stephen Covey aprendi que não é o que nos acontece que conta, mas o que fazemos com o que nos acontece. Assim, para qualquer evento devemos sempre partir do princípio que pode ser uma oportunidade. Há apenas que procurar o melhor ângulo. Não podemos evitar, não podemos fugir do evento: o que é que podemos fazer para o tornar numa fonte de oportunidades?]
"“We management tend to be very spoiled,” he says. “I used to get information from US general managers that was pretty much sugared and filtered all the time. Sometimes, what I want to know is unfiltered information.”"
terça-feira, junho 16, 2020
"Em termos operacionais, a empresa faz o mesmo?.O tipo de produtos, sim. A forma como a vemos no futuro e definimos a estratégia é diferente. Não queremos ser mais um fabricante de quinadoras e de guilhotinas, mas reconhecidos internacionalmente pela competitividade, fiabilidade e diferenciação das soluções de engenharia para o “metal forming”. Não queremos, como a concorrência turca, vender produto. Em vez de querer a máquina X ou Y, o cliente diz-nos o problema ou a necessidade e identificamos a melhor solução, que poderá ser algo customizado e incluir robótica. [Moi ici: Algo na óptica de "Think “outcome before output”"].Não o fazia antes da compra?.Havia desenvolvimento de novos produtos, mas a SC e eu decidimos apostar numa estratégia, quer de fabrico quer comercial, orientada para o desenvolvimento de soluções. Não só na parte de engenharia, mas também nas vendas e no marketing. Essa tem sido a maior aposta: mudar a forma como vendemos e como os clientes nos veem..Não o fazia antes da compra?.Havia desenvolvimento de novos produtos, mas a SC e eu decidimos apostar numa estratégia, quer de fabrico quer comercial, orientada para o desenvolvimento de soluções. Não só na parte de engenharia, mas também nas vendas e no marketing. Essa tem sido a maior aposta: mudar a forma como vendemos e como os clientes nos veem."
"There’s an important risk in what I call the “bailout of everything,” or the conscious decision from governments and central banks to provide any needed support to all sectors and companies with access to debt..Most of these stimulus packages and liquidity measures are aimed at supporting current government spending and providing liquidity to companies with assets, access to debt, and in traditional sectors. It’s not a surprise, then, that at the same time as we see the largest fiscal and monetary support plan since World War II, we are already witnessing two dangerous collateral effects: the rise of zombie companies and the collapse of small businesses and start-ups....Additionally, according to Deutsche Bank and the Bank of International Settlements, the number of zombie companies in the eurozone and the United States, large companies that cannot cover their interest expense costs with operating profits, has rocketed to new all-time highs....“Europe’s productivity problem is partly due to the rise of zombie firms that crowd out growth opportunities for others.” This problem is only increasing in the current crisis..The rise in bond defaults is a consequence of previous high leverage in a weakening operating income environment. This should not be a concern if creative destruction works to improve the economy, as inefficient companies are taken over by efficient ones and new investors restructure challenged businesses to make them competitive. The big problem is that massive liquidity and low rates are perpetuating overcapacity and keeping an extraordinary amount of zombie firms alive....Maintaining and increasing zombie firms destroys any positive effect from restructuring and innovation. Additionally, to maintain cash flows and stay alive, companies are cutting investment in innovation, technology, and research. Meanwhile, small businesses that do not have access to debt or own hard assets are dissolving every day..In most developed economies, where 80 percent of employment comes from small businesses, the “bailout of everything” is becoming a massive transfer of wealth from the new economy to the old economy, preventing a stronger and more productive recovery....The “Bailout of Everything” (as long as it’s large) creates significant risks. Low productivity and indebted sectors survive, creating a perverse incentive that benefits malinvestment and poor capital allocation. Additionally, as these sectors already had overcapacity and structural problems, their bailout does not lead to higher job creation or stronger investment. Furthermore, high-productivity sectors will likely suffer the tax burden that rises after these governments’ rescue plans, diminishing the employment potential and the likelihood of rising real wages as productivity growth stalls."
segunda-feira, junho 15, 2020
"The Four Most Common Failure Modes for Transformative Innovations in Large Organizations.Too late. Leaders recognize the need for new growth but don’t commit to it until their competitors have already seized the opportunity.Too few resources. Leaders appropriately organize and adopt long-term growth initiatives but fail to allocate sufficient dollars, the right people, and enough of their own mindshare to sustain them.Impatience for growth. Many transformative ventures are slow to bloom. Perhaps an early business experiment fails or has slower than expected results. Instead of redesigning the experiment to learn more, senior leadership pulls the plug. Or maybe it experiences some early-stage success and senior leadership demands that it be scaled up before all of its premises have been thoroughly tested, causing the venture to make a fatal stumble.Competition from the core. A challenge with growth in the core may cause resources to be diverted away from a promising new venture. Or, in a misguided attempt to restore organizational efficiencies, leadership might “cram” a successful new venture back into the core prematurely, causing it to lose the unique attributes that were responsible for its success."
"The biggest challenge for many business leaders is to see their role as orchestrating, not commanding"
"The business leaders who are best at managing in uncertain worlds also rely on systems thinking that allows them to sort out complex problems, the report concluded. They prioritize diverse inputs, teamwork, and partnerships. These leaders assemble the best team they can, and trust that team to find the information the organization needs to get through a crisis..“These CEOs understand they don’t need to know it all themselves,”...expects the U.S. economy to contract by 11 percent by the end of the year. Significantly, it estimated that 60 percent of that contraction will be the direct consequence of uncertainty: that is, a condition in which important information is unknowable..Because nobody knows what is next, no CEO reasonably can be taken to task for not knowing everything. That provides an opening for leaders who have deployed top-down, command-and-control leadership styles to switch to a mind-set that helps them and their teams better navigate uncertain conditions..Leaders don’t have to like dealing with uncertainty in order to master it. “You can be uncomfortable with uncertainty. We don’t grow if we don’t feel uncomfortable,”...The biggest challenge for many business leaders, in Leavitt’s view, is to see their role as orchestrating, not commanding. That means making sure your employees are in touch with their own desires and potential just as much as your business is aligned with its sense of purpose..The point isn’t for CEOs to be the hero, Leavitt said, but for them be able to say, once they are past the crisis: “Look at how the team was built up during this time! Look at what they did! Look how they stepped up!”.That behavior makes all the difference between whether employees respond to uncertainty by becoming more creative and proactive, or overstressed and paralyzed. The ability to cope with uncertainty and keep pursuing your mission will be the difference between success and failure."
domingo, junho 14, 2020
"As scarcity disappears across so many areas, as the pace of change accelerates, and as newly empowered customers flex their muscles, the definition of boring has changed, in many cases radically. The bar for good enough has been raised. Not only do customers today know when they could do far better, it’s increasingly easy for them to demand what they want. And they can find many new and innovative brands willing and ready to respond. Today, even very good often doesn’t make the sale....Yet even if you have a product or service that is unique, highly customer relevant, and not the least bit boring, getting noticed and commanding attention is increasingly difficult.In this age of digital disruption we are drowning in a tsunami of information and deluged by all manner of distractions. The exploding world of choice that the internet and smartphones offer has delivered great benefits, but it has also created a tremendous amount of clutter....What it takes to get noticed, to command attention, to be remarkable enough that whatever product, service, or idea we are selling gets adopted and spread, requires us to boost today’s signal many times more than would have worked in the recent past. Anything else risks not getting heard or seen, much less acted on, in our ever-noisier world....what so many get wrong is believing that merely being better gets the job done. Better is not always the same as good. Far too often what is touted as innovation is providing a slightly better version of mediocre. Slowing the rate of descent is, in some sense, progress, but without a major change in direction, eventually we still crash....You aren’t going to out-Amazon Amazon. Maybe Walmart, Target, or a very short list of other well-resourced retailers can in certain instances....Ask yourself: how can retailers with higher costs than Amazon possibly win a price war? How is offering free shipping or BOPIS going to counter Amazon’s dominance in product assortment and delivery convenience? Any strategy like that is based on a hope that Amazon will follow the same profit and investment calculations that “normal” retailers do. How do you know, even if some of these efforts manage to gain some traction, that Amazon won’t respond even more aggressively or find some other way to make your life miserable?...Matching Amazon on prices and/or delivery times may seem like a good move, until you actually have to bear the cost of doing it. You are starting a race to the bottom that you can’t possibly win.So what can be done? For most retailers, particularly those that lack the resources and capabilities that the mega-brands have, the only decision is to double down on (or lean into) those improvements that make your brand more customer relevant, more unique and sustainable over the long term....For retailers that still garner most of their sales from their physical stores, that means appreciating and nurturing the unique advantages of brick-and-mortar locations: personal service, compelling visual merchandising, unique products, well-curated assortments, social experiences, instant gratification, and the like. You can complement that in-store experience with a well-harmonized e-commerce offering. Mostly you can embrace the choice to be remarkable on retail elements that Amazon can’t match.”
"“You have a couple of big names already moving to Mexico, all auto parts,” says Alfred Nader, president of OFX North American in San Francisco. “Some of them are leaving China and going to Mexico because of the new NAFTA. ... Most people don’t really think of this, but Mexico is cheap and on a labor perspective it is as cheap or cheaper than China,” says Nader....“Using China as a hub...that model died this year, I think,” says Vladimir Signorelli, head of Bretton Woods Research, a macro investment research firm....“Our survey shows that a large majority of executives are moving or have moved portions of their operations from another country to Mexico,” says Christopher Swift, Foley partner and litigator in the firm’s Government Enforcement Defense & Investigations Practice.For those considering moving operations, 80% said they will do so within the next two years. They are “doubling down on Mexico”, according to Foley’s report."
sábado, junho 13, 2020
"Why join the navy when you can be a pirate!"
"Startups can do anything.Companies can only do what’s legal. [Moi ici: Mas que comparação é esta entre a navy e Portugal? Um país que em cerca de 45 anos já vai a caminho da 4ª injecção de capital externo para se salvar(?), deve ter algo de pôdre embutido nos caboucos da sua organização. Um país em que se pensa que só se pode fazer o que é permitido na lei é um país doente e a precisar de piratas].Having no business model and no market reputation to defend makes startups quite dangerous as competitors. If you combine this with the fact that startups are now better funded and their incentives are aligned with their investors’ goals, large companies are competing with a formidable foe..Meanwhile, inside most large companies there are still leaders who question the need to innovate. [Moi ici: Dentro dos principais partidos, carregados de socialistas de direita ou de esquerda, poucos, muito poucos são os que percebem que algo tem de mudar nesta Dinamarca. Tenho idade suficioente para me lembrar do tempo em que Cavaco defendeu e impôs, contra tudo e contra todo o establishment, a abertura da economia à iniciativa privada com as privatizações. Havemos de chegar a um novo momento do mesmo tipo, não com os actuais políticos, demasiado presos a um modelo que funcionava quando se podia desvalorizar a moeda e enganar os papalvos. Já escrevi aqui no tempo da troika, a ideia de Louçã/Ferreira do Amaral de desvalorizar moeda e de Ferraz da Costa de baixar salários é na prática a mesma. Só que ainda não chegamos lá. Ainda estamos reféns da geração dos distribuidores de riqueza a partir de thin air] To be fair, there is a discernible shift in leadership attitudes towards innovation taking place in most organisations. However, in some large companies there is still an intractable core of leaders who actively resist innovation projects as a waste of time and resources.It is a myth that innovation is sexy. In a lot of companies, it is career suicide. So, while startups are focused on resisting enemies and competitors that are outside their company, innovators within large companies have to contend with enemies and competitors inside their own companies as well. [Moi ici: Tipicamente as pessoas mais empreendedoras acabam por sair destas organizações incumbentes. Preferem arriscar e respirar melhor do que se subjugar à promessa "Ajoelha-te perante mim e dar-te-ei todo o poder ...". E o que é a emigração portuguesa senão uma decisão de não pactuar com o status-quo?]Corporate innovation is a paradox. Intrapreneurs – employees who work on entrepreneurial ideas inside an established company – have to innovate for the future, inside a machine designed to run the current business. It is the management of the current business that tends to get in the way of innovation. The bureaucracy and incentives of the organisation are all geared towards improving and exploiting the currently successful products and business models....At the same time, these large corporations have entrepreneurial employees who are constantly trying to innovate. As far as I am concerned, these people are crazy. They wake up every morning and go to work to swim against the tide. This is insane! And yet, they exist: [Moi ici: Isto faz-me lembrar uma conversa que tive ontem no Twitter com alguém, sem skin-in-the-game, acerca do salário mínimo... Estes malucos do livro são os empreendedores, os empresário em Portugal. Um país que não os respeita, que pensa o pior deles, mas que depende deles. Podem ter o 9º ano de escolaridade mas nunca mandarão o país para a bancarrota. Podem não gerar muito valor acrescentado, mas fazem a sua parte o melhor que podem e só esperam, como numa corrida de estafetas, que apareça quem faça melhor do que eles. Só que quem protesta ou é funcionário, ou tem medo de arriscar...] passionate employees who are committed to helping their company become more innovative. They can see the future coming and they are committed to ensuring that their company survives in that future."
sexta-feira, junho 12, 2020
"It’s important to understand that the fashion industry is full of small brands and many will not survive, especially in countries where the market is not big enough. In Southern Europe, digital is not as big as it is elsewhere. The idea of going back to normal there will be different, and there will be fewer brands....Will Chinese tourists come to Paris in the next six, ten, or twelve months? I doubt it. The new normal will be different....Use this opportunity to reimagine what the fashion life cycle should look like in terms of speed, overproduction, and consumption to change things for the better."