quarta-feira, junho 30, 2021

"The choice is up to you"

E chego ao fim de “Choose Your Customer: How to Compete Against the Digital Giants and Thrive” de Jonathan S. Byrnes com uns trechos sobre o gestor do futuro:

"In today’s Age of Diverse Markets, managers’ activities could not be more different from those required of managers in the prior mass-market era. Successful managers today must be overwhelmingly broad and holistic in their perspective; their work is disruptive, innovative, and strategic; and they are primarily team-oriented.

This difference in management is analogous to the difference between a good cook and a great chef. A good cook flawlessly follows a set of predetermined recipes, always creating very good meals. A great chef, on the other hand, has the vision and capability to create an increasingly superb set of innovative, new dishes that continually transform a cuisine—producing the recipes that good cooks follow.


Managers today have to spend a significant amount of time actually physically in customers—walking in the customer’s shoes. [Moi ici: Lembrem-se dos que sonham em automatizar as interacções com os clientes] They must be involved in profit-showcase projects with customers, which are opportunities to develop new forms of their customer value footprint, learning by doing.


Understanding the company’s history: The key to really understanding a company is to know that most often it is doing what it needed to do 5 to 10 (or more) years ago. These practices—including customer targeting and management, category management, and supply chain and operations management—get embedded in a company’s culture and are passed along from manager to manager, year after year.


Each and every manager today faces a stark choice: either try to hold on to the past or focus on building your [Moi ici: Como não recordar a diferença dos que resistem versus os que abraçam a mudança - 2011, 2013, 2021]

The choice is up to you."

terça-feira, junho 29, 2021

Corrective actions versus continual improvement in ISO 9001

When do you use clause 10.2 and when do you use clause 10.3 when talking about improvement in ISO 9001:2015?

Let's look at this:

We have a standard way of doing things. 
We follow that standard, and we check the results. And we decide how to act. 
When everything is "as usual" we decide to keep the standard. The standard is useful. (Top SDCA cycle in the figure)

When a non-conformity (NC) happens, we treat the NC. After confirming that it was closed we ask,  should we improve? 

If the answer is no, we keep the standard, but when the answer is yes we start the improvement cycle, the PDCA cycle. (Bottom PDCA cycle) 

We plan an experiment about changing the way how things are done. 
We do the experiment. 
We check the results, and we decide how to act. 
If the results are not NOK we will continue in the PDCA cycle trying a new experiment. 

If the results are OK we can leave the PDCA cycle and return to the SDCA cycle where we update our standard. 

This event-based improvement is initiated by an NC it is about clause 10.2 and behind that is clause 8.7. This is the everyday level that I mentioned here.

However, even if our decision after a negative event is to not improve, periodically we should prepare a performance report, we should monitor and measure (clause 9.1.1) and we should analyze and evaluate (clause 9.1.3). And again, we ask, should we improve?

If the answer is yes, we are starting a calendar-based improvement. This is about clause 10.3 continual improvement. Typically, performance reports are about quality objectives and process performance. 

If this topic interests you perhaps this free webinar may be useful. 

segunda-feira, junho 28, 2021

"the Age of Diverse Markets" (parte VIII)

 Parte Iparte II, parte IIparte IVparte Vparte VI e parte VII. 

"Throughout this book, we argue that all revenues are not equally profitable—some produce high profits, and some actually produce losses. But are all profits equally desirable?

The surprising answer is no—and the key to understanding the difference between “good profits” and “bad profits” is demonstrated in 

The desirability of an investment is not just a function of the likely returns but also a function of the strategic relevance (whether the investment moves the company’s strategy forward). 


Consider the upper left quadrant: high returns but low strategic relevance. This quadrant is quicksand. These investments look very attractive, but they take the company’s capital and focus away from its main line of business. All too many companies have unclear and unproductive positioning because they lack the discipline to say no to attractive-looking investments that don’t fit. Ultimately, companies that pursue these types of investments get picked off by highly focused competitors. These are the investments that produce bad profits.

Think about the lower right quadrant: low returns but high strategic relevance. These are investments that would show up at the bottom of a simple capital budgeting ranking, but they are essential to moving the company forward. Here, the watchword is courage, a character trait that is especially critical in today’s transforming business world.


The moral of the story is that while investments in the upper left quadrant produce bad profits, investments in the lower right produce “good losses.”"

Trechos retirados de “Choose Your Customer: How to Compete Against the Digital Giants and Thrive” de Jonathan S. Byrnes.

domingo, junho 27, 2021

"the Age of Diverse Markets" (parte VII)

 Parte Iparte II, parte IIparte IVparte V e parte VI.

"Cost reduction provides another landmark example of the power of transaction-based profit analytics. In virtually all supply chain projects, the objective is to reduce costs. The analytical process is to identify the costs that are above average and reduce them to at least average levels. What could be wrong with this?

The answer is that neither simply reducing higher-than-average costs nor reducing costs across the board will maximize profitability. The reason is that the Profit Peak customers are often more costly to serve—and rightly so because the extra customer service costs are a great investment."

Como não regressar ao Senhor dos Perdões e ao discurso monolítico sobre um todo homogéneo:

"Most strategic analyses are based on an assessment of a company as a whole. This is an artifact of the Age of Mass Markets. So-called strengths-weaknesses- opportunities-threats (SWOT) analysis, and even Michael Porter’s powerful Five Forces framework, illustrate this approach. Profit contour analysis significantly enriches these analytical models because it shows the composition of a company’s component segments and activities, allowing managers to see their underlying patterns of profitability, which have historically been hidden by aggregate, average metrics.

Companies are not monolithic. For example, profit contour analysis indicates how much a company would be helped by better positioning (for example, which segments are helped, which would suffer profit erosion in the absence of repositioning, and which are well positioned already). It also indicates how difficult, costly, or time-consuming the transition will be (for example, what proportion of the products or vendors have to be changed). This is especially important in addressing the specific problems and opportunities that the currents of change pose.


In analyzing possible strategic groups in both your current and transformed industry, it is very instructive to focus on the value-to-cost relationship of your major profit segments: Profit Peaks, Profit Drains, and Profit Deserts."

Trechos retirados de “Choose Your Customer: How to Compete Against the Digital Giants and Thrive” de Jonathan S. Byrnes.

sábado, junho 26, 2021

"basta-me correr mais rápido do que tu"

Recuo a 2006.

Em África, todas as manhãs, uma gazela acorda. Sabe que tem de correr mais depressa que o leão, ser mais veloz ou será morta.Todas as manhãs, um leão acorda. Sabe que tem de correr mais depressa que a gazela mais lenta, ou morrerá de fome. Não interessa se és um leão ou uma gazela. Quando o sol se levantar será bom que corras.

Isto a propósito deste texto "James Galbraith: China and Supply Chains – The White House Review’s Focus on US Dependence" que recomendo vivamente. 

Um bom texto cheio de informação útil.

No final pensei ... para um governo, mesmo o americano, não é fácil responder a estes dilemas. No entanto, para um empresário a situação é outra:

Um urso corre atrás de dois campistas. Um deles grita que não têm hipóteses, o urso corre mais do que eles. O outro responde: Não preciso de correr mais depressa do que o urso, basta-me correr mais rápido do que tu.

Um empresário não tem de salvar o mundo, tem de "salvar" a sua empresa. Voltamos ao concreto em detrimento do abstracto.

Obrigado Eurosport


Finalmente chegou para me salvar da bola.

Bola por todo o lado em todos os canais. Obrigado Eurosport.

Le tour de France 2017, Le tour de france 2018.

sexta-feira, junho 25, 2021

Resultados esperados e riscos

Aqui escrevi (como escrevo em muitos outros espaços):
"A ISO define risco como o efeito da incerteza num resultado esperado.

Esse efeito pode ser negativo (risco) ou positivo (oportunidade)"

Aqui, por exemplo, proponho que o exercício da determinação dos riscos comece pelos resultados esperados: 

Interessante que em "High-Impact Tools for Teams: 5 Tools to Align Team Members, Build Trust, and Get Results Fast" encontre esta sequência:

Começar pelos objectivos para chegar aos riscos e voltar.

quinta-feira, junho 24, 2021

Aumento de preços

Há dias numa empresa perguntaram-me a opinião acerca do aumento de preços das matérias-primas. 

Entretanto, ontem li "Inflation, made in China":
"The globalisation side has a lot to do with China. Its export machine gives us all cheap stuff and suppresses wages for manufacturing industries worldwide.[Moi ici: Enquanto os tótós culpavam o euro. Nós, desde sempre optamos por "It's not the euro, stupid!"]

Is the China-as-deflation-exporter story over?
As the chart makes clear, the exchange rate has a lot to do with whether China exports higher prices to the US. Beijing has allowed the renminbi to strengthen somewhat. 
Now the pressure is really on, as reflected in the 9 per cent increase in Chinese producer prices in May. Choyleva argues that passing higher costs on to domestic customers is difficult in China, as evidenced by weak consumer price inflation. Nor is the government likely to provide relief by weakening the renminbi. It is more concerned about things like food price inflation and encouraging capital inflows. So Chinese producers, if they want to protect profits, have little choice but to jack up their export prices in dollars."
Depois, li "Should You Raise Your Prices This Summer?" de Rafi Mohammed na HBR. Um conjunto de tópicos para reflectir quando se pensa em aumentar preços:
"There are compelling reasons for businesses to raise prices this summer. First and foremost, costs are up. Wages in April and May grew at an annualized rate of 7.4%, gas prices have jumped by 49.6% in the last year, and May’s inflation rate leaped to 5%.
consider the following strategies to implement:

Be mindful of competitors. If they are raising prices, it’s easier for you to do so too. Don’t forget to evaluate how your customers will react 
Provide an explanation. To defuse pushback, provide a data-backed narrative on why prices are increasing. Customers are more amenable when they understand why they are being asked to pay more.
Lower other costs. It’s unrealistic for managers to believe that they have carte blanche to pass along any cost increase and that customers will in essence respond “No problem, keep your normal profit and we’ll continue buying the same amount.” Counterbalance increased input costs with savings from elsewhere. 
Roll out a “Best” version. The combination of pent-up demand and stimulus money may increase the receptivity of customers to buying a high-end “Best” version of a product. 
Provide options to retain price sensitive customers. A price hike may not work for some customers. Instead of writing them off, offer choices to keep them in the family. 
Reexamine prices individually. I’ve found it inevitable that examining a company’s prices leads to discovering some that are too low. Properly pricing these products may reduce the pressure to make an across-the-board increase or take unnecessary risks on other products."

quarta-feira, junho 23, 2021

"the Age of Diverse Markets" (parte VI)

 Parte Iparte II, parte IIparte IV e parte V.

"It all starts with choosing your customer, or, as we put it, selecting your strategic group and then aligning and organizing your functional capabilities to meet your diverse and rapidly changing customer needs.

The Manager of the Future must be adept at what we call Value Entrepreneurship, which we define as teaming with peer managers to constantly push the envelope of the company’s customer value footprint in its diverse target market segments in a tight but flexible way. 


The Age of Mass Markets was created in the late 1800s and early 1900s when rail, water, and road transportation enabled local markets to integrate into national mass markets. This agglomeration of volume converged with innovations in manufacturing, marketing, and distribution—like assembly line production; mass media like newspapers, radio, and broadcast television; and national networks of distributors—to create massive economies of scale. In this context, the most important strategic imperative was to get big.

All this began to change a few decades ago. The change was largely driven by technology. Computers came into widespread use, the internet was developed, and both wireless networks and narrowcast technologies like cable TV were deployed. These innovations accelerated companies’ ability to reach out directly to customers and microsegment markets and to accumulate data so that they could micro target customers. Manufacturing innovations like small-batch production, robotics, process automation, and additive manufacturing broke down economies of scale, enabling companies to produce niche products and services targeted at individual segments and even at individual customers.


While getting big was the strategic imperative in the Age of Mass Markets, the strategic imperative of the Age of Diverse Markets is to adroitly manage complexity. Today, successful companies must be expert at choosing their customer, aligning their resources, and managing their organization to target and meet the needs of the most lucrative, defensible parts of the emerging market in their transforming industry."

Trechos retirados de “Choose Your Customer: How to Compete Against the Digital Giants and Thrive” de Jonathan S. Byrnes.

terça-feira, junho 22, 2021

Market research & new things

 “You can do market research to check your ideas, but my belief is that market research is not particularly effective when it comes to truly new things. Market research is useful but only for checking things that already exist. Consumers can only give you meaningful feedback on what they already know. For truly innovative things, you are better off testing them on the market. So, to make sure that my ideas were fine, we tried a few of them in a limited way to make sure they worked. ”

Trecho retirado de “Organizing for the New Normal” de Constantinos Markides.

segunda-feira, junho 21, 2021

"the Age of Diverse Markets" (parte V)

Recordem este velho esquema deste blogue:

E o teor do texto que se segue:
"The pervasive fear felt by so many incumbent company managers is rooted in the false assumption that the currents of change, of which Amazon is emblematic, will completely disrupt industries and leave no place to hide or prosper.
In fact, hundreds of studies of industry profitability in the industrial organization economics literature show the opposite. The most profitable overall industry configuration is one with a relatively small number of competitors, with each having a different strategy and each being very profitable—some serving small customers, others serving large customers; some offering arm’s-length service, others building-integrated customer relationships; and so on. In fact, contrary to popular belief, the industry model of a big winner and a lot of losers consistently provides low overall profits to all industry participants.
Today, the winning strategy is “choose your customer."
The overwhelmingly important problem for all too many managers in incumbent firms is that they are stuck in the obsolete strategic paradigm of the fading Age of Mass Markets in which the primary goal is to maximize all revenues while minimizing all costs. In essence, they are choosing all possible customers, which is no choice at all."
Agora reparem neste trecho, parece retirado daqui do blogue:
“Continuing to act on the obsolete assumption that all revenues are good and all costs are bad leads all too many managers to dilute and waste resources trying to hold on to all of their business, rather than choosing their customers and focusing on building their high-profit, defensible business in their target strategic group. This is the single most important issue in business today, and most managers do not even see it.”

Trechos retirados de “Choose Your Customer: How to Compete Against the Digital Giants and Thrive” de Jonathan S. Byrnes.

domingo, junho 20, 2021

For ISO 9001 people... (part II)

Part I.

Let's look at the difference between the everyday level and the process level.

At the everyday level, a company receives a complaint and starts handling it. Then, as part of this process, it reaches an agreement with the customer and decides to close the complaint. Immediately before closing it, someone has to assess the interest or opportunity to take an improvement action to reduce or eliminate the likelihood of the complaint being repeated.

Implementing a true and effective improvement action is not cheap unless you already know the root cause. Implementing a true improvement action involves knowing the root cause, but the root causes are usually hidden under several layers of reality. They have to be investigated, tests need to be made and this consumes scarce resources. So, normally, the right bdecision is not to proceed with an improvement action because the return is not worth it.

At the level of the process, driven by the calendar, someone, normally a team, should look at the set of complaints received, at the big picture, and ask the question, does it make sense to develop one or more actions for improvement? A Pareto diagram may be powerful tool to evidence the big picture and show if there are any relevant priorities for improvement. For example:

In this case, the reason "Design deficiency" is responsible for around 30% of all complaints. The company decided to focus the attention on this topic and found this scenario:

Reason A is responsible for 75% of all complaints generated by "Design deficiency". So, Reason A alone is responsible for 22% of all complaints. Perhaps it is wise, and a good investment to decide to develop an improvement action to remove the root cause (s) behind Reason A.

Who should be part of a team to develop an improvement action to remove the root cause (s) behind Reason A?

It is so different, it is so powerful, it is so revealing, looking into the film, looking into the big picture instead of looking for just a frame. Both are needed, but the latter one is fundamental.

sábado, junho 19, 2021

For ISO 9001 people...

Implementing a management system is like tossing and keeping a series of plates in the air circulating like a jongleur is able to do it.

A dish is, for example, about ordering, receiving, and supplying raw materials to production. Another dish is about sales, another is about production, control, and packaging, another is about...

What often happens is that once the dishes are released... they fall to the ground...

The management system cannot take on a life of its own. Someone has to always be aware that the dishes have fallen and that they have to be thrown into the air again.

This happens when an internal audit approaches, or when a surveillance audit date looms. Then, on the run, corrections are made, figurately “some walls are repaired, some wires are fastened, and a new scenario is set up” so that the next audit will look good in the photograph.

One of the most important mechanisms to keep the management system working, to keep the dishes in the air, involves measuring, analyzing, and making decisions to improve.

Let me show you why.

First, let us consider three levels of monitoring, measuring, and analyzing:

  • The everyday level - everyday people have to act, to react to defects, to complaints, to delays, to orders, to events
  • The process level - periodically, people will collect information about process performance and after analysis will decide if any change, any improvement is needed
  • At the company level - periodically, people will collect information about company-wide performance and after analysis will decide if any change, any improvement is needed
At the everyday level things normally work, the pressure of the moment, the weight of reality make people acting. However, improvement only comes as a consequence of the other two levels. 

Yes, solving "sporadic spikes", controlling is not the same thing as improving. Remember the good old Joseph Juran:
Improvement only happens when you deliberately decide to change the status quo in a positive way. Improvement is not about eliminating sporadic spikes, improving is not about acting around a frame, improving is about connecting the frames and seeing the film, seeing the trend, seeing what is beyond the foam of the days. 
What if there is no discipline to stick with the actions that lead to the analysis at the process and company level?

What kind of improvement, what rate of improvement can we expect from not working at these two levels? I dare to state that without these two levels there is no improvement. And more, these two levels are not event-based, but calendar-based.

Let me show how ISO 9001:2015 clauses are used while we perform the two levels. 

At the company level:
At the process level:

These inputs are used in analysis and evaluation (also inputs from audit results and management review):

Let us see the outputs:
Check out how the outputs of analysis and evaluation can leverage changes in:
  • competency requirements
  • competency gaps
  • risks and opportunities
  • processes
So, if you don't do these two types of analysis and evaluation improvement is only event-based never calendar-based.

Why is that demand for training and webinars on improvement are always not a priority for ISO 9001 people with an implemented quality management system?
  • Do you have the right indicators? (Different organizations in the same economic sector with different strategies may require different indicators due to different priorities)
  • Do you have a dashboard? Is it well designed according to the rules?
  • Do you prepare a report for analysis and evaluation? Do you fall in the three most common mistakes in presenting data?
  • Do you make decisions about improvement?
  • Do you use the project approach to command improvement?
  • Do you use tools and techniques to find the root causes?

sexta-feira, junho 18, 2021

"it’s a chance to make a difference"

Um bom texto, mais um de Seth Godin:

"Interactions with the people who are enrolled and giving you the benefit of the doubt are a form of avocado time. They shouldn’t be optimized for efficiency or even leverage. Instead, it’s a chance to make a difference."

Como não relacionar com Stephen Covey e não só em "Every visit customers have to make ..."

quinta-feira, junho 17, 2021

"the Age of Diverse Markets" (parte IV)

 Parte Iparte II e parte III.

"market mapping—matching customers to the relationships that they should have, not necessarily to the relationships that they initially want.[Moi ici: Quantas empresas não consideram esta segmentação? Lembro-me de ser responsável da Qualidade e Desenvolvimentos numa empresa. A minha equipa fazia desenvolvimentos de receitas para clientes que, depois, iam comprar a matéria-prima à concorrência]


In targeting accounts for these relationships, the team found four key factors: (1) the amount of the potential profits at stake; (2) the operating fit; (3) the account’s willingness and ability to partner; and (4) the account’s buyer behavior (that is, relationship versus transactional). The team also saw that it needed to define a small number of alternative relationships—which we call a relationship hierarchy—for accounts for whom full integration did not fit.


The decision on who wins big and who gets pushed out is almost always determined by a supplier’s go-to-market capabilities—namely, the ability to choose its customers, to produce more essential customer value through an innovative value footprint, and to create new profits and strategic advantage for the customers.

The overriding management issue is that this change in business eras is creating a critical need for a shift from broad-market targeting to focused-segment—and even customer—selection. In today’s Age of Diverse Markets, “choose your customer” is the most important theme.


In the Age of Mass Markets, product prices and cost to serve were relatively uniform from customer to customer. In today’s Age of Diverse Markets, all this has changed: prices and cost to serve vary widely from customer to customer, and even within a customer. Transaction-based profit metrics and analytics allow managers to see exactly where they are making money and where they are losing it—and this detailed understanding of customer, product, and process profitability enables managers to create sharply focused and highly effective initiatives."


E a sua empresa, escolhe os clientes? Segmenta as relações com diferentes tipos de clientes?

Trechos retirados de “Choose Your Customer: How to Compete Against the Digital Giants and Thrive” de Jonathan S. Byrnes

quarta-feira, junho 16, 2021

Convencer a gestão de topo

"You’re asked to speak to the C-suite, to offer your ideas for tackling company-wide strategic challenges. This was a rare opportunity to present directly in front of the CEO, so you do your research, frame the specific challenge, debate different ideas and solutions, and prepare your presentation. But despite all your hard work, your idea is met with a lukewarm reaction and what, at best, could be called a polite round of applause. What went wrong? When presenting ideas to the CEO, even seasoned leaders who don’t regularly interact with the C-suite fall into a few common traps that can be easily avoided. These traps include presenting an idea without its problem or a clear indication of its ROI; offering your presentation with little time to interact with your audience; and providing data without attention to detail."

Esta é uma pergunta que me fazem com alguma frequência nos webinars da Advisera: como convencer a gestão de topo?

"Trap #1: An Idea Without Its Problem

Smart, successful people tend to have great ideas. It’s natural for you to be excited about your ideas and eager to share them with your executives. But place yourself in your CEO’s shoes: She’s on the receiving end of endless smart ideas. For yours to stand out and be useful to the CEO, it must solve a problem.

Begin the presentation with the problem you’ve identified and spend time upfront creating context, surfacing the pain points, and building a sense of urgency around addressing the challenge. Many presenters often move straight to solution and neglect to build a sound case for immediate action. It’s the problem, not the idea, that executives want to hear first.


Trap #2: An Idea Without a Clear ROI

Once you’ve established the problem in your presentation, the next step is to prove that your idea will not only solve it, but do so in ways that grow the business. First, show how your initiative will self-fund within a short period of time. [Moi ici: Um clássico! Apresentar custos sem apresentar retorno, sem transformar em investimento]


Trap #3: A Presentation Without Interaction

As with all good presentations, you want to meet your audience where they are. But when speaking with the C-suite, presenters often overexplain obvious things and don’t leave enough time for interaction.


Reserve the second half of your allotted time for questions. While that seems like an outsized chunk, used well, it can be the most valuable part of your talk.


Trap #4: Data Without Attention to Detail

Even when you set aside enough time for interaction, you can run into trouble if you don’t have the correct answer to an executive’s question. Presenters can be imprecise or sloppy with details when questioned, especially when it comes to numbers.


Once you present an incorrect number, your executives will tend to write off the rest of your data. Be sure of your facts, be prepared with the source of your information, and, if there’s an error, be ready to quickly follow up with a correction. And if you don’t know the answer, don’t waste time. Simply admit to that, and tell them you’ll look into it and follow up.

If you’re in a position to present to the most senior executives in your organization, you’re already considered smart and capable. You don’t need to prove it by launching directly into your idea and sharing endless details. Instead, give your audience what it really wants: an overview of the problem and how you think it can be solved for the benefit of the company. Give them plenty of time to interact with you, and you’ll prove that you’re as smart and capable as they thought."

Trechos interessantes retirados de "How to Blow a Presentation to the C-Suite"


terça-feira, junho 15, 2021

"the Age of Diverse Markets" (parte III)

Parte I e parte II.

Os trechos que se seguem são retirados de “Choose Your Customer: How to Compete Against the Digital Giants and Thrive” de Jonathan S. Byrnes e ilustram algo que escrevo aqui há muitos anos. Basta recordar a curva de Stobachoff:

"to determine which parts of its business were making or losing money. When they saw the results, they nearly fell off their chairs:

  • About 18 percent of their customers, which we call their Profit Peak accounts, accounted for about half of their revenues but produced over 130 percent of their profits.
  • About 30 percent of their customers, their large money-losing Profit Drains, accounted for about one-third of their revenues but drained off about 50 percent of the profits earned by the rest of the company
  • About half of the company’s customers were Profit Desert customers who accounted for about 20 percent of the revenues and produced less than 10 percent of the profits."
When Edison’s managers saw this, they immediately understood that their price war strategy was a response to the profit-draining customers’ demands, while they were essentially ignoring their critical high-profit customers.”[Moi ici: Demasiado comum. Recordo a espécie de esquema Ponzi]

 E pensa que só acontece aos outros? E como é na sua empresa? Ainda na passada quarta-feira ao telefone tive uma conversa surrealista, parecia um case-study acerca do que são custos afundados. A diferença é que numa empresa o que acontece com ela fica com ela, o mesmo já não se passa quando o decisor é um ministro.

    segunda-feira, junho 14, 2021

    "the Age of Diverse Markets" (parte II)

    Parte I.

    Na Age of Diverse Markets o monolitismo do mercado desfaz-se, e o uso de médias começa a ser contraproducente dada a variedade de clientes, ofertas, preços e processos.
    "In the past, managers needed only aggregate metrics, while today, they need to understand the relationship between revenue and cost for literally every product sold to every customer every time.
    The biggest problem in business today is that all too many managers are not embracing the Age of Diverse Markets success elements that will enable them to prosper. Instead, they are doubling down on tactical innovations and tuning up old practices from the Age of Mass Markets—usually with diminishing results."
    O meu velho exemplo da média do mercado ser laranja, mas ninguém comprar laranja. Metade compra amarelo e metade compra vermelho.

    Na  Age of Diverse Markets, e aqui voltamos ao ponto que está na base do nosso trabalho há muitos anos:
    "The key to success in the Age of Diverse Markets is choosing your customer. [Moi ici: Quem são os seus clientes-alvo?] This has three imperatives:
    • Choose: Define a defensible strategy that your company can dominate, choose the customers who fit, and say no to those who do not.
    • Align: Identify and build the capabilities that will enable your company to achieve high sustained profitability with your chosen customers in your target strategic group (that is, the set of firms pursuing the same strategy), and focus your resources to quickly excel in your strategic direction.
    • Manage: Develop your organization so your managers can seamlessly coordinate to identify and support your chosen customers, and to meet their diverse and rapidly evolving needs."
    Trechos retirados de “Choose Your Customer: How to Compete Against the Digital Giants and Thrive” de Jonathan S. Byrnes

    domingo, junho 13, 2021

    "the Age of Diverse Markets"

    Longe vão os tempos do: qualquer cor desde que seja preto.

    Ao longo dos anos tenho escrito sobre Mongo, ou o Estranhistão. A metáfora que uso para ilustrar o abandono do monolitismo do século XX e o advento da variedade e diversidade do século XXI.

    "Today, business is transitioning from one major era, the Age of Mass Markets, to another, which we call the Age of Diverse Markets. [Moi ici: Aquilo a que chamo de Mongo, ou o Estranhistão]
    The Age of Mass Markets, which extended through most of the prior century, was characterized by fast-growing homogeneous markets. [Moi ici: A visão monolítica que a Economia aplica à realidade para a poder matematizar. Depois, chega a modelos e a conclusões sem adesão à realidade e não percebe, e enterra a cabeça na areia]
    [Moi ici: In the Age of Mass Markets] These companies were characterized by massive economies of scale in nearly every business function (production, distribution, advertising, and so on), which ensured that as they increased their sales, their unit costs dropped, giving them ample profits to invest in getting more sales and in further reducing their costs by increasing the efficiency of their production and distribution systems. Both prices and distribution costs were relatively uniform, so reporting tools based on averages—like aggregate revenues, costs, and gross margins—were sufficient.
    The key management imperative was to get big fast. The rules of thumb were that all revenues were good and all costs were bad. [Moi ici: Como não recuar a 2012 e a "Como surgem os Golias e pistas para o aparecimento de Davids". Em Portugal, os mesmos da tríade ainda sonham com empresas grandes. Em Mongo, "Giants invariably descend into suckiness"] Companies segregated their functional departments to individually optimize their revenue-maximizing or cost-minimizing objectives, and they coordinated them at the top through periodic planning sessions and period-end financial reports.
    Today’s Age of Diverse Markets, which began its widespread acceleration around 2000, is completely different. Today, there are very few mass markets, while there are more and more diverse markets where product offerings, pricing, and service packages are uniquely configured, if not by individual customer, than at least by highly segmented target markets.
    Today, markets are heterogeneous and fragmenting down to the individual customer in many cases. Throughout our economy, pricing is becoming much more varied, both within market segments and even between one customer and the next. In parallel, the cost to serve each customer is becoming increasingly diverse, depending on the customer relationship, product-service mix, and other factors. This change has already overtaken the business-to-consumer (B2C) markets, and it is rapidly transforming the business-to-business (B2B) markets as well."
    "In the Age of Mass Markets, products were “king.” To a large extent, companies succeeded by selling the same products to as many customers as possible. In the Age of Diverse Markets, in contrast, customers are “king.” Companies succeed by microtargeting particular customers and tightly specified market segments and providing them with tailored packages of products and related services."
    Comecei a reler “Choose Your Customer: How to Compete Against the Digital Giants and Thrive” de Jonathan S. Byrnes. Primeiro, o título. Qual a primeira decisão estratégica? Escolher os clientes-alvo! Recuar ao Verão de 2008 e a Terry Hill e à sua frase "the most important orders are the ones to which a company says 'no'.". Julho de 2007, a primeira vez que usei o marcador "clientes-alvo" aqui no blogue. Apesar de já o fazer em textos anteriores. Segundo, Jonathan S. Byrnes. Um autor que aprecio há mais de 10 anos.

    sábado, junho 12, 2021

    "o trabalho, a mudança necessária, as complicações"

    Há muitos anos que aqui no blogue escrevo que os políticos e os empresários, na generalidade, são iguais. São iguais porque emergem do mesmo caldo, do mesmo magma cultural.

    Os políticos só são mais perigosos porque lidam com os recursos que são da comunidade e, por isso, são em maior quantidade e, mais grave ainda, não têm skin-in-the-game, esbanjam impunemente o que não lhes custa a ganhar, porque ser estúpido ou ignorante não é ilegal (fora o dolo). O impacte dos seus erros leva países inteiros à falência, o impacte dos erros de um empresário apenas levam a sua empresa à falência.

    Agora reparem nisto, a propósito da polémica recente sobre a Câmara Municipal de Lisboa:

    Pensem, como seria/será uma empresa gerida assim?

    Perante asneiras, perante maus resultados, perante reclamações, responder com resignação:


    Este "espera-se que não volte a acontecer" é tão ... inclassificável. É o pior da cultura portuguesa. Acreditar que basta ter fé, para que não volte a acontecer. Foi azar! (Há um ditado, francês, que diz qualquer coisa como: é bom que o marinheiro tenha fé, mas também convém que reme)

    Outra vez, como seria/será uma empresa gerida assim?

    Claro que há empresários que não partilham desta cultura. Por exemplo, o meu parceiro das conversas oxigenadoras. No Whatsapp escreveu-me recentemente:

    "Quando fui a São João da Madeira tomar a vacina estimei uma cadência de 15 vacinas por hora/guichet e o centro abriu 45 minutos depois da hora.


    Enquanto estive à espera, fiz esta projeção, que por baixo poderiam vacinar um minimo de 600, em vez das 480 atuais. Mas numa abordagem mais detalhada, seria possível melhorar mais e com melhor serviço para os clientes e para os enfermeiros."

    Gente que olha para os desafios e procura estudar os factos para mudar a realidade e, assim, aspirar legitimamente a resultados futuros desejados diferentes.

    Entretanto, ontem à noite durante mais uma leitura de “Organizing for the New Normal” de Constantinos Markides, apanhei isto:

    A conjugação "bad outcome x wrong process followed" não obriga a mudar o processo, implica mais controlo... como não recuar mais de 10 anos até isto:

    "As instituições que, analisando um qualquer acidente, se ficam pelo modelo de “culpa individual” perdem a possibilidade de alterar o “sistema” e melhorar a segurança pela introdução de novas políticas que tornem novos erros menos prováveis. Ao punir, simplesmente, um indivíduo a organização nega de forma subliminar a sua responsabilidade no evento negativo, mas não o corrige verdadeiramente. É o princípio da negação dos acidentes, que caracteriza as organizações demasiado burocratizadas e sem abertura a qualquer processo de inovação regenerativa. Face a um acidente que ocorre, a tendência é isolá-lo, punir o responsável mais directo, impedir a divulgação do facto e, seguir em frente, após ter tomado medidas limitadas a nível local."

    Imaginem as implicações da conjugação de "bad outcome x correct process followed"... o trabalho, a mudança necessária, as complicações... e mais, neste caso não há erro!

    Erro existe quando o processo não é seguido! Os serviços não falharam, os serviços cumpriram o que estava previsto.

    Quando um mau resultado surge naturalmente de um mau processo, a responsabilidade é de quem tem autoridade para desenhar e aprovar processos. Imaginem uma empresa que não esteja atenta à evolução da legislação (RGPD, por exemplo), também pode argumentar em sua defesa que foi um erro, que foi um lapso?

    Há tempos vi como uma empresa tinha tratado a reclamação de um cliente. No fim, concluíam que a empresa não tinha qualquer responsabilidade. O problema tinha sido gerado por um subcontratado. 

    Uma excelente forma de evitar... o trabalho, a mudança necessária, as complicações, o olhar para dentro... 

    Ainda argumentei: Come on, o cliente não quer saber do subcontratado, o acordo dele é convosco. Não precisam de mudar nada? Nem a forma como escolhem subcontratados? Nem a forma como informam, apoiam ou controlam subcontratados?

    sexta-feira, junho 11, 2021

    "Failure to Communicate the Choices the “Correct” Way”"

    Estes trechos que se seguem são preciosos:
    "Assuming the firm has made explicit choices on the who–what–how, these choices need to be communicated to the rest of the organization. Often, this communication does not happen at all, or is so ineffective that the strategy remains a mystery to the employees. However, even in the best-case scenario when the organization has made the choices required and top management has spent time and energy trying to communicate these choices in a clear and explicit way, the probability is still high that employees will fail to fully understand what is communicated to them. There are two main reasons for this.

    The first reason has to do with the fact that strategies are often communicated at such a general level that employees find it impossible to understand what they mean or what they can do to help implement them.
    What happens in an organization when the same statement can have (at least) seven possible meanings?
    There is a second reason that undermines any communication campaign. Simply communicating the choices you have made is often insufficient. What you really need to do is to communicate the choice and the alternatives considered and rejected in favor of the choice. It is the positioning of the choice relative to the alternatives considered that makes the choice clear to people. This means that what you need to say is not: “We have decided to target customer X.” Instead, you should say: “We have decided to target customer X rather than customer Y or customer Z.” Furthermore, for people to appreciate that a difficult choice has indeed been made, the alternatives considered must not only be explicitly communicated to everybody, they must also be credible and viable alternatives.
    This is why explicitly stating what alternatives you considered (and rejected) is so important for your audience—it helps them see that you are being honest when you say you have made some difficult choices, and makes them appreciate even more the choice made."
    Trechos retirados de “Organizing for the New Normal” de Constantinos Markides. 

    quinta-feira, junho 10, 2021

    "Efficiency comes at a price!"

    Um bom texto sobre os riscos associados à concentração, "The World's Food Supply Has Never Been More Vulnerable". 

    Recordo a Ecco e a sua fracassada ideia de concentrar toda a sua produção em Bangkok, a concentração de toda a produção de Coca-Cola da Península Ibérica numa única fábrica, a eliminação da refinaria de Leixões, a eliminação da fábrica da UNICER em Loulé. [Moi ici: Como não relacionar o que escrevi sobre o fim da fábrica de Loulé o sucesso da Font Salem)]

    Recordo ainda a ideia dos políticos de criarem hospitais-cidade, escolas-cidade, etc.

    "Consolidation has made the U.S. meat industry — and the global protein supply — profoundly and unacceptably vulnerable. It will become more susceptible in the years ahead as public health threats and potential cyberattacks continue to loom large, and as climate change increases the risk of natural disasters. Drought, heat, flooding, wildfires, insects, superstorms and weather volatility are raising pressure on our farms and ranches. In short, the cost-saving benefits of agricultural consolidation are increasingly outweighed by the risks of disruption." [Moi ici: Recordo a vacaria com 33 mil vacas]


    Food-industry experts have long been clamoring for systemic “resilience.” Last April, as the pandemic bore down on meat producers and before he began his second tour as U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack told me that we’re “better off having multiple plants in multiple locations — smaller facilities to produce enough product. And that may mean a little less profit, but it means that if you have an incident like this that threatens your workforce, you'll always have sufficient operation capacity.” Vilsack reiterated this sentiment Tuesday in a call with reporters: “Efficiency comes at a price, and that price is a lack of resilience when you have a major disruption.""


    "está tudo relacionado"

    Recordo muitas vezes uma frase que Nassim Taleb escreveu no Twitter em 2014:

    "Economists fail to get w/ GDP growth that anything that grows without an "S" curve (slowingdown phase) blows up."

    Ontem ao passar os olhos pelo livro "The Bed of Procrustes" encontrei:

    "Robustness is progress without impatience." 

    Entretanto, à noite li "​The '85% Rule': Why a dose of failure optimizes learning": 

    "If you have an error rate of 15% or accuracy of 85%, you are always maximizing your rate of learning in these two-choice tasks."

    E recordei os velhos nabateus:

    BTW, este fim de semana vi num canal do cabo, tipo National Geographic(?), um documentário sobre os Nabateus e a civilização de Petra. Uma parte desse documentário não me sai da cabeça... a parte em que se refere a técnica dos Nabateus para transportar água ao longo de km e km. Eles desenhavam a inclinação das tubagens não para a máxima eficiência de caudal transportado mas para a mais eficaz. A máxima eficiência leva à rotura frequente das tubagens.

    Não sei porquê, mas sinto que isto está tudo relacionado. 


    quarta-feira, junho 09, 2021

    "businesses often make is that they misjudge the relationship between ..."

    Cuidado com os juízos precipitados e com a crença nos jogos de soma nula.

    "When radio became popular in the 1920s, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) battled the new medium, convinced that radio would reduce record sales and, more important at the time, shrink revenue from sheet music. To choke off radio, ASCAP raised its licensing fees by 70 percent in the late 1930s and again in 1940. Broadcasters responded with a boycott. For almost a year, radio audiences in the United States heard virtually no copyright-protected music. All of a sudden, Stephen Foster’s long-forgotten “Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair,” a song in the public domain, filled the airwaves again.
    By the 1950s, however, ASCAP’s mistake was readily apparent. Radio was not a substitute for records; it was a complement, a means to advertise music and raise listeners’ appreciation for particular songs. Now the payment streams reversed: instead of charging astronomical licensing fees, record companies paid DJs to play particular songs. The first type of mistake businesses often make is that they misjudge the relationship between two products, seeing them as substitutes when they are, in fact, complements. In hindsight, we see things more clearly, of course. But at the time, the mistake was completely understandable. Wouldn’t you have thought that playing music for free would reduce the demand for records?”

    O karma é tramado! 

    Trechos retirados de "Better, Simpler Strategy: A Value-Based Guide to Exceptional Performance" 

    terça-feira, junho 08, 2021

    "It is amazing how many organizations fall into the trap of not making the required choices on strategy"

    "Decisions about strategy are the prerogative of top management and cannot be delegated to employees. For example, deciding what customers to target or what products to sell are strategic decisions and must be made by top management. Similarly, changes to strategy are also the domain of top management. You cannot have employees changing the product offering or the customers being targeted without the direct input of their leaders.


    Employees can have autonomy to act on operational issues that improve what we are already doing, but not on the strategic choices that the organization has made that define its strategic direction.

    Obviously, for employees to tell the difference between operational and strategic issues, they must first know what strategic choices the organization has made. This implies that the most important parameter that will guide employees’ behaviors—and the parameter that will allow us to give autonomy without fear of losing control—is our clearly communicated strategy. 


    a 2013 academic study reported that even in high-performing companies with clearly articulated strategies, only 29 percent of employees knew what their company’s strategy was. This is not an isolated finding—survey after survey reports that employees seem to be in the dark when it comes to their organization’s strategy, despite claims by senior management that their strategy is clear, well communicated, and understood by their employees.


    Reason #1: Failure to Make the Difficult Choices That Strategy Requires

    Strategy is all about making difficult choices—what the organization will do, and more importantly, what it will not do. The question that immediately arises is: “choices about what?” There is no agreed answer to this question, but at the very least there are three choices about strategy that need to be made—the who, the what, and the how. Specifically:

    • Who should we target as customers and who should we not?
    • What shall we offer these customers and what shall we not?
    • How should we achieve all this—what value chain activities should we undertake and what activities should we not?”


    The biggest strategic mistake that organizations make is not that they miss one or two choices in their decision making; it is that they do not make choices at all.


    It is amazing how many organizations fall into the trap of not making the required choices on strategy. One reason for this is the fact that these are not easy choices to make—ex ante, there are many possible answers to each one of the three questions.


    There may be additional reasons, but the end result is that organizations consistently and predictably fail to make the necessary choices that strategy requires. Faced with uncertainty, they invest some of their resources going after customer X and some going after customer Y—just to be on the safe side. In the process, they do a disservice to both X and Y (by underinvesting in both), but at least they ensure that they do not make a mistake by choosing one that may turn out to be wrong five or ten years down the road. Similarly, faced with the prospect of upsetting some of their colleagues, they allocate their limited resources to projects and regions that do not fit with the organization’s goals or direction. In the process, they underinvest in the things that deserve their attention, but at least they do not upset their colleagues!

    Failure to make choices leads to the first key reason why we have lack of clarity in strategy: Instead of being a clear statement of the (difficult) choices that the organization has made, strategy becomes nothing more than a vague and generic statement that lists all the wonderful things that the firm aims to achieve. It says all the right things so that nobody can really disagree with it, but fails to state the one thing that will offer guidance to employees— the choices the organization has made—exactly because no choices have been made. When you read the annual report of any company, what you get is good-sounding motherhood statements masquerading as strategy statements, a point also made by other academics. These offer no guidance or direction to employees. No wonder these people complain that they have no idea what their organization’s strategy is. They do not know it because the organization does not really have a strategy!"

    Trechos retirados de “Organizing for the New Normal” de Constantinos Markides.  

    segunda-feira, junho 07, 2021

    "Advertise the good behaviors, not the bad ones"

    Ao ler.
    "Small and seemingly trivial changes in the immediate environment or in the way we behave can have a big influence on what people do or how they behave."
    Dei uma interpretação diferente daquela que a maioria das pessoas tem. Quem lê esta frase, olha para o futuro e pensa que a melhoria da situação actual pode depender de pequenas mudanças. Pensei, pequenas mudanças no passado podem ter criado a situação dolorosa actual.

    Uma exemplo interessante sobre essas pequenas acções:
    "Leaders can use this fact to influence their employees. How? By “advertising” the behaviors they want to encourage in their organization. For example, advertise that the majority of your employees are team players rather than complain about those that do not collaborate as much as you want. Similarly, advertise that the majority of your people come to work on time rather than complain about those that arrive to work late. Simply “advertising” the right behavior will encourage everybody to conform to that.
    It sounds simple, but the truth of the matter is that we do the exact opposite in organizations: We complain about the lack of cooperation, or people arriving late to work, or not experimenting enough. By doing this, we are advertising the “bad” behaviors and in the process encouraging even good employees to conform to them.
    Advertise the good behaviors, not the bad ones."

    Trechos retirados de “Organizing for the New Normal” de Constantinos Markides.

    domingo, junho 06, 2021

    Estratégia em todo lado - não é winner-take-all (parte IV)

    Parte III

    "Network effects benefit larger companies and their customers. Whoever gets to scale first will have a substantial advantage. Building a network-effects business is a mad rush. But what about the companies that are left behind? What about small firms? 


    Are there effective strategies for companies that have a limited number of customers? Yes! There are many examples of smaller companies that compete successfully with (and sometimes even displace) larger organizations that benefit from network effects. Some of the smaller firms succeed by creating customer delight that does not reflect scale. Others find success by giving preference to one of the groups on the platform. Serving a small set of customers can also lead to stellar performance.


    As powerful as network effects can be, it is important to remember that WTP and customer delight are the currency that ultimately counts.


    Platforms serve multiple groups of customers, and while many create value for all groups, some choices betray the organization’s primary orientation. A travel site that sorts hotels by profit margin primarily serves the lodging industry. A site that sorts by customer reviews has the opposite orientation.


    If yours is a small company staring at a large platform, it is always worth asking whether you might be able to create meaningful differentiation by focusing on the WTP of the group that is less favored by your competitor. Etsy found success battling the superpower that is Amazon by doing exactly that—maintaining a sharp focus on the success of its sellers.


    Serving a Small Set of Customers

    In all likelihood, this is the most counterintuitive move that platforms make when they compete against larger rivals that benefit from network effects. How can you succeed against big by being small?


    The key insight here is that every large platform serves many different types of customers. The attraction between the types varies, however, and building a smaller platform for individuals who greatly value one another is a promising strategy.

    Failing to pay attention to differences in the mutual attraction of platform participants can have grave consequences. 


    Underdogs lift WTP in ways that do not depend on scale. Network effects are one way to raise WTP, but there are many others. As long as these alternatives require no substantial investments, the smaller organization is not at a disadvantage in exploiting them.

    Underdogs cater to neglected parties. Most platforms favor specific groups—customers or vendors. Serving the unloved group allows for meaningful differentiation.

    Underdogs focus on a small group of customers who place a high value on connections with one another."

    Isto ainda não é mainstream. A maioria ainda acredita no winner-take-all.

    Trechos retirados de "Better, Simpler Strategy: A Value-Based Guide to Exceptional Performance"