Category Archives: Strategy

Where are you Headed? Get Clear!

BUSINESS STRATEGY QUESTIONS SET #007

The four questions to ask before you get ready to scale-up!

  1. Are you attracting and retaining the right people?
  2. Do you have a distinct sustainable strategy?
  3. Are all processes running smoothly and driving superior profitability?
  4. Are you managing your cash flow effectively?

Answering these questions can prepare you to scale-up fast.

Read more at Book Summary – Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It…and Why the Rest Don’t.

BUSINESS STRATEGY QUESTIONS SET #006

Where and how does one begin the innovation process? Autodesk’s Innovation Strategist, Bill O’Connor, offers 7 questions:

  1. What could we look at in a new way?
  2. What could we use in a new way, or for the first time?
  3. What could we move, changing its position in space or time?
  4. What could we interconnect, for the first time or in a new way?
  5. What could we alter, in terms of design and performance?
  6. What can we make that is truly new?
  7. What can we imagine that would create a great experience for someone?

Source: https://labs.blogs.com/its_alive_in_the_lab/2016/08/the-autodesk-innovation-genome-is-part-of-a-process.html

BUSINESS STRATEGY QUESTIONS SET #005

How to create an integrated view of strategy? According to Kevin J. Boudreau, the most essential questions to address are:

  1. What Value Are You Intending to Create, and for Whom?
  2. How Do You Plan to Deliver That Value?
  3. What Is Your Competitive Advantage — Your Sources of Uniqueness?

Read more at

(1) https://hbr.org/2017/10/a-short-guide-to-strategy-for-entrepreneurs

(2) Designing Your Company: Creating, Delivering, and Capturing Value, Harvard Business School Strategy Unit Working Paper No. 16-131

BUSINESS STRATEGY QUESTIONS SET #003

What do you do better than others?

Is your entire organization aligned to do everything with this thinking?

If yes, then you are a “coherent” company. Paul Leinwand and Cesare Mainardi suggest taking a “Coherence Test” as illustrated in the image below.

Based on this, Paul Leinwand and Matthias Bäumler have listed the following 8 tough strategy questions.

References: (1) https://hbr.org/2017/11/8-tough-questions-to-ask-about-your-companys-strategy (2) https://hbr.org/2010/06/the-coherence-premium

BUSINESS STRATEGY QUESTIONS SET #002

How effectively are you implementing your business strategy?

The seven questions designed by Harvard professor Robert Simons could help answer that question:

1 – Who is your primary customer?
2 – How do you prioritize the needs of shareholders, employees, and customers with your core values?
3 – What critical performance variables are you tracking?
4 – What strategic boundaries have you set?
5 – How are you generating creative tension?
6 – How committed are your employees to helping each other?
7 – What strategic uncertainties keep you awake at night?

See more details at http://www.free-management-ebooks.com/news/simons-seven-strategy-questions/

Invitation to PEERSTRAT at High Tea on Saturday May 17, 2014, New Delhi

Business Strategy: Peer-Review workout session for entrepreneurs and business professionals

Click here to book your seat at Meraevents

Invitation to PEERSTRAT: Peer Strategy Review workout at High Tea on Saturday May 17, 2014, New Delhi
Invitation to PEERSTRAT

Dear Business Folks,

We are delighted to extend an invitation to you for a Peer Strategy Review workout (PEERSTRAT) session conducted by Omnizient Labs:

Date: Saturday, 17th May, 2014
Timings: 3:30 to 6:30
Location: Samavar, B-36A, Pamposh Enclave, GK-1, New Delhi – 110048

The PEERSTRAT sessions enable you explore ways to make your business get bigger, grow faster and be the very best in your industry.

All participants are invited to share the challenges and opportunities they are facing in their business as per following Five Step PEERSTRAT Agenda:

#1 Build Unique Business – Eliminate Competition!
#2 Recreate Brand – Tell a Compelling Story!
#3 Maximize Revenues – Penetrate Newer Markets!
#4 Maximize Profits – Transform Business Processes with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)!
#5 Track Success – Identify Critical Success Measures – What Gets Measured Gets Done!

Who will benefit from this event

Independent Professionals, Entrepreneurs, Senior Business Managers, Business Heads, CXOs, Directors @ Companies, Partners of family owned business, Proprietors, Middle Management

Participation

Participation fees are nominal INR 1000 to cover basic cost of the event. Tea and Snacks would be served during the session. Please confirm your participation by marking an email to raj @ bizvidya.com.

Click here to book your seat at Meraevents

Contact Details:
Raju Moza: raj @ Bizvidya.com,  +91-9818-662-001

Role of Board of Directors: Do you have competence and excellence at the top?

An Effective Board!
An Effective Board!

I was recently invited by one ‘Fitness company’ to advise them on how to cut the losses. One of the ways devised by them was to appoint franchisees so that they can have economies of scale for buying equipments and marketing expenses. Now that the company had decided to expand through franchisee route, the whole focus of the said company was to find people, though acquaintances or any other other means who would be their potential franchisees. I had no problems in this strategy, which perhaps was a good and viable option. However, I was my concern was they were missing an important piece when you are expanding your business. In my assessment, they needed to expand their bandwidth at the top and it was necessary to think about composition and functioning of the board. The kind of milestones the company intended to reach would be near to impossible to achieve without a proper board.

In India, the board is plugged mere for regulatory network, in case of private limited, the number of directors required is two and in public limited, the number should be seven. Most of the time, the board is comprised of friends or families, irrespective of their qualifications. Board doesn’t meet often, and whatever transactions it does, it mere does for regulatory considerations. In India, there is a dire need of sound board, but the importance of board is not at all valued in India, let alone talk of actual functioning of board.

The fundamental problem is that, overwhelming number of business people are ill educated about the need of Board. Management studies are bereft about the emphasis of what board potentially can deliver.

Board Room on a lighter note!
Board Room on a lighter note!

Few years back, most of the traditionally business house did underwent professional makeover but board remained untouched, somehow its importance has picked up.

Another misnomer about board is that people think only listed companies require it, whereas in my view the smaller companies need it more. It can provide direction, accountability and better guidance.

In this direction, I am glad that Omnizent labs is driving this educative as well as actually providing Directors for small companies. It will be a low cost exercise for small and medium companies.

For details about how to become a director or how to avail the services of director and make your board strong you may read this introduction page here and write to us at raj@bizvidya.com.

Author: Raju Moza has 14+ years of experience across various industries and domains like Telecom, Retail, Education, Electronic & Mobile Services, Travel & Hospitality and Manufacturing. He has been a turnaround leader with deep insights in understanding of diverse markets. He is regularly invited to speak at seminars and conferences. Besides the strong business pedigree, he is an ‘active writer’, has written some of the critically acclaimed pieces on diverse subjects namely Kashmir, Afghanistan, Political Islam, International Affairs, Political Economy and Short Stories. He recently shot a documentary as well.  He is an MBA in finance and has recently done a Venture Capital development program from ISB, Hyderabad, India.

Three Ways to Lower Costs and Boost Profits by Going Greener

Every business wants to increase revenue and cut expenses. How about if you do both of those things, and help the planet at the same time?

How? By going greener in your business.

Yes, I know—you’ve heard for years: “I’d love to go green but it’s too expensive and difficult!” Maybe you’ve even said this.

The good news is that’s nonsense. Done the right way, going greener can be easy, cheap, and profitable.

Let me say that differently: sure, there are plenty of expensive, difficult ways to green a business. But there are also lots of ways to go greener that you can do quickly and easily, for little or no cost. Since going green is a process and not an absolute, start with the easy, cheap, and profitable things!

Then you can allocate the money you save into new green initiatives that might not have quite so high an ROI.

1. Cut Your Paper Costs by 60 Percent or More—In Two Easy Steps

As your printers and copiers wear out, replace them with the “duplexing” kind, capable of printing both sides of the paper automatically. Set the defaults to double-sided printing, and train your staff to keep those settings unless they’re doing something that needs to be single-sided—which, usually, is a very tiny percentage of the paper flow. When I did this, I immediately started saving about 40 percent of my paper costs (and I use recycled paper, which usually does cost more).

And even before that, train your employees to bump up the default screen magnification or font size (using the View: Zoom command in Microsoft Word or most web browsers, and the Settings or Preferences command in e-mail programs) so that even though it takes the same space to print, the screen displays bigger type: comfortable enough to read. I used to print documents that were more than five pages or so, but now I’ll read even 50 pages on the screen, because the big print doesn’t make my eyes tired nearly as fast. Now, I sometimes go many days without even turning on my printer.

2. Plug the Energy Holes

How much energy is leaking right out of your building, or sucked away by “energy vampires”? If you’re like most businesses, you’re losing a lot that you can recapture with two quick, inexpensive methods.

Put your hand next to an empty electrical socket on a wall that borders the outside. If on a cold winter evening or a hot summer day, you feel a temperature difference between the inside and outside air, you’re feeling your hard-earned money slipping through the wall. Air that you’ve paid to heat or cool to the optimum temperature is migrating outside, increasing your complicity in global climate change while running up your energy bill.

You can easily stop this air from flowing out. A tiny investment in foam insulators and outlet protectors will pay for itself very quickly. In the US, where I live, many utility companies will give you the foam insulators for free. Even if you have to buy them at the hardware store, they’re very cheap. It takes under two minutes to unscrew the socket or switchplate cover—remember, you only have to do the ones on outside walls—pop in the foam pad, and screw the cover back on.

Now, for any outside-wall socket that doesn’t have a plug in it, pop in an outlet protector: a little piece of plastic designed to keep baby fingers out of trouble. Hardware stores have them in the baby department.

Finally, caulk any windows that leak air around the edges (use removable rope caulk if these windows are designed to open) and install door sweeps if you’re losing air around exterior doors,

Once you’ve blocked all that air from migrating back and forth, get rid of your “energy vampires”: equipment that stays on all the time, in standby mode, even when switched off—anything that turns on instantly without any warmup is probably guilty of sucking out a surprisingly large amount of power over time. The easiest way to deal with this is to buy multi-outlet power strips that have an on-off switch. Get in the habit of turning the power strips off until you need them, and your printers, copiers, computers, coffee machines, microwave ovens and other devices will stop drinking power all night long. If you train your staff to flip those switches, you’ll be amazed at how much you save.

3. Market to the Green Consumer

The green market is growing at better than 29 percent a year, according to Allen Rubin, director of the National Environmental Hall of Fame.

And as soon as you begin to take some steps toward lowering your carbon footprint and conserving resources, you’re entitled to approach this lucrative market. The more you do to go green, of course, the deeper you can go with messages about sustainability to win new business and higher revenues. But even if you’re just starting with the easy steps above, you can make this a marketing opportunity—NOT by “greenwashing” or pretending to be greener than you are, but by using these tentative steps as a jumping off point to engage your customers and prospects. For example, an in-store or social media campaign that says “this is what we’ve done so far. If you were us, what else would you do to go farther down the green path?

More Easy Green Ideas

If you’re excited about saving more energy and resources, here’s a gift for you: a free copy of my e-book, Painless Green: 111 Tips to Help the Environment, Lower Your Carbon Footprint, Cut Your Budget, and Improve Your Quality of Life-With No Negative Impact on Your Lifestyle. Just visit http://painlessgreenbook.com/earthday, and enter the code, “earthday” (without the quote marks).

Want to market green products and services to green AND non-green audiences? Marketing consultant, syndicated columnist, and copywriter Shel Horowitz shows you how to “reach green, socially conscious consumers with marketing that has THEM calling YOU.” He specializes in green and ethical marketing strategies and materials for businesses and organizations. The primary author of the category bestseller Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green: Winning Strategies to Improve Your Profits and Your (John Wiley & Sons, 2010), Shel writes the monthly column Green And Profitable. His website is http://greenandprofitable.com.