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Tag Archives: Risk Management

A Startling Fact about Analytics-driven Organizations

27 Mar

Enterprises invest in Analytics to improve Decision Making and outcomes across the business. This is from Product Strategy and Innovation to Supply Chain Management, Customer Experience, and Risk Management. Yet, many executives are not yet seeing the results of their Analytics initiatives and investments.

Every organization putting on investment in Analytics has experienced several stumbling blocks. This differentiates the leaders from the laggards. Analytics-driven Organizations have clearly established processes, practices, and organizational conditions to achieve Operational Excellence. Their commitment to Analytics is creating a major payoff from their investments and a competitive edge.

What It Takes to Be Analytics-driven

The Harvard Business Review Analytic Services conducted a survey of 744 business executives around the world and across a variety of industries. Their focus was on the performance gap between companies that have struggled to get a return on their Analytics investment and those that have effectively leveraged their investment.

The survey showed that Analytics-driven Organizations get sufficient return on investment in Analytics. In fact, they have been highly successful in gaining a return on Analytics investment. This is gainfully achieved as organizations use Analytics consistently in strategic decision making. Executives of Analytics-driven Organizations rely on Analytics insights when it contradicted their gut feel.

Essentially, Analytics-driven Organizations have reduced costs and risks, increased Productivity, Revenue, and Innovation, and have successfully executed their Strategy. Yet, in evolving the organization’s Analytics approach, there can be 4 core obstacles that can affect their drive to getting a greater return on investment in Analytics.

The Core Obstacles to Finding Return on Analytics Investment

There are 4 core obstacles to being an Analytics-driven Organization.

Let’s briefly take a look at the first 2 obstacles:

  1. Communication and Decision-making Integration. The lack of Communication and Decision-making Integration limits the integration of Analytics into workflows and decision processes do not reach decision-makers. As a result of these core obstacles, the use of Analytics is limited in specific areas.
  2.  Skills to Interpret and Apply Analytics. A second core obstacle is the inadequate skills of business staff to interpret and use Analytics. In fact, the survey showed that only one-quarter of frontline employees use Analytics with only 7% using Analytics regularly.

The other two core obstacles are siloed and fragmented Analytics and time delay. These are two equally important core obstacles that can hinder the use of Analytics to maximize return on investment. Further, the 4 core obstacles are barriers to analytic success.

Are You Ready to Be an Analytics Leader?

Leaders use Analytics consistently in decision making. In fact, based on the survey, 83% of executives use it in business planning and forecasting. On the other hand, laggards only use it 67% of the time. Even in various aspects of the organization such as Marketing, Operations, Strategy Development, Sales, Supply Chain, Pricing and Revenue Management, and Information Technology, laggards use Analytics only half the time compared to Analytics Leaders.

Analytics Leaders always ensure that they establish the processes and organizational conditions to allow them to successfully deploy Analytics. In fact, to increase return on Analytics, organizations must undertake the use of four interrelated initiatives that will drive greater return on investment Analytics. These are four initiatives essential to building an Analytics-driven Organization.

One is building an organizational culture around Analytics. To achieve this the organization must have clear, strategic, and operational objectives that are set for Analytics. Second is deploying Analytics throughout all core functions of the business.

Starting with an Analytics-driven Culture can greatly facilitate cross-functional deployment of Analytics.

Interested in gaining more understanding of Analytics-driven Organization? You can learn more and download an editable PowerPoint about Analytics-driven Organization here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Are you a management consultant?

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The 4 Tactics our Board Should Adopt for a Long-term, Strategic Mindset

9 Mar

When things go wrong on a grand scale, often we direct our attention to the role of the Board. Debate exudes and often gets heated up and intensifies. This often happens when the Board spends more time looking in the rearview mirror and not enough scanning the road ahead. When this happens, governance suffers.

Often, the Board of Directors spend a bulk of its time on quarterly reports, audit reviews, budgets, and compliance.  However, with the change in the business environment, there is a greater need to redirect the Board’s attention on matters crucial to the future prosperity and direction of the business. One of this is Strategy Development.  Achieving this requires the development of a dynamic Board with a long-term mindset capable of creating forward-looking agenda and activities that get sufficient time over a 12-month period.

The Changing Board Agenda

The Board Agenda is changing. It is becoming more dynamic and it has increasingly highlighted forward-looking activities.  Long-term economic, technological, and demographic trends are radically shaping the global economy. The second Industrial Revolution now requires the Board to shift focus. The Board is now challenged to focus on matters crucial to achieving Operational Excellence and the future direction of the organization. Directors must devote more time to strategic and forward-looking aspects of the agenda. They must cease seeing the job as supporting the CEO, but instead, be strategic in making sure long-term goals are formulated and met.

Having a forward-looking Board has now become every organization’s imperative.  However, this can only be achieved if there is a solid foundation that is anchored on three guiding principles. Organizations must have the right Board Member, a clear definition of the Board’s role, and greater time commitment from members. At this time when a long-term mindset has come to a fore, these have become essential.

Developing a Long-term Mindset: The 4 Essential Tactics

“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy are the noise before defeat.” – Sun Tzu

Organizations can undertake 4 essential tactics to encourage the Board to have a long-term mindset.

  1. Study the External Landscape. This is the starting point of creating a forward-looking mindset. The primary purpose of this tactic is to expose the Board to new technologies and market developments relevant to the company’s strategy. Studying the external landscape will challenge management with critical questions.
  2. Participate in Strategy Development. This tactic focuses on making strategy a vital part of the Board’s DNA. Participating in the Strategy Planning process will strengthen the Board’s role in co-creating and ultimately agreeing on the company’s strategy.
  3. Focus on Long-term Talent Development. The third tactic, this tactic focuses on unleashing the full power of the people. It will effectively reallocate skills and experience to a business with more potential.  To achieve its expected result, the key is the Board must agree with management on a sensible approach to reviewing executive talent.
  4. Identify Existential Risks. This is the tactic that focused on the Risk Management of existential risks. Because of accelerating technological progress, existential risks have become a recent phenomenon. Existential risks have a great detrimental impact not only on business but also on mankind. The Boards have the duty to ensure that management teams pursue bottom-up investigations, identify key risk areas, and act on the results.

The 4 tactics are essentially effective in creating long-term mindsets.  When this is achieved, Board Excellence is never far behind.

Interested in gaining more understanding of achieving Board Excellence via a Long-term Mindset? You can learn more and download an editable PowerPoint about Board Excellence: Long-term Mindset here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Are you a management consultant?

You can download this and hundreds of other consulting frameworks and consulting training guides from the FlevyPro library.

How to Achieve Board Excellence? Have A High Impact, Strategic Board

7 Mar

The pressure on Boards and Directors to raise their game has remained acute. A survey of more than 770 directors from public and private companies across the industries around the world suggested that some are responding more energetically than others.

There is a dramatic difference between how directors allocate their time among boardroom activities and the effectiveness of the Boards. One in four directors assessed their impact as moderate or lower, while others reported as having a high impact across Board functions.

Today, the call to become more forward-looking and achieving Board Excellence is further highlighted. This is further emphasized when the Board and Management are pressured to find the best answers to global business concerns and issues. In Strategy Development, this becomes invaluable. It does not only lead to clearer strategies but also the creation of alignment essential in making bolder moves.

While these are essential, there is a need to raise the quality of engagement on strategy between the Board and Management for each group to achieve smarter options. This is possible only if organizations have high impact, strategic Boards in place.

High impact, strategic Boards have a greater impact as they move beyond the basics and face increasing challenges.

The Challenges that Today’s Board Face

Business is fast-changing and rapidly transforming. The global economy is increasingly pushing businesses, as well as the Board to face a gamut of challenges.

What are the 2 main challenges facing Boards today?

First is Time Commitment. Working at a high level takes discipline – and time. In fact, the greater time commitment is expected on high impact activities. The Board often have 6 to 8 meetings a year. As a result, they are often hard-pressed to get beyond the compliance-related topics to secure the breathing space needed for developing a strategy.

Often, it is the very high impact Directors who invest more time compared to moderate or lower average Directors.

Who are your very high impact Directors? They are those spend a total of 40 days a year working for the Board compared to 19 days of low impact Directors. An extra 8 workdays a year is invested in strategy and an extra 3 workdays a year are spent on Performance Management, M&A, Organizational Health, and Risk Management.

High impact Directors who believe that their activities have greater impact spend significantly more time on these activities compared to low impact Boards.

Second is Strategy Understanding. Why is Strategy Understanding a challenge for the Board? Limited understanding of the organization’s strategy can result in the Board’s limited engagement with the organization. Based on the survey made, only 21% of the Directors have a complete understanding of the current strategy. Often, Board members have a better understanding of the company’s financial position rather than its risks or industry dynamics.

If we look at high impact Directors, they invest more time in dealing with strategic issues. In fact, they invest 8 extra workdays a year on Strategic Planning and discussing strategy compared to low impact Directors. High impact Directors center on Strategy Focus Areas which can, in turn, spur high-quality engagement from the Board on strategy development. The quality of Board engagement on strategy is enhanced, both when the engagement is deep and during the regular course of business.

The Board just needs to focus on 3 areas of discussion for the Board to enhance Strategy Development. One of them is Industry and Competitive Dynamics.

Interested in gaining more understanding of Board Excellence via High Impact, Strategic Boards? You can learn more and download an editable PowerPoint about Board Excellence: High Impact, Strategic Boards here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Are you a management consultant?

You can download this and hundreds of other consulting frameworks and consulting training guides from the FlevyPro library.

Customer-centric Culture: An Imperative in Today’s Age of the Customer

28 Nov

The use of the Internet and other online tools have turned consumers to be more empowered and are now shopping differently. Customers are becoming more demanding and accustomed to getting what they want.

With greater access to reviews and online rating, customers are better equipped to switch to new products and services. Consumers now want to buy products and services when, where, and however they like. They expect companies to interact with them seamlessly, in an easy, integrated fashion with very little friction across channels.

As customer expectation continues to evolve–accelerated by the amplifying forces of interconnectivity and technology–markets are becoming increasingly fragmented with demand for greater product variety, more price points, and numerous purchasing and distribution channels.

Companies should be able to adapt to these increasingly disparate demands quickly and at scale. Staying close to the Customer Experience across an increasingly diverse customer base changing over time is no longer a matter of choice. It is a business imperative and a matter of corporate survival.

The Age of the Customer now calls for companies to be a Customer-centric Organization. Successful ones have discovered that driving customer-centricity depends, first and foremost, on building a Customer-centric Culture.

The Case for Customer-centricity

In the Age of the Customer, business as usual is not enough. Customers expect companies to interact with them seamlessly. Customers want companies to anticipate their needs and technology must have lowered barriers to entry to allow unorthodox competitors to disrupt markets.

The Age of the Customer has made it imperative for companies to have a customer-centric culture. A Customer-centric Culture can empower and control employee behavior. It is a culture that prioritizes the common understanding, sense of purpose, emotional commitment, and resilience. It is a culture where leaders and employees understand the company’s brand promise. Finally, and most importantly, a customer-centric culture is a culture that is committed to delivering exceptional customer experience.

Companies with a customer-centric culture must integrate, within its core, primary and secondary cultural attributes essential to complete its customer-centric culture framework.

The Corporate Culture Framework: Its Primary and Secondary Cultural Attributes

In a customer-centric Corporate Culture framework, the primary cultural attributes are critical in building a customer-centric culture. It also has 4 Secondary Cultural Attributes to complete that transformation.

The 4 Primary Cultural Attributes

  1. Collective Focus
    This is a shared vision articulated on what it means to deliver great customer service. Significant resources are devoted to communicating the customer value and all employees understand their role in delivering value.
  2. External Orientation
    External Orientation is having a full understanding of the company through the customer’s eyes. Outside-in perspectives are taken, seeing themselves as customers see them.
  3. Change and Innovation
    In Organizational Change and Innovation, the corporate value system is in place that values failing fast and learning quickly. The notion that mistakes are learning opportunities is embedded in the organization.
  4. Shared Beliefs
    Shared Beliefs is an attribute where employees share a common ideology and commitment to core values. The company strongly encourage strong service mentality and the desire to help others.

The 4 Secondary Cultural Attributes

  1. Risk and Governance
    In Risk Management and Governance, the company must have a strong collective focus and shared beliefs about the boundaries of acceptable risk and appropriate behavior.
  2. Courage
    A Customer-centric Culture with this secondary attribute has the resilience to bounce back when things don’t go as planned.
  3. Commitment
    Commitment is the third secondary attribute where employees show dedication to the customer-centric ethos.
  4. Inclusion
    Inclusion, the fourth secondary attribute, is one attribute that reinforces values diversity, authenticity, and uniqueness.

Inculcating these attributes has become imperative to achieve a successful transformation towards a Customer-centric Culture. Organizations just need to master the necessary practices to instill these attributes and the essential reinforcement to ensure that it is sustained.

Interested in gaining more understanding of Customer-centric Culture? You can learn more and download an editable PowerPoint about Customer-centric Culture here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Are you a management consultant?

You can download this and hundreds of other consulting frameworks and consulting training guides from the FlevyPro library.

When Sustaining Stakeholder Interest Is Essential: The Importance of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Sources of Value

25 Oct

Companies face increasing pressure from governments, competitors, and employees to play a leading role in addressing a wide array of environmental, social, and governance issues in a company’s supply chain. It could range from climate change to obesity to human rights.

For the past 30 years, companies have responded by developing corporate social responsibility or sustainability initiatives to fulfill their contract with society by addressing these issues.

However, gathering the data needed to justify sustained, strategic investment in programs can be difficult.  Yet, without this information, executives and investors often see programs as separate from a company’s core business or unrelated to its shareholder value. While there are companies that have made progress tracking operational metrics or social indicators, they have difficulty linking such metrics and indicators to a real financial impact.

Needless to say, there are companies that are creating great value through environmental, social, and governance activities.  Increased sales, decreased costs, and reduced risks are being achieved.  Environmental, social, and governance programs can create value in many other ways. We just need to know where and how.

What is Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) or sustainability initiatives are undertaken to fulfill contracts with society to respond to environmental issues. Environmental, social, and governance refer to a broader set of CSR Programs.

Sustaining strategic investments in CSR Programs can be a challenge but there are already leading companies that are generating real value through environmental, social, and governance activities.

The Dynamic Ways of Creating Value

CSR Programs can create shareholder value. It is just important that companies must broaden their legitimacy in societies where they operate.

  1. Growth. As a source of value, Growth can be expressed in terms of New Markets, New Products, New Customers, Market Share, and Innovation. When this is created, it can deliver higher brand loyalty, reputation, and goodwill with stakeholders.
  2. Return on Invested Capital (ROIC). ROIC is generated when there is operational efficiency and workforce efficiency. When this is achieved, it can result in better workforce skills and increased productivity through participation in ESG activities.
  3. Risk Management. Risk Management is a source of value. It can be achieved when risk is lowered when compliance with regulatory requirements are achieved.  Public support is achieved and the ability of your company to secure consistent, long-term, and sustainable access to safe, high-quality raw materials and products are established.
  4. Management Excellence. Management Excellence can have an impact on leadership development, adaptability, and long-term strategic view. These are 3 key areas that investors consider most important when evaluating potential partnerships.  With Management Excellence, a value can be generated from these areas.

A Look at IBM: A Clear Example of CSR as a Source of Value

IBM has been recognized globally as one of the leading companies when it comes to Information Technology.  In creating new markets, IBM used Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Toolkit to develop a track record with local stakeholders, including local governments and NGOs.  Free web-based resources on business management were provided to SMEs in developing economies. A total of 30 SME Toolkit sites were developed in 16 languages.

As a result of this initiative, IBM’s reputation and relationships in new markets improved.   Likewise, the relationship with companies that are potential customers was developed.  The strategic approach of IBM in creating markets through its CSR has provided IBM much value in creating and developing relationships which are essential in new markets.

Interested in gaining more understanding of sources of value to CSR programs? You can learn more and download an editable PowerPoint about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): Sources of Value here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Are you a management consultant?

You can download this and hundreds of other consulting frameworks and consulting training guides from the FlevyPro library.


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