Unbundling Your Businesses

Unbundling Your Businesses

As John Hagel wrote over a decade ago, companies increasingly face an unbundling decision that will force executives to confront the most basic question of all: “what business are we really in?”   What business are you really in?   Hagel believe that companies are composed of three very different types of businesses with different economic, competitive, and cultural imperatives: Customer relationship businesses – building deep relationships with a target set of customers, getting to know them very well and using that knowledge to become increasingly helpful in sourcing the products and services that are most relevant and useful to them Product innovation and commercialization businesses – developing, introducing and accelerating the adoption of innovative new products and services Infrastructure management businesses – high volume, routine processing activities like running basic assembly line manufacturing, logistics networks or routine customer call centers On the same direction, Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema describe three generic value disciplines any company must choose and consistently and vigorously act upon to succeed: Operational Excellence – Superb operations and execution. Otten by providing a reasonable quality at a very low price, Task-oriented vision towards personnel. The focus is on etticiency streamlined operations, Supply Chain Management, no-frills, volume is important. Most large international corporations are operating out otthis discipline. Measuring systems are very important. Extremely limited variation in product assortment. But see: Reverse Positioning. Product Leadership – Very strong in innovation and brand marketing. Company operates in dynamic markets. The focus is on development innovation, design, time to market high margins in a shorttime frame, Flexible company cultures. Customer Intimacy – Company excels in customer attention...
Corporate LEGO

Corporate LEGO

Organizations as networks. by Future Agenda | Vodafone With more free agents and outsourcing, non-core functions within organizations are interchangeable and easily rebuilt around value-creating units. Organizations have already started to be more permeable and flexible. Increasing use of consultants, freelancers and other temporary staff has blurred the boundary between employee and contractor in many large companies. In addition, the outsourcing of such functions as IT, HR, finance and other so-called “back-office” jobs, often to different countries, has saved money but also increased the complexity of the organizational framework. While many companies today still see themselves as entities with employees in control of a wide range of value-creating and support activities, by the end of the decade more and more organizations will be networks. ‘While there will be a permanent core to the business, it will become increasingly small and more of a direction-setting and delivery-choreographing entity.’ Business of 2020 will have fewer people managers in charge of cohorts of workers and more project managers ensuring that the right activities are undertaken in the most effective manner irrespective of whether the project team is internal or external to the organization. Some examples of this shift are being collated in the world’s business schools and associated organizations such as the Management Lab in California. What they are pointing to is a world where organizations are becoming increasingly unbundled and recombined around different tasks and issues. The ability of companies to manage a community, rather than employees with a clear reporting line, presents a challenge that will be difficult for many to deal with. Some business leaders are already learning how...
Annoying Web

Annoying Web

The 65 Most Annoying things about the Web Today. by Bradley Hebdon. We’ve come a long way on the web today. Or have we?  While we’ve innovated in many areas, we’ve also continued to disregard pre-existing issues. And in some cases, we have also created new ones. Here is my list of the top 65 most annoying things about the web today. They’re in no particular order, but I have organized them into what I consider core groups. Using the Web can still be a very annoying experience! Poor Design Illegible text. I can’t read that, it’s too small. And what on earth is that font called? Busy backgrounds.  Oh MySpace, why do you allow users to create profiles like that? My eyes hurt. Obscure links. I’m confused, can I click on that or not? Oh I get it, you don’t want me to view other pages. Flyouts that are too large. Holy crap Yahoo!  This is a page within a flyout! Drop-down menu navigation too many levels deep. OK, if I slowly move my mouse this way first… dammit Jim, I’m a doctor not a magician! Complicated navigation. I just want to get to that page, the one over there! Oh I see, you want me to complete the maze first. Abused centerpieces. Aren’t centerpieces supposed to serve as mechanisms for promotion, rather than areas to cram an entire page’s worth of content into itself? Call me an idealist, I guess. Poor navigation labels. Give me a clue and use labels that make sense! Clutter & chaos. With no emphasis or information hierarchy, it’s difficult for me to know what to...
The biological GPS

The biological GPS

We use basic strategies to guide us in space… and we do the same when navigating websites. When it comes to navigation performance, there are many theories stating what is right and what is wrong. But before we make any decisions regarding navigation performance in digital interfaces, it is important to understand how our brain works when the issue at hand is spatial localization.   We have a complex cognitive system which employs 3 basic strategies to guide us in space   Human beings possess the ability to situate themselves in space. It works like a biological positioning device – a GPS (Global Positioning System) – except it features a capital advantage: our ability does not stop working in case part of the direction system fails because of the several tasks it performs. We possess a complex cognitive system which employs three basic strategies to guide us in space: orientation, trajectory integration and course follow-up. They may be used at the same time or not. Orientation “Look over there. Do you see that gray building with blue windows? Go that way; the Post Office is on the ground floor“. According to neurologists, “orientation” is the strategy people use to guide themselves via an easily noticeable point of reference. Trajectory Integration “Do you remember how you got here? Then go back to the bakery and turn right. Walk two blocks to the Post Office“. In the strategy called “trajectory integration“, the brain recreates individual stretches of the way in a cumulative progress report which takes into consideration the recollection of our own movements. In trajectory integration, the cognitive memory is the one utilized the least....