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10 Red Flags to Watch Out for in a Job Interview

According to CareerBuilder, two-thirds of workers say they’ve accepted a job only to realize it was not a good fit, with half of them quitting in the first six months. That’s an exhausting, unproductive, unintended consequence of the surge in hiring. From a company’s viewpoint:

  1. Keep to schedules as much as feasible and avoid drawn out interviews
  2. Carefully orchestrate group interviews and pay attention to group dynamics
  3. Honestly share as much as possible about your company’s values, culture, and commitments
  4. Be aware of conflicting answers from others in your organization
  5. If you change the scope of the position, let the interviewee know beforehand
  6. Make an offer sincerely, with no ultimatums attached.

These and other red flags can ruin the best hiring plans. An additional tactic we’ve found very successful is to use objective testing and extensive background checks to measure cognitive skills, assess personality traits and cultural fit, and validate resumes contents (i.e., employment history, academic credentials, license and certificate validation, etc.) so that the candidate interviews can be maximized to learn more about the candidate’s goals and interest, our goals and objectives, the performance objectives of the given role, and other value-added dialogue versus each interviewer revisiting the candidate’s job history and prior details. After all, each interview is a mutual discovery opportunity. Please reach out to me to share your recruiting challenges.

Read the full article, here.

The Unwritten Laws of Physics for Black Women

While I usually try to stay away from race, gender, religion, and other sensitive topics in my social media, I couldn’t stop myself from posting this article for all of you to read. It has to do with sensitivity—and frankly awareness—in the workplace. The subtitle says it all, “I just wanted to be a scientist, not a trailblazer. But in my field, people like me are anomalies—and we face constant scrutiny for our race and gender.” While our society has come so very far and is successfully achieving more equality in our companies than ever, I think we need to take a step back to evaluate the bigger picture, as well as a step forward to imagining ourselves in a similar position as the author. A great outcome would be for the next generation of diverse high achievers to not consider themselves to be aliens. Please reach out to me to start a conversation about achieving equality, along with sensitivity to the individual.

Read the full article, here.

Unlock the Power of Purpose

This article offers a new framework to help companies derive business value based on a clear, consistent corporate purpose—one that drives collaboration, innovation, and growth. The power of purpose comes from its capacity to link people through a shared belief about the identity, meaning, and mission of the organization. Purpose inspires people by illuminating the priorities of an organization: its history, why it exists, and its ultimate aim. It creates a sense of meaning by connecting the work people do with their feelings and values and it helps to clarify how the organization contributes to each stakeholder. In these ways, purpose guides the daily actions of people within a company. Please reach out to me to share a conversation about your company’s purpose and how to inspire your employees.

Read the full article, here.

6 Factors Driving Changes to Today’s Corporate Strategies

Six important factors are driving new and updated demands on corporate strategists.

  1. Dynamism: competitive advantages do not last as long as they used to, so re-balancing needs to occur more actively and frequently
  2. Uncertainty: as business plans become less predictable, scale takes on a new dynamic—that being resilience
  3. Contingency: companies need to have more than one strategy at their fingertips
  4. Connectedness: true value can now reside beyond the boundaries of the firm
  5. Contextuality: corporate strategy must now creatively include new social and ecological constraints
  6. Cognition: companies need to combine machine learning and AI with human cognition to create new ‘bionic’ organizations.

Please reach out to me to discuss how corporate strategies are evolving in your organization and competitive landscape.

Read the full article, here.

‘Vampire Energy’ Is Sucking the Life Out of Our Planet

We all know that vampires only exist in the fictional realms of literature and TV—right? Vampire energy, also called standby power or phantom loads, is power that certain electronics and electrical appliances consume even after they are placed in standby mode or switched off. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) reports that more than 100 billion KWh are wasted every year because of vampire energy, costing American consumers over $19 billion. Compared to residential, industrial vampire energy consumption is a much bigger emissions problem. Life sciences is even larger. For them, unsustainability begins in the drug development stage and continues into the manufacturing process, where laboratories refrigerators and freezers, run nonstop to maintain pharmaceuticals and supplies. Addressing the problem can mean tougher regulation or investing in technology—either way, it’s time for industry to reduce its carbon footprint. Want to discuss about how you might improve your sustainability efforts? Please reach out to me.

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Critical Thinking Is About Asking Better Questions

Asking thought-provoking questions is one of the most important, enjoyable, and satisfying aspects of my job as CEO. At the heart of critical thinking is the ability to formulate deep, unusual, and effective questions. As this article advocates, first formulate and then loosely hold onto a hypothesis, but also be willing to fundamentally reconsider your initial conclusions without being defensive. Second, listen more than you talk through active listening. Third, leave your queries open-ended, by avoiding yes-or-no questions. Fourth, consider the counterintuitive to avoid falling into groupthink. Fifth, take the time to sleep on it, rather than rush to a conclusion too quickly. Lastly, do not hesitate to ask difficult follow-ups. This process can and will up your communications game and bring more insight and game-changing conclusions to your critical thinking. Please reach out to me to discuss your success with this approach.

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It’s Like GPT-3 but for Code—Fun, Fast, and Full of Flaws

Nerd alert? Perhaps, but to me (and I think for you) this article is a fascinating view on Copilot, a major AI enhancement tool that programmers refer to as an AI genie. Ever since computers came to be, people have hunted for ways to make them easier to program. And Copilot is truly an amazing advancement. According to the author, he could type a line of code, and within a few seconds the AI would figure out where he was headed—then, boom, the next four or five full lines would show up as light gray text, which he could accept by hitting Tab. When he saw it produce clean code that did exactly what he was intending, he found it a bit uncanny. What’s more, the tool was improving his code. While we can all think of negative uses for this tool, the OpenAI founders saw massive upsides, perhaps it could help solve scientific problems, deal with climate change, or improve medical care. A worthwhile read, indeed. Please reach out to me to discuss your ideas for applications of this tool to your business.

Read the full article, here.

Stop Telling Employees to Be Resilient

Lately, it seems as if “resilience” has popped up as the answer to just about everything. As the past few years have proved, uncertainty and challenging situations are often beyond our control. But exactly how leaders respond is definitely in our control. This article highlights five actions that leaders can implement to support a more resilient workplace: 1) Make well-being a collective practice. 2) Look back at how far you’ve come as a team. 3) Use one-on-one meetings wisely. 4) Understand and adjust for different emotional expression tendencies. 5) Create a shared language. My favorite is number 2 because in a global consulting business, like ours, we tend to keep pushing forward to the next challenge, the next project, and honestly, addressing the next global catastrophe. When we stop and recognize all that we’ve accomplished and how many people we have touched, it is not only satisfying but also energizing so that we are positioned and mentally prepared to meet the next challenge. Please reach out to me to discuss your strategies and challenges to creating more resilient organizations.

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The Great Resignation is Becoming a “Great Midlife Crisis”

I’m sure you’ve noticed that older, higher-paid workers are increasingly quitting their jobs, as the Great Resignation enters its second year. There are a myriad of causes behind this phenomenon. Among those more financially stable, the quit rate is being driven by everything from a desire to continue working remotely, to a greater search for meaning, to simply having the means to do so. The global pandemic has made people reflect on their own mortality and what really matters, hence re-evaluating their professional lives. Other knowledge workers are hesitant to come back to the office, with its related high stress levels, which already were on the rise back in 2020. Others are quitting because of the large number of high paying, premium jobs to choose from. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of business and professional services job openings is at a record high. At P&C, we see this in our own recruiting efforts, as we have been able to attract many highly experienced, expert-level knowledge workers to our firm because of our award-winning remote work policy. If you would like to strategize about how the Great Resignation is affecting your business or organization, please reach out to me.

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Leading Change Means Changing How You Lead

Looking at the past two years, one could conclude that the key requirements of leadership are flexibility and empathy. While these qualities are certainly beneficial, the enduring requirement of leadership is to be contextually effective to suit the challenges you face. What type of change are you trying to achieve? While this article outlines an approach that uses mapping, mindset, and messaging, what resonates most with me is the mindset piece. For instance, if enhanced magnitude is your goal, then the required mindset is that of rising to a challenge, regardless of current performance. When the goal is reimagining activity, then you should focus on experimentation and targeted risk taking. If a shift in direction is called for, then building belief among employees, customers, and partners would be best for the business. Please reach out to me to discuss whatever change you are trying to achieve.

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Are the Risks of Global Supply Chains Starting to Outweigh the Rewards?

The conflict in Ukraine is only the latest jolt to global supply chains. Disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, climate-related events, and geopolitical tensions were already undermining
their rationale. As companies rethink sourcing, they will have to consider new factors concerning geography and geopolitics, logistics, decarbonization and sustainability, and suppliers’ health. Over the last three decades, firms have taken advantage of reliable, low-cost transportation and a benign trading environment to leverage low-cost labor to deliver a plethora of products to distant markets. In the recent past, we’ve been encouraging this, as well. But now supply-chain “resilience” is getting tangled with economic and technological “sovereignty,” a euphemism for more localized production. Are you struggling with the changing dynamics of supply chain geo-politics and other pressures? Please reach out to me to discuss some alternative strategies to consider.

Read the full article, here.

Harnessing the Power of Age Diversity

Are tensions between different generations escalating? In organizations, lack of trust between older and younger workers often yields a culture of competition and resentment that leads to real productivity losses. But when age-diverse teams are managed well, members can share a wide array of skills, knowledge, and networks with one another. Today’s organizations already have the means to help leaders take advantage of these assets: tools that have been used by cross-cultural teams for decades and by DEI initiatives more recently. But these tools are rarely applied to age biases and conflicts. To change that, the authors offer a four-part framework of identifying assumptions, adjusting your lens, taking advantage of differences, and embracing mutual learning. Please reach out to me for additional insights and approaches on how to address this challenge more effectively in your organization.

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Top Performers Have a Superpower: Happiness

This article points to a study done with almost 1 million U.S. military soldiers. While the researchers expected that well-being and optimism matter, they were taken aback by just how much they mattered. Four times as many awards (the military’s consummate measure of performance) were earned by the happiest soldiers (upper quartile) compared with those who were unhappiest (lower quartile). You might dismiss this study as not pertaining to the business world; however, the U.S. Department of Defense is the single largest employer in the world. In fact, not only do happiness and optimism matter to employee performance, but they can predict how well employees will perform. As for my happiness, I was enlightened to learn that psychologists define happiness as how much positive emotion (enjoyment, enthusiasm, inspiration, or pride) someone experiences. So yes, I am very happy.

Read the full article, here.

Countries Will Need a Nimbler Response to the Next Pandemic

This excellent article points to business strategies that can be applied to a country’s ability to better plan for the next pandemic: the level of predictability and the ability to reshape the future. In environments where you can predict the future, winning players are often incumbents who can execute against a plan that makes the best use of their advantaged assets. In environments where you can reshape the future, winning players are typically innovators who can execute against a visionary plan that disrupts the structure of an industry. However, in environments marked by high uncertainty and a low ability to shape the future, winners are not those with preexisting plans but those who are nimble—who can get out of the starting blocks quickly, shift direction as they learn more, and scale fast. This article points to 5 success factors, which should guide business preparedness, as well as that for countries: re-deployable manufacturing (or a flexible supply chain), an expandable workforce, decentralized innovation, flexible rules & processes, and better communications. We at P&C have applied these strategies in multiple industries, during and post-pandemic. Please reach out to me to learn more.

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The Three Internal Barriers to Deep-Tech Corporate Venturing

The benefits of deep-tech Corporate Venturing (CV) are compelling. That’s why chief innovation officers must tackle not-invented-here syndrome, risk aversion, and top-down cultures to successfully collaborate with deep-tech startups. To address NIH syndrome, a shared mandate between R&D and CV can help overcome internal biases and siloed decision-making while encouraging choices that are best for the organization as a whole. Deep tech is often associated with high risk, which can cause corporate leaders to block efforts to adopt and catalyze external innovation. To appropriately evaluate risk, senior managers should evaluate the risk levels their peers are willing to take on and choose mechanisms to match. Many times, we at P&C also recommend creating a sandbox—basically a minimum proof of concept environment, as a way of addressing risk. Furthermore, if your company’s top-down culture is getting in the way, you can enlist internal advocates or turn to outside experts to help make a convincing case. Contact us to learn more about how we help our clients effectively harness the value of deep-tech venturing.

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Steering Law Firm Strategy

While the importance of strategy in law firms is increasing, this does not answer the question of who is steering strategy—and how. The complex dynamic between partners and the collective means that enough of the general partnership needs to be onboard with any strategy to be effective. In other words, we accept the fact that the general partnership is a key—and complicated—piece of law firm strategy. Regardless, lawyers are no longer the only ones driving law firm strategy. An increased voice is being given to executives and professionals from outside the legal profession. To be successful in this role, you must have a managing partner or chair who is committed to making strategy work and you must develop relationships with those who can influence others to get onboard and provide leadership. Struggling with these issues? Please reach out to me for some guidance regarding what’s worked for our law firm clients.

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Getting Ahead of Rising Labor Costs

Companies risk losing the ability to deliver quality to their customers if they don’t fundamentally rethink how to evolve their business model to incorporate higher labor costs. This article not only schools us on the economic gears that have been in play for decades, but also gives insight to the failures of traditional compensation benchmarking. Working conditions, pay, and benefits need to fundamentally change in order to ensure a long-run labor supply and stable business models. Many people are content to work in front-line roles for years and even their entire working lives. Think about call center representatives, retail store professionals, airline cabin crew, and in-store professionals at many of the world’s largest financial institutions, for example—those who represent a large majority of the workers in some of the industries that P&C serves. The real challenge—and opportunity—is to make front-line roles attractive day to day, month to month, and for years on end, which is why much of our work incorporates continual learning & development, improving the physical work environment, nurturing constructive organizational culture, and communications. Please reach out to me to learn more about what we’re accomplishing for our clients and what we can do together for your organization.

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5 Questions Every Manager Needs to Ask Their Direct Reports

While the Great Resignation is placing a much overdue spotlight on employees, we at P&C feel that the following questions should be part of your everyday employee engagement strategy—not just when managers feel desperate to retain them. 1) How would you like to grow within the organization? 2) Do you feel a sense of purpose in your job? 3) What do you need from me to do your best work? 4) What are we currently not doing as a company that you feel we should do? 5) Do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day? When you help individuals feel seen and valued, they are most likely to become advocates for the organization, regardless of how long they stay. Please connect with me to share what strategies are currently working for your organization.

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The 4 Pillars of Successful Digital Transformations

I know…yet another Digital Transformation article. But yet there’s something specific here that deserves further exploration. That something is Pillar #4, New Ventures. Typically, the CEO, or head of sales, leads these types of initiatives because they require investment, agility, and most importantly a team capable of running experiments to validate a new business opportunity. The desired payoff is new sources of revenue, but the KPIs can be more nuanced. While many businesses are presented with opportunities such as these, seizing them requires greater digital maturity than for an IT uplift or operations endeavor. At P&C, we closely advise a great number of companies to help them evaluate and then surgically select new venture investments. If your digital journey includes this challenge, please reach out to me to learn more about our approach.

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The Future Of… Nostalgia: Why We Look Forward to Looking Backwards

There are those who advise, “Never look back. Regret nothing. Let go of the past”. In fact, nostalgia was once viewed as a disease. In the late 17th century, Johannes Hofer, a medical student, noticed a strange illness affecting Swiss mercenaries. Its symptoms, including fatigue, insomnia, irregular heartbeat, indigestion, and fever were so strong, that soldiers often had to be discharged. But today, lots of people are fans of this so-called ‘Swiss affliction’—and for very good reasons. Studies have shown that when we engage in nostalgia, we experience a boost in positive psychological states, such as feelings of social connectedness, self-esteem, and perceptions of meaning in life. Indeed, when people experience negative states (like loneliness or meaninglessness), they use nostalgia to regulate distress. So, as we look forward to looking back over the past year, we should recognize the benefits that nostalgia offers—as a healthy way for our brains to seek meaning in all that’s happened in the last 12 months. As always, I’m looking forward to hearing from all of you in 2022, even if to remember better times.

Read the full article, here.

Game Changers

Do you know who the innovators are in your organization? These aren’t just the creative product designers or the strategists devising new business models. They are also the people who make an end run around established processes, lobby to do things differently, or proactively make connections across silos and build informal networks to get things done. By the way, most of these innovators are NOT in the C-suite. You can increase the likelihood that great ideas won’t get away by bringing many more voices and perspectives into the process. Furthermore, the “Great Resignation” highlights an enormous opportunity for leaders to create new ways of working toward meeting employees’ needs for purpose, balance, and good wages. Reach out to me to start a dialog about how not to let your innovators get away.

Read the full article, here.

Toxic Culture Is Driving the Great Resignation

While many of us have taken educated guesses at the various causes and remedies for the large number of employees leaving their workplaces, MIT Sloan Management has taken a more pragmatic approach. They have analyzed 34 million online profiles of those who left their employer—for any reason—between April and September 2021. As expected, apparel retail tops the list, but not far behind are management consulting, internet, and enterprise software which all align with our business here at P&C. Are we concerned? Not really. Should you be? Perhaps. Here’s why. Expectedly, toxic corporate culture is 10.4 times more powerful than compensation in predicting a company’s attrition rate. However, surprisingly, employees are more likely to exit from innovative companies. (The attrition rates of Nvidia, Tesla, and SpaceX are three standard deviations higher than those in their respective industries!) Surprising or not, these predictors are not easy to change. On the positive side, there are some viable remedies. Providing employees with lateral career opportunities, for example, is 2.5 times more powerful than compensation. At P&C, we have intuitively known that for a long time and take advantage of being part of a large multi-national to enable our employees to vary their career experiences, while remaining loyal to our corporate family. The Great Resignation could be an opportunity for you to sweep up highly desirable employees from your competitors. Want to discuss your retention strategy? Please reach out to me.

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Moving Beyond Trust: Making Customers Trust, Love, and Respect a Brand

How can brands withstand and thrive through today’s challenges of uncertainty and distrust? By harnessing ‘brand admiration’—positive emotions from brand usage and pride from brand ownership that generate a tight link between the brand and customers. This author explains that customers fundamentally want three types of benefits: those that enableentice, and enrich. Benefits that enable customers empower their daily lives. They help customers solve problems in ways that are economically feasible, reliable, efficient, and convenient. Benefits that entice please customers by stimulating their minds, senses, and hearts. They replace work with play, displeasure with gratification, boredom with excitement, and sadness with feelings of warmth. Those that enrich customers affect their sense of who they are as people. They want to act in ways that are consistent with their beliefs, values, and hopes. If you are looking for ways to enhance your brand, please reach out to me to learn more about building brand admiration.

Read the full article, here.

P&C Global Relocates Paris Office

The quintessential City of Love is now home to our newest P&C Global office. Just a short walk from one of the most famous and fashionable streets in the world, Avenue des Champs Elysees, we have relocated to the 8th arrondissement on rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré—one of the most luxurious and fashionable streets in the world thanks to the presence of every major global fashion house, headquarters of several of our global luxury retail clients, and Elysée Palace, the official residence of the President of the Republic of France. The office is just within a few blocks of the U.S., Canadian, and UK embassies as well as numerous art galleries. With immediate access to the Metro, our new location facilitates easy commutes for both our employees and visiting clients and is close to many essential services including top-tier gyms, childcare facilities, bakeries, cafes, and some of the world’s best dining options. What’s not to love? It’s Paris, of course.

Please join us in welcoming our team to our newest location.

Better Ways to Green-Light New Projects

Selecting innovative new projects for further investment and development is critical—and difficult. The best R&D projects can renew an organization’s product lines, processes, and services, improving its performance and competitiveness. Research shows that at many companies, bias and process issues can imperil good decisions. To improve their track record, leaders must first understand where R&D selection panels go wrong. This article identifies some excellent suggestions that leaders can take before, during, and after the selection process in order to make more objective, fact-based decisions about which new ideas to green-light. Reach out to me if you are looking for effective ways to help your organization create a process that is more open, fluid, and collaborative.

Read the full article, here.

Effective Innovation Begins with Strategic Direction

When asking global executives, what’s one thing your company needs to improve, we frequently hear this response, “Our ability to derive more value from our companies’ investments in innovation.” Recognizing what type of change is appropriate in your context can help you understand which forms of innovation are likely to yield the greatest impact. For instance, companies with high fit to purpose and relative advantage can use innovation strategies to enhance magnitude—such as leveraging brand power, adopting new technologies to boost operations, unlocking new valve in your partner ecosystem, or acquiring competitors. Companies with a moderate advantage can use innovation strategies to recast its role in the value chain, deliver value at better margins, or acquire capabilities to reinforce its position of advantage. Those with low advantage can adopt strategies that create a new market for its core business or co-create value with upstream or downstream partners. The point is that context matters. Allow us to participate in your assessment of innovation value. Please reach out to me with your questions and concerns.

Read the full article, here.

Leaders: Stop Confusing Correlation with Causation

The world is increasingly filled with data, and we are regularly bombarded with facts and figures. We must learn to analyze data and assess causal claims—a skill that is increasingly important for business and government leaders. A large body of research in behavioral economics and psychology has highlighted systematic mistakes we make when looking at data. We tend to seek evidence that confirms our preconceived notions and ignore data that might go against our hypotheses. We neglect important aspects of the way that data was generated. More broadly, it’s easy to focus on the data in front of you, even when the most important data is missing. To check yourself, a good starting place is to take the time to understand the process that is generating the data you are looking at. Rather than assuming a correlation reflects causation, ask yourself what different factors might be driving the correlation—and whether and how these might be biasing the relationship you are seeing. Let us take a closer look at your data conclusions to see how we might help address any preconceived notions.

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Unpacking 5 Myths About Management

Let’s unpack some of these myths together.

  1. Do we all need stretch goals? A given situation may actually demand persevering with incremental improvements, especially if the organization does not have much stretch left in it.
  2. Performance targets may not be enough. You need a wide range of measure to understand what is actually going on and what matters.
  3. Regarding the war for talent—the true war for talent—includes domain competence as well as leadership. After all, it’s the performance of the average many, not the talented few, that is the true mark of a great organization.
  4. On the issue of leadership vs. management, all executives have to both manage resources and lead their people—not one at the expense of the other.
  5. No Rules, Rules. The real choice is between having good rules and bad ones. Good ones create internal predictability and simplicity that enables the group to deal with external uncertainty and complexity. As the author notes, it is just like music. Without the rules of harmony, rhythm, and tempo, music is just noise.

I invite you to engage with us on these myths and how they affect your organization.

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Collaboration Overload Is Sinking Productivity

Just when I thought I’ve read enough articles on the perils of our never-ending work weeks, I came across this gem. You won’t be surprised to learn that time spent on email, IM/chats, phone, and video calls now consumes 85% or more of most people’s work weeks. No question that these invisible demands are hurting organizations’ efforts to become more agile and innovative. They can lead to career derailment and burnout—not to mention declines in physical and mental well-being. Most helpful, though, are the author’s organization suggestions to alleviate the negative effects of collaborative demands: using storytelling to enable others to envision where you need to be; capturing hearts and minds by sharing why something is important; and allowing for questions and reflection. Please reach out to me to discuss your organization’s performance and retention challenges as we together navigate these difficulties.

Read the full article, here.

Why Your Employees Don’t Understand Your Company’s Vision

“We don’t have a north star.” Executives are often surprised by this feedback of a lack of an aspirational vision and immediately spend more time trying to craft the perfect statement. This mistaken approach makes scant progress in clarifying people’s perception of a clear path forward. Some excellent suggestions include communicating specific examples of how the vision has been brought to life; translating the vision from the boardroom to the hallways; and looking for ways to incentivize adoption of the business program and positively reward (even small) wins in the right direction. Once we executives are in touch with the real concerns of our employees, we can connect them to our vision rather than chasing revisions. Please reach out to me with your comments and experiences regarding your company’s vision.

Read the full article, here.

What Makes an Artist in the Age of Algorithms?

Technology’s role in how art is generated remains up for debate and discovery. Both creatives and technologists are continually experimenting with how art is produced, consumed, and monetized. You may ask, “What is special and unique about an artist?” Are there ways in which technology can be used in music to help transcend barriers, create opportunities, increase accessibility? If AI could generate new music, the artist would be able to be everywhere at once. For example, we would have adaptive works that are suited contextually to people’s daily lives, what they’re doing: their favorite artists are singing to them, talking to them, painting for them in real time. The author has developed an actual example, genesis.json, a 24-hour piece of music and visual art—an adaptive composition that changes throughout the entire day, from sunrise to sunset. This mind-bending concept is worth more exploration, or at least a listen. We have found this work of tremendous value in solving for unique business needs for our clients across multiple industries including luxury retail, travel, and financial services. 

Read the full article, here.

The Right Way to Mix and Match Your Customers

Finding complementary patterns of demand across your customer base can help smooth out costly spikes and slumps, especially today given the extreme supply chain bottlenecks and related cost spikes. Smoothing demand variations requires that companies think differently about their customers, assessing them by how they fit into the overall portfolio rather than measuring the value of each on a stand-alone basis. This article highlights some valid suggestions: seek out new customers that exhibit variable demand; identify and retain customers that provide hidden value through asynchronous demand; and adapt creative operational agreements with flexible fulfillment windows. For deeper insights regarding how to identify and monetize this approach for your business, please reach out to me or your P&C point of contact.

Read the full article, here.

Make Your Brand’s Nickname Work for You

Who uses a brand nickname matters. When consumers use them, it makes the information in
their posts appear more credible and authentic; however, when a brand uses its own nickname, it can have the opposite effect. While a consumer’s use of a nickname sends the message of a genuine relationship with/trust in the brand, a company’s use can come across as promotional and manipulative. This doesn’t mean that brands shouldn’t engage with their nicknames; but instead, engage in the right way. This article includes some good advice: stay abreast of your brand nicknames; do include nicknames in your SEO strategy; legally protect your brand nicknames; and do not force a nickname on your consumers. Based on P&C’s extensive work with luxury brands, airlines, and retail establishments, we agree that great nicknames can be one of the greatest gifts that consumers give to a brand they love. As marketers, though, we all need to be cautious regarding how to use them.

Read the full article, here.

Demystifying Data Monetization

Every company operating today is a data company. Most have access to an array of data within their supply chains, operations, strategic partners, customers, and competitors. Yet most companies are leaving money on the table when it comes to data monetization. The obvious use is to leverage data to improve a company’s operations, productivity, products, and customer interactions. The second path involves creating new revenue streams by making data available to customers and partners. These are not mutually exclusive paths. How might you leverage your data? One approach is to increase the value of your data by integrating it with another source or partner. Another might be to leverage data from one of your business units to another. To reach maximum value potential, companies need to identify trends and insights from the data that are not easily replicated or available from competitors. In other words, uniqueness creates value. Please reach out to me to learn more about our data expertise projects at P&C.

Read the full article, here.

NDC Delivers on Promise for Major US Airline

P&C’s strategy continues to reap benefits. United Airlines’ executive speaks about its past, current, and future involvement in jointly mastering this major industry transformation. NDC allows them to make customers happy, personalize offers, and become true retailers.

Need to Fit Billions of Transistors on a Chip? Let AI Do It

Cutting-edge computer chips are increasingly important to just about every corner of the economy—from cars to medical devices to scientific research. Sketching out a computer chip is both complex and intricate, requiring designers to arrange billions of components on a surface smaller than a fingernail. Decisions at each step can affect a chip’s performance and reliability, so the best chip designers rely on years of experience and hard-won know-how to squeeze the best performance and efficiency from nanoscopic devices. Previous efforts to automate chip design have come to little; however, recent advances in AI have made it possible for algorithms to learn some of the ‘arts’ involved in chip design. This should help companies draw up more powerful and efficient blueprints in much less time. All of the major chip manufacturers are currently testing this approach, so stay tuned for future advancements and innovations that could affect your business.

Read the full article, here.

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