jerryking + measurements   65

GE’s flow of financial information has become fantastically muddled - Too little information
Jan 27th 2018

Jan 27th 2018

The curse of rotten information can strike companies, too. That seems to be the case with General Electric (GE), which has had a vertiginous fall. Its shares, cashflow and forecast profits have dropped by about 50% since 2015. .....GE’s boss, John Flannery, an insider who took office in August, must clear up the mess made by his predecessor, Jeff Immelt.....Is the conglomerate formerly known as the world’s best-run firm a victim of weak demand for gas turbines, a low oil price, lavish digital initiatives, timing lags in client payments, morbidity rates, bad deals, cost overruns or a 20-year squeeze in industrial-equipment margins because of Chinese competition? You can imagine GE’s 12-man board blinking at this list, like Pentagon generals huddled around maps of the Gulf of Tonkin which they are too embarrassed to admit they do not understand......Schumpeter’s theory is that GE’s flow of financial information has become fantastically muddled. There is lots of it about.....[does great granularity necessarily lead to greater insight].... it offers volume and ambiguity instead of brevity and clarity. It is impossible—certainly for outsiders, probably for the board, and possibly for Mr Flannery—to answer central questions. How much cashflow does GE sustainably make and where? How much capital does it employ and where? What liabilities must be serviced before shareholders get their profits?....GE's public accounting system reveals eight problems.
(1) No consistent measure of performance.....18 definitions of group profits and cashflow....there is a large gap between most measures of profits and free cashflow.
(2) GE’s seven operating divisions (power, for example, or aviation) are allowed to use a flattering definition of profit that excludes billions of dollars of supposedly one-off costs. Their total profits are almost twice as big as the firm’s.
(3) GE does not assess itself on a geographical basis. Does China yield solid returns on capital? Has Saudi Arabia been a good bet? No one seems to know.
(4) GE pays little attention to the total capital it employs, which has ballooned by about 50% over the past decade (excluding its financial arm). Its managers rarely talk about it and have set no targets. It is unclear which parts of the firm soak up disproportionate resources relative to profits, diluting returns.
(5), it is hard to know if GE’s leverage is sustainable. Its net debts are 2.6 times its gross operating profits, again excluding its financial arm. That is high relative to its peers—for Siemens and Honeywell the ratio is about one.
(6) the strength of GE’s financial arm is unclear. The new insurance loss will lower its tangible equity to 8% of assets. This is well below the comfort level.
(7) it is hard to calibrate the risk this poses to GE shareholders. GE likes to hint that its industrial and financial arms are run separately. But they are umbilically connected by a mesh of cross-guarantees, factoring arrangements and other transactions.
(8) is GE sure that its industrial balance-sheet accurately measures its capital employed and its liabilities? Some 46% of assets are intangible, which are hard to pin down financially: for example, goodwill and “contract” assets where GE has booked profits but not been paid yet.

Time for some command and control

GE’s situation is like that of the global bank conglomerates post-financial crisis. Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and HSBC did not entirely trust their own numbers and lacked a framework for assessing which bits of their sprawl created value for shareholders. Today, after much toil, the people running these firms know whether, say, loans in California or trading in India make sense.

This does not happen naturally. If neglected, financial reporting becomes a hostage to internal politics, with different constituencies claiming they bring in sales, while arguing that costs and capital are someone else’s problem. Flannery is a numbers guy who seeks to slim GE to its profitable essence. But he is trapped in a financial construct that makes it hard to pursue that mission intelligently. Until he re-engineers how GE measures itself, he will be stumbling about in the murk.
measurements  metrics  GE  financial_metrics  financial_performance  level_of_comfort  John_Flannery  Jeffrey_Immelt  cash_flows  ROCE  information_overload  financial_reporting  calibration 
february 2018 by jerryking
Steve Ballmer Serves Up a Fascinating Data Trove - The New York Times
Andrew Ross Sorkin
DEALBOOK APRIL 17, 2017
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Steve_Ballmer  government  Andrew_Sorkin  databases  data  measurements  economics  indicators  real-time  forecasting  economic_data 
april 2017 by jerryking
Facebook Is Rolling Out a Handful of New Measurement Tools for Advertisers – Adweek
By Marty Swant|September 21, 2016

Third-party partnerships help track sales, lift and clicks
Facebook  LBMA  Tune  measurements  omnichannel  effectiveness  tools  partnerships 
february 2017 by jerryking
Little metrics can make a big difference (and here’s how to use them) - The Globe and Mail
BRIAN SCUDAMORE
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Jun. 09, 2016

small businesses can concentrate on collecting different metrics that have an impressive impact on the bottom line. I call it little data. It’s easier to collect and it’s a great way to take the pulse of your company on a day-to-day basis.

Here’s how to find the little data that matters, so you can make impactful changes to your business without spending a fortune.

Sweat the small stuff

Looking at traditional metrics – sales revenue, cost of customer acquisition and overhead – is important, but it’s also worth tracking intangible elements that don’t make it onto a spreadsheet.

I like to look around the office and focus on the energy – is there a buzz or are people bored? – or I’ll look at notes from exit interviews to see who is leaving the company and why. Keeping this little data in mind has enabled us to make important changes to our culture when we need to.

External feedback is powerful, too. Whenever I’m in a new city, the first thing I ask my taxi driver is, “Who would you call if you needed your junk removed?” I’m not just making conversation or trying to name-drop one of our brands – I’m doing my own survey to see if our marketing efforts are sticking....you can’t run your business on anecdotes, focus on key numbers that provide meaningful insight and measure them consistently.... communicating these benchmarks, everyone in the company can understand and can react quickly to fluctuations.

Our key metrics are call volume, website traffic, and jobs completed. We also work on our “customer wow factor” by looking at our Net Promoter Score (NPS), asking every customer how likely they are to recommend our services to a friend.[aka delighting customers]
anecdotal  Brian_Scudamore  consistency  delighting_customers  feedback  Got_Junk?  Haier  insights  massive_data_sets  measurements  metrics  NPS  small_business  small_data  Wal-Mart  UPS 
june 2016 by jerryking
Measuring marketing’s worth | McKinsey & Company
Article - McKinsey Quarterly - May 2012
Measuring marketing’s worth
By David Court, Jonathan Gordon, and Jesko Perrey
marketing  measurements  ROI  McKinsey 
may 2016 by jerryking
Anatomy of a Hit: How Success Is Measured in Different Creative Fields - Speakeasy - WSJ
Dec 18, 2015 | WSJ | By JON KEEGAN. How do you define a hit podcast, Broadway show or typeface? Explore the nature of cultural hits.

when it comes to other cultural works, defining a hit is not as easy. We set out to explore how success is measured—what factors matter in assessing a hit in various creative categories ranging from books to tweets:

Audience – How many people viewed the work?
Sales – How much money was made?
Longevity – How long has the work been available?
Critical acclaim – What praise did the work receive?
art  creative_class  hits  measurements  music  paintings  blockbusters  entertainment  entertainment_industry  creative_economy  auctions  YouTube  Twitter 
december 2015 by jerryking
Why a Presidential Campaign Is the Ultimate Start-Up - NYTimes.com
JUNE 4, 2015 | NYT | By NEIL IRWIN.

Campaigns and start-ups share common challenges as they ramp up operations. A campaign that wins its party’s nomination must expand exponentially as it moves from early primaries to a general election. What was once a small, tightknit group must suddenly add many more people, often those with more experience.

It is much like a start-up that goes from a dozen people in a garage to hundreds of staff members, many with deeper résumés than the original ragtag crew. Part of the job for those at the top is massaging egos and trying to keep everyone committed and enthusiastic even as that transition takes place....Some of the management questions are fundamental. Should power be concentrated at the top of an organization or distributed broadly? Should there be strict lines of authority in which everyone stays in his or her narrow lane, or a more open management structure where people cut across organizational barriers?... They stressed the importance of the leaders setting clear goals and giving subordinates leeway to reach them — combined with accountability should they fail....Both the Bush and Obama campaigns emphasized measuring success and failure quantitatively....One of the biggest tests of management is how it copes with a crisis.
political_campaigns  start_ups  Campaign_2008  Obama  metrics  truth-telling  measurements  crisis_management 
june 2015 by jerryking
How Not to Drown in Numbers - NYTimes.com
MAY 2, 2015| NYT |By ALEX PEYSAKHOVICH and SETH STEPHENS-DAVIDOWITZ.

If you’re trying to build a self-driving car or detect whether a picture has a cat in it, big data is amazing. But here’s a secret: If you’re trying to make important decisions about your health, wealth or happiness, big data is not enough.

The problem is this: The things we can measure are never exactly what we care about. Just trying to get a single, easy-to-measure number higher and higher (or lower and lower) doesn’t actually help us make the right choice. For this reason, the key question isn’t “What did I measure?” but “What did I miss?”...So what can big data do to help us make big decisions? One of us, Alex, is a data scientist at Facebook. The other, Seth, is a former data scientist at Google. There is a special sauce necessary to making big data work: surveys and the judgment of humans — two seemingly old-fashioned approaches that we will call small data....For one thing, many teams ended up going overboard on data. It was easy to measure offense and pitching, so some organizations ended up underestimating the importance of defense, which is harder to measure. In fact, in his book “The Signal and the Noise,” Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com estimates that the Oakland A’s were giving up 8 to 10 wins per year in the mid-1990s because of their lousy defense.

And data-driven teams found out the hard way that scouts were actually important...We are optimists about the potential of data to improve human lives. But the world is incredibly complicated. No one data set, no matter how big, is going to tell us exactly what we need. The new mountains of blunt data sets make human creativity, judgment, intuition and expertise more valuable, not less.

==============================================
From Market Research: Safety Not Always in Numbers | Qualtrics ☑
Author: Qualtrics|July 28, 2010

Albert Einstein once said, “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” [Warning of the danger of overquantification) Although many market research experts would say that quantitative research is the safest bet when one has limited resources, it can be dangerous to assume that it is always the best option.
human_ingenuity  data  analytics  small_data  massive_data_sets  data_driven  information_overload  dark_data  measurements  creativity  judgment  intuition  Nate_Silver  expertise  datasets  information_gaps  unknowns  underestimation  infoliteracy  overlooked_opportunities  sense-making  easy-to-measure  Albert_Einstein  special_sauce  metrics  overlooked  defensive_tactics  emotional_intelligence  EQ  soft_skills  overquantification  false_confidence 
may 2015 by jerryking
After Data Breaches, Attackers Return for More - The CIO Report - WSJ
April 22, 2015| WSJ | By RACHAEL KING.

Companies often talk about data breaches as if they were discrete events. But, the reality is that once a company is breached and the attackers have been booted off the corporate network, they keep coming back...Attackers typically know what they want from companies, whether that’s credit card data, intellectual property or something else. And if they don’t get it the first time, they come to work the next day and try again, said Mr. Alperovitch.

“They’ve got objectives and goals and they get measured on things, whether it’s a nation-state or a criminal, said Todd Inskeep, global security assessments vice president at Samsung.
CIOs  data_breaches  cyber_security  productivity  measurements  malware 
april 2015 by jerryking
Behind Martin Sorrell’s Data Binge - CMO Today - WSJ
Mar 12, 2015 | WSJ | By NATHALIE TADENA.

Sorrell, this is about putting his sprawling holding company in control of all the various data marketers are demanding nowadays to make sense of their ad campaigns. They want to know a lot about who is viewing. They want to know which TV shows or Web sites are ideal to reach their desired audience. And ultimately, they want to know how much an ad contributes to an actual sale of a product or service.

By becoming a global data powerhouse, WPP hopes to help clients draw connections across different data sources, better target audiences and ultimately improve the effectiveness of their advertising dollars.
data_sources  Martin_Sorrell  WPP  mergers_&_acquisitions  ROI  CMOs  M&A  data  metrics  measurements  advertising_agencies  advertising  marketing  data_driven  targeting  target_marketing 
march 2015 by jerryking
A billionaire’s guide to productivity - The Globe and Mail
FRED MOUAWAD
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Feb. 11 2015

1. Prioritize. Rank the level of importance of family, me time, and work. Think about the areas of life that need nurturing in order to feel more fulfilled. It is essential to strike a balance to lead both a happy and productive life.

2. Allocate time (JCK: lead time) to maximize an impact (JCK: leverage or return on effort). Forewarned is forearmed. Plan ahead how you will use your time – after all, knowing your schedule is half the battle.

3. Know your natural penchants. If you find that the time spent on these activities does not give you a high level of return, consider allocating your time more thoughtfully.

4. Reduce uncertainty, increase accountability. A lack of clarity is productivity’s greatest enemy.

5. Know when to be a lone wolf. It is important to know your strengths. What tasks are you better off performing on your own? What tasks can you delegate?

6. Establish a nurturing culture. Productivity is easier to achieve in the right environment.

7. Measurement gets results-- measure performance to make continuous improvements. But make sure that you measuring the right things.
time-management  productivity  GTD  JCK  lead_time  priorities  strengths  self-discipline  business_planning  reflections  work_life_balance  uncertainty  clarity  affirmations  self-awareness  ksfs  preparation  penchants  predilections  measurements  proclivities  willpower  high-impact  time-allocation  return_on_effort 
february 2015 by jerryking
How to Leave a Mark - NYTimes.com
JAN. 27, 2015 | NYT |David Brooks.

Impact investors seek out companies that are intentionally designed both to make a profit and provide a measurable and accountable social good. Impact funds are frequently willing to accept lower financial returns for the sake of doing good — say a 7 percent annual return compared with an 11 percent return. But some impact investors are seeking to deliver market-rate returns....It’s hard to find a reliable way to measure the social impact of these dual-purpose companies. Impact investors have also had trouble finding scalable deals to invest in. It costs as much to do due diligence on a $250 million deal as on a $25 million deal, so many firms would rather skip the small stuff... impact investing is now entering the mainstream. An older generation used their (rigorous) business mind in one setting and then their (often sloppy) charity mind in another. Today more people want to blend these minds. Typically a big client, or a young heir, will go to his or her investments adviser and say, “I want some socially useful investments in my portfolio.”...Impact investing is not going to replace government or be a panacea, but it’s one of a number of new tools to address social problems. If you want to leave a mark on the world but are unsure of how to do it, I’d say take a look. If you’re a high-net-worth individual (a rich person), ask your adviser to get you involved. If you’re young and searching, get some finance and operational skills and then find a way to get involved in a socially useful investment proposition. If you’ve got a business mind, there are huge opportunities to build the infrastructure (creating measuring systems, connecting investors with deals).
David_Brooks  capitalism  impact_investing  hard_to_find  Michael_McDerment  high_net_worth  new_graduates  skills  passions  passion_investing  TBL  social_impact  measurements  high-impact  heirs 
january 2015 by jerryking
Innovation: If you can’t make yourself obsolete, someone else will - The Globe and Mail
GUY DIXON
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Jun. 26 2014

I think at the root of the problem is a deficit of ambition [i.e. a lack of chutzpah or audacity] The larger the corporation, the safer they become. What I’ve witnessed, certainly between 2008, 2009, is this deficit of ambition.....All of our research points to the fact that companies that do manage and measure innovation outperform those that don’t. You can put resources into place, and that’s where managing it comes in: deploying resources that will support innovative, new ideas; ensuring that you have a strong knowledge architecture – and that it is a formal, systemic thing, so that people access knowledge that is already developed; ensuring access to markets – that’s a structural element. Do your people have access to customers and markets?; and actively managing talent and selecting people and promoting them and ensuring that they have an orientation toward innovation and the development of new ideas....What percentage of turnover or revenue is presented by products that have been introduced in the past number of years? And for different companies, in different industries, that’s going to vary. Companies that are very successful treat that number as sacrosanct for the sales projection for next year and the bottom line for next year....Way too many companies are focused on market share versus the modern metric of, ‘Are we gaining a disproportionate share of opportunity?’ [Is this distinction something to be explored with the help of sensors, location-based services and the LBMA??] And then we’re back to this abandonment thing.
Managing_Your_Career  organizational_culture  innovation  metrics  ambitions  opportunities  market_share  complacency  measurements  talent_management  ideas  obsolescence  disproportionality  latent  hidden  self-obsolescence  large_companies  new_products  Fortune_500  brands  Guy_Dixon  outperformance 
june 2014 by jerryking
The Value of Project Management
Define the ROI. “Every project plan should begin with an explanation of the business value that project brings
to your organization,” says Mr. Kasabian. That measure can be
used to decide first whether the project should move forward and
later as a metric to determine whether the project brought strategic value to the business.

Manage what’s measured. The way to get the most value out of a project management methodology is through metrics, says Mr. Brodnik. “Focus on measures and processes tied to
business goals, collect the data and make it available to everyone,” he says. “When people know what’s being watched, they put more time and focus on it.”
project_management  McKinsey  WaudWare  measurements 
april 2014 by jerryking
More Data Can Mean Less Guessing About the Economy - NYTimes.com
By STEVE LOHR
Published: September 7, 2013

measurement shortfall in the small-business sector, and a series of other information gaps in the economy, may be overcome by what experts say is an emerging data revolution — Big Data, in the current catchphrase. The ever-expanding universe of digital signals of behavior, from browsing and buying on the Web to cellphone location data, is grist for potential breakthroughs in economic measurement. It could produce more accurate forecasting and more informed policy-making — more science and less guesswork.... THE economics profession is gearing up to exploit new sources of digital data. In a recent paper, “The Data Revolution and Economic Analysis,” two Stanford economists, Liran Einav and Jonathan Levin, concluded that “there is little doubt, at least in our minds, that over the next decades ‘big data’ will change the landscape of economic policy and economic research.”

At Intuit, the small-business data portray a sector that was “hurt much more than big business by the recession and its recovery has been far worse,” says Ms. Woodward, the economic consultant. Over the last three and a half years, payroll employment for all companies has increased 6.9 percent, while small-business employment has risen far less, just 1.9 percent. Hiring among the small companies, though still sluggish, has inched ahead in the last three months.
data  Steve_Lohr  massive_data_sets  Intuit  information_sources  small_business  measurements  Freshbooks  economy  Erik_Brynjolfsson  economics  indicators  real-time  forecasting  economic_data  information_gaps  signals  economists  data_driven 
september 2013 by jerryking
Five savvy questions for strategic success
Feb. 05 2013 | The Globe and Mail |HARVEY SCHACHTER
Playing to Win
By A.G. Lafley and Roger Martin

(Harvard Business School Press, 260 pages, $30)
The strategy worked, by satisfying the five questions:

* Winning aspirations. Most companies have lofty mission statements but the authors say that isn’t the same thing as having a strategy. It’s a starting point, statements of an ideal future.
* Where to play. In which markets and with which customers is it best to compete? This is a vital question, because you can’t be all things to all people if you want to be successful.

* How to win.After selecting the playing field, you must choose the best approach, which the authors stress might be very different from your competitors.
* Core capabilities. What capabilities must be in place for your organization to win?
* Management systems. What needs to be in place in your management approach to support the strategy, and measure how successful you are with it
Harvey_Schachter  Roger_Martin  questions  book_reviews  P&G  A.G._Lafley  strategy  mission_statements  ambitions  internal_systems  core_competencies  Instrumentation_monitoring  measurements  books  capabilities 
february 2013 by jerryking
The Philosophy of Data - NYTimes.com
By DAVID BROOKS
Published: February 4, 2013

Big Data carries with it carry with certain cultural assumptions — that everything that can be measured should be measured; that data is a transparent and reliable lens that allows us to filter out emotionalism and ideology; that data will help us do remarkable things — like foretell the future....some of the questions raised by the data revolution: In what situations should we rely on intuitive pattern recognition and in which situations should we ignore intuition and follow the data? What kinds of events are predictable using statistical analysis and what sorts of events are not? Two things data does really well are:
(1) expose when our intuitive view of reality is wrong.
(2) data can illuminate patterns of behavior we haven’t yet noticed.
cultural_assumptions  David_Brooks  massive_data_sets  data  critical_thinking  pattern_recognition  intuition  biases  measurements  assumptions 
february 2013 by jerryking
Bill Gates on the Importance of Measurement - WSJ.com
January 25, 2013 | WSJ | by Bill Gates.
(Charles Waud & WaudWare)
From the fight against polio to fixing education, what's missing is often good measurement and a commitment to follow the data. We can do better. We have the tools at hand.

Without feedback from precise measurement...invention is "doomed to be rare and erratic." With it, invention becomes "commonplace."
An innovation—whether it's a new vaccine or an improved seed—can't have an impact unless it reaches the people who will benefit from it. We need innovations in measurement to find new, effective ways to deliver those tools and services to the clinics, family farms and classrooms that need them....As budgets tighten for governments and foundations world-wide, we all need to take the lesson of the steam engine to heart and adapt it to solving the world's biggest problems...information [needs to] go into a system—part paper-based and part computerized—that helps decision makers see where things are working and to take action in places where they aren't....the most critical change we can make in U.S. K–12 education, with America lagging countries in Asia and Northern Europe when it comes to turning out top students, is to create teacher-feedback systems that are properly funded, high quality and trusted by teachers....The process I have described—setting clear goals, choosing an approach, measuring results, and then using those measurements to continually refine our approach—helps us to deliver tools and services to everybody who will benefit, be they students in the U.S. or mothers in Africa.
billgates  metrics  problem_solving  problems  dashboards  innovation  instrumentation_monitoring  data  tools  Ethiopia  goal-setting  goals  feedback  measurements  assessments_&_evaluations 
january 2013 by jerryking
Right Questions
New businesses proceed through distinct stages, each requiring a different management approach.Experimentation is only the first step in an extended, multistage process of business development. Each stage
introduces a different set of questions and challenges. (See the exhibit "The Right Questions.").Each stage also demands different talents and perspectives, and new leaders usually have to be brought in as businesses progress. The visionary who is well suited to leading a new business through its early experimental
stages is often poorly equipped to guide the venture through the expansion and integration stages, when sales and organizational skills become more important than bold thinking and creativity. Nor can performance measures remain immutable. Because new businesses are seldom profitable in their early, formative years, financial metrics
make little sense as a starting point for evaluation. Instead, milestones of various sorts-the number of prototypes in customers' hands; the number of times analysts mention a hot, new technology; the number of salespeople bringing in leads-are more useful indicators of early progress. During expansion, measures of market penetration and market share become important; as the business becomes established, traditional financial measures can be
installed.
asking_the_right_questions  start_ups  lean  experimentation  metrics  measurements  questions  new_businesses  Michael_McDerment 
december 2012 by jerryking
Growth Hacker is the new VP Marketing | @andrewchen
The rise of the Growth Hacker
The new job title of “Growth Hacker” is integrating itself into Silicon Valley’s culture, emphasizing that coding and technical chops are now an essential part of being a great marketer. Growth hackers are a hybrid of marketer and coder, one who looks at the traditional question of “How do I get customers for my product?” and answers with A/B tests, landing pages, viral factor, email deliverability, and Open Graph. On top of this, they layer the discipline of direct marketing, with its emphasis on quantitative measurement, scenario modeling via spreadsheets, and a lot of database queries. If a startup is pre-product/market fit, growth hackers can make sure virality is embedded at the core of a product. After product/market fit, they can help run up the score on what’s already working.

This isn’t just a single role – the entire marketing team is being disrupted. Rather than a VP of Marketing with a bunch of non-technical marketers reporting to them, instead growth hackers are engineers leading teams of engineers. The process of integrating and optimizing your product to a big platform requires a blurring of lines between marketing, product, and engineering, so that they work together to make the product market itself. Projects like email deliverability, page-load times, and Facebook sign-in are no longer technical or design decisions – instead they are offensive weapons to win in the market.

The stakes are huge because of “superplatforms” giving access to 100M+ consumers
These skills are invaluable and can change the trajectory of a new product. For the first time ever, it’s possible for new products to go from zero to 10s of millions users in just a few years. Great examples include Pinterest, Zynga, Groupon, Instagram, Dropbox. New products with incredible traction emerge every week. These products, with millions of users, are built on top of new, open platforms that in turn have hundreds of millions of users – Facebook and Apple in particular. Whereas the web in 1995 consisted of a mere 16 million users on dialup, today over 2 billion people access the internet. On top of these unprecedented numbers, consumers use super-viral communication platforms that rapidly speed up the proliferation of new products – not only is the market bigger, but it moves faster too.

Before this era, the discipline of marketing relied on the only communication channels that could reach 10s of millions of people – newspaper, TV, conferences, and channels like retail stores. To talk to these communication channels, you used people – advertising agencies, PR, keynote speeches, and business development. Today, the traditional communication channels are fragmented and passe. The fastest way to spread your product is by distributing it on a platform using APIs, not MBAs. Business development is now API-centric, not people-centric.

Whereas PR and press used to be the drivers of customer acquisition, instead it’s now a lagging indicator that your Facebook integration is working. The role of the VP of Marketing, long thought to be a non-technical role, is rapidly fading and in its place, a new breed of marketer/coder hybrids have emerged.
growth  marketing  hacks  blogs  Silicon_Valley  executive_management  virality  experimentation  trial_&_error  coding  platforms  executive_search  CMOs  measurements  growth_hacking  APIs  new_products  lagging_indicators  offensive_tactics 
december 2012 by jerryking
The Measure of Success
February 1996 | Across the Board | Brian McWilliams. About using a balanced scorecard.
(1) Profits are a lousy star to steer by. These organizations are attempting to navigate by a constellation of measures--including customer satisfaction, quality, innovations, employee development, and of course, financial soundness.
(2) Use scorecards that focus the organization on carefully chosen, "actionable" measures--things that business line managers and their employees can influence directly, such as customer satisfaction, yield and reliability.
(3) Any collection of non financial measures, will be the product of compromises. The information that's most strategic--how customers view you vs. competitors, for example--is nearly impossible to gather.And information that is readily available--your cost of processing an invoice, for example,doesn't tend to be highly strategic.
(4) Resource allocations are often subjective decisions, with the squeakiest wheels sometimes getting the grease. Most important, a single-minded focus on financial yardsticks doesn't ensure that investments are aligned with long-term corporate strategy.
metrics  boards_&_directors_&_governance  balanced_scorecard  Octothorpe_Software  actionable_information  Junior_Achievement  UFSC  measurements 
july 2012 by jerryking
Small Firms Can Survive Squeeze By Revamping Marketing Efforts - WSJ.com
January 28, 2003 | WSJ | By JEFF BAILEY | Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL. Small Firms Can Survive Squeeze By Revamping Marketing Efforts
(1) Measure your results.
(2) Building a brand is different from closing a sale. (In marketing your firm, decide whether broad-based brand awareness is a goal or whether you're merely looking for that next sale)
(3) Think narrow.
(4) You're not too small
small_business  sales  marketing  metrics  target_marketing  branding  measurements  narrow-framing 
may 2012 by jerryking
Manufacturing: The end of cheap China
Mar 10th 2012 | HONG KONG AND SHENZHEN | The Economist

The era of cheap China may be drawing to a close. Costs are soaring, starting in the coastal provinces where factories have historically clustered (see map). Increases in land prices, environmental and safety regulations and taxes all play a part. The biggest factor, though, is labour...If cheap China is fading, what will replace it? Will factories shift to poorer countries with cheaper labour? That is the conventional wisdom, but it is wrong....Louis Kuijs of the Fung Global Institute, a think-tank, observes that some low-tech, labour-intensive industries, such as T-shirts and cheap trainers, have already left China. And some firms are employing a “China + 1” strategy, opening just one factory in another country to test the waters and provide a back-up.

But coastal China has enduring strengths, despite soaring costs. First, it is close to the booming Chinese domestic market. This is a huge advantage. No other country has so many newly pecunious consumers clamouring for stuff.

Second, Chinese wages may be rising fast, but so is Chinese productivity. The precise numbers are disputed, but the trend is not. Chinese workers are paid more because they are producing more.

Third, China is huge. Its labour pool is large and flexible enough to accommodate seasonal industries that make Christmas lights or toys, says Ivo Naumann of AlixPartners. In response to sudden demand, a Chinese factory making iPhones was able to rouse 8,000 workers from their dormitory and put them on the assembly line at midnight, according to the New York Times. Not the next day. Midnight. Nowhere else are such feats feasible.

Fourth, China’s supply chain is sophisticated and supple. Professor Zheng Yusheng of the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business argues that the right way to measure manufacturing competitiveness is not by comparing labour costs alone, but by comparing entire supply chains. Even if labour costs are a quarter of those in China to make a given product, the unreliability or unavailability of many components may make it uneconomic to make things elsewhere.
China  cheap  comparative_advantage  competitive_advantage  competitiveness  factors_of_production  flexibility  Hong_Kong  low-cost  manufacturers  measurements  productivity  supply_chains  think_tanks 
march 2012 by jerryking
Lessons from Private-Equity Masters
June 2002 | Harvard Business Review| by Paul Rogers, Tom Holland, and Dan Haas.

The Four Disciplines of Top Private-Equity Firms

Define an Investment Thesis

Have a three- to five-year plan

Stress two or three key success levers

Focus on growth, not just cost reductions

Don’t Measure Too Much

Prune to essential metrics

Focus on cash and value, not earnings

Use the right performance measures for each business

Link incentives to unit performance

Work the Balance Sheet

Redeploy or eliminate unproductive capital—both fixed assets and working capital

Treat equity capital as scarce

Use debt to gain leverage and focus, but match risk with return

Make the Center the Shareholder

Focus on optimizing each business

Don’t hesitate to sell when the price is right

Act as unsentimental owners

Get involved in the hiring and firing decisions in portfolio companies

Appoint a senior person to be the contact between the corporate center and a business
HBR  Bain  lessons_learned  private_equity  metrics  investment_thesis  measurements  dispassion  incentives  constraints  leverage  focus  sweating_the_assets  unsentimental  debt  owners 
november 2011 by jerryking
The new masters of the universe - Bain & Company - Publications
July 27, 2005 | The Wall Street Journal | By Hugh MacArthur and Dan Haas.

Blueprint the path to value:
Hire hungry managers:
Measure what matters:
Make equity sweat:
private_equity  KKR  Bain  metrics  investment_thesis  measurements  value_creation  blueprints  what_really_matters 
november 2011 by jerryking
How high is your return on management?
January-February 1998 | HBR |Simons, Robert, and Antonio Davila.ROM
ROM measures the payback from the investment of a company's scarcest resource-managers' time and attention.
HBR  ROI  management  metrics  time-management  measurements 
october 2011 by jerryking
To risk or not to risk? Where (and when) should be the question
Sep 3, 2007 |The Globe and Mail pg. B.6 | Daniel F. Muzyka, Glen Donaldson

First, risk can sometimes be asymmetric: bad news being more "bad" than good news is "good". For example, while a business project that goes particularly well might deliver slightly ahead of expectations, a bad project that goes off the rails may far exceed its time and budget...Second, risk is often interconnected: the knee-bone is connected to the shin-bone is connected to the foot-bone.
...Third, risks can be multiplicative, with a series of small risks combining to produce large outcomes....The good news is that advancements in risk management can help produce insight and can deal with some of the risks. One can consider four steps to managing risk: identification, measurement, mitigation, and monitoring.
ProQuest  Daniel_Muzyka  risk-management  insights  large_payoffs  measurements  compounded  interconnections  risk-mitigation  multiplicative  risks  network_risk  asymmetrical  cumulative  risk-assessment  bad_news 
october 2011 by jerryking
The secret to controlled chaos - FT.com
June 20, 2011 By Tim Bradshaw . Stratospheric growth can
prove problematic... Your site may go down all the time.”... As
broadband access spreads and smartphones become mainstream in developed
markets, new technology companies are being built in months, not years,
acquiring millions of users with apparent ease...For small companies
thrust un­expectedly into the limelight, coping with such growth rates,
while maintaining the innovation and culture that brought them their
success, can be a significant challenge..Although internal culture is
important, companies must not become too inward-looking as they try to
manage growth and should be vigilant of the impact that the changes to
their business is having on customers. “The key element is to eliminate
surprises,” , “Growth is great but it must be measured. In fast times,
it’s metrics, metrics, metrics. You must measure where traffic comes
from, what the customers are doing...with that you can then focus on
serving your best customers.”
growth  start_ups  chaos  hiring  recruiting  growth_hacking  metrics  inward-looking  mojo  measurements  organizational_culture  scaling  accelerated_lifecycles  surprises  small_business  gazelles  high-growth 
june 2011 by jerryking
MEASURING THE DIGITAL ECONOMY
Thomas L. Mesenbourg
Assistant Director for Economic Programs
U.S. Bureau of the Census
4700 Silver Hill Road
Room 2069/3
Suitland, Md. 20746
tmesenbo@census.gov
economy  digital_economy  filetype:pdf  media:document  measurements 
may 2011 by jerryking
Entrepreneurial Leadership in the 21st Century
2007 | Journal of Leadership & Organizational StudiesVol.
13, Iss. 4; pg. 1, 11 pgs | Donald F Kuratko.

Several methods have been used to measure the impact of entrepreneurial
ventures on the economy-for example, efforts to start a firm (which may
not be successful), incorporation of a firm (which may never go into
business), changes in net tax returns filed (reflecting new filings
minus filings no longer received), and a substantial amount of full-time
and part-time self-employment. ....The Global Impact of Entrepreneurial
Leadership The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), which is a unique
large scale long term project developed jointly by Babson College,
London Business School, and the Kauffman Foundation, reaches 40
countries worldwide and provides annual assessment of the
entrepreneurial environment of each country.
Freshbooks  entrepreneurship  leadership  21st._century  ProQuest  Kauffman_Foundation  measurements 
january 2011 by jerryking
For innovation success, do not follow the money
07-Nov-2005 | Financial Times | By Michael Schrage "There is
no correlation between the percentage of net revenue spent on R&D
and the innovative capabilities of an organisation – none,"...Just ask
General Motors. No company in the world has spent more on R&D over
the past 25 years. Yet, somehow, GM's market share has
declined....R&D productivity – not R&D investment – is the real
challenge for global innovation. Innovation is not what innovators
innovate, it is what customers actually adopt. Productivity here is not
measured in patents granted but in new customers won and existing
customers profitably retained...A successful innovation policy is a
competition policy where companies see innovation as a cost-effective
investment to differentiate themselves profitably. If a 1 % R&D
intensity buys market leadership, more power to them; if 15 % is what it
takes to keep up with the competition and satisfy customers, that is
fine, too.
Michael_Schrage  innovation  innovation_policies  R&D  productivity  measurements  metrics  ROI  customer_acquisition  correlations  customer_adoption  GM  decline  competition_policy 
october 2010 by jerryking
Wal-Mart Plans Drive to Buy More Locally Grown Produce - NYTimes.com
October 14, 2010 | By STEPHANIE CLIFFORD. Wal-Mart Stores
announced a program on Thursday that would focus on sustainable agriculture among its suppliers, as it tries to expand its efforts to improve environmental efficiency among its suppliers. The program is intended to put more locally grown food in Wal-Mart stores in the U.S., invest in training and infrastructure for small and medium-size farmers, particularly in emerging markets, and begin to measure the efficiency of large suppliers in growing and getting their produce to market.

Given that Wal-Mart is the world’s largest grocer, with one of the
biggest supply chains, any changes that it makes would have wide
implications.
Wal-Mart  sustainability  local  farming  locavore  supply_chains  SMEs  food  food_crops  measurements 
october 2010 by jerryking
When Art Meets Science: The Challenge of ROI Marketing
12/17/03 / Spring 2009 Issue | Strategy + Business |
Anonymous. These days, there’s more pressure than ever to make
marketing more of a quantifiable science than an ephemeral art. In
response, a new management discipline called ROI marketing is emerging
to help businesses attain the highest possible return on their marketing
investments.
advertising  local_advertising  ROI  marketing  metrics  Pat_Condon  pay-for-performance  measurements 
july 2010 by jerryking
For Today’s Graduate, Just One Word - Statistics - NYTimes.com
Aug. 5, 2009 | NYT | By STEVE LOHR. “We’re entering a world
where everything can be monitored and measured,” said Erik Brynjolfsson,
an economist and director of MIT’s Center for Digital Business. “But
the big problem is the ability of man to use, analyze and make sense of
the data.”" The rich lode of Web data has its perils. Its sheer vol. can
easily overwhelm statistical models. Statisticians caution that strong
correlations of data do not necessarily prove a cause-and-effect link.
E.g., in the late 1940s, before there was a polio vaccine, public health
experts noted that polio cases increased in step with the consumption
of ice cream and soft drinks, says David A. Grier, a historian and
statistician at GWU. Eliminating such treats was recommended as part of
an anti-polio diet. It turned out that polio outbreaks were most common
in the hot mths of summer, when people ate more ice cream, showing only
an association. The data explosion magnifies longstanding issues in
statistics.
Steve_Lohr  Hal_Varian  statistics  career_paths  haystacks  analytics  Google  data  Freshbooks  information_overload  data_scientists  Erik_Brynjolfsson  measurements  sense-making  massive_data_sets  correlations  causality 
june 2010 by jerryking
New Economists Scour Urban Data for Trends - WSJ.com
APRIL 8, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | by CARI TUNA. New Ways
to Read Economy. Experts Scour Oddball Data to Help See Trends Before
Official Information Is Available. A growing number of economists and
urban planners [are] scouring for economic clues in unconventional urban
data—oddball measures of how people are moving, spending and working.
"Mr. Egan said he would like to build software to monitor Craigslist
prices for furniture, concert tickets, haircuts and other goods and
services to measure changes in local prices. The online classified-ads
site, he said, would give a quicker and more detailed read than the
bimonthly data from the Labor Department."

Broadway ticket sales are a favorite indicator for the chief economist of the New York City Economic Development Corp., Francesco Brindisi. He says they are a good gauge of city tourism.

In Jacksonville, Fla., community planner Ben Warner keeps tabs on calls to the city's 2-1-1 hotline for social services. Since late 2008, he has seen spikes in calls for help with food, housing, utilities payments and suicide prevention. It is "direct, real-time monitoring of the economic and social situation," he said.
data  urban  unconventional_thinking  economic_analyses  craigslist  Hal_Varian  hotlines  massive_data_sets  Freshbooks  economists  trends  pattern_recognition  measurements  real-time  forecasting  indicators  unorthodox  economic_data  metrics  Cari_Tuna  data_driven  unconventional  economics  non-traditional 
april 2010 by jerryking
How to avoid other industries' pitfalls ProQuest
Mar 16, 2009 | PRweek. (U.S. ed.). New York: Vol. 12, Iss. 11;
pg. 8, 1 pgs | by Emma Pankenier Leggat. The issue of measurement
and ROI in PR is one of endless debate. Why then does the entire
industry seem to happily accept the notion of selfreporting - our own
flawed version of self-regulation? How can the very same individuals who
toil for results personally vouch that they attained those results?

Results need to be better contextualized. There should be no more
reporting on impressions unless they are put in context and benchmarked
against an industry average, competitive set, or historical comparison.

Another lesson from the finance world: A sophisticated analytics lab
realizes that ROI does not simply mean "what you got for what you
invested." It means "what you got over and above what you could have
through a less risky investment. "
ProQuest  public_sector  analytics  data_driven  ROI  measurements  contextual  benchmarks  risk-adjusted  self-reporting  self-regulation 
march 2010 by jerryking
The Best Way to Shorten the Sales Cycle - Sales Strategies - Selling Skills
Aug 1, 2007 | Inc. Magazine | By Jeff Thull.
(Charles Waud & WaudWare)
To shorten the sales cycle, we must bring clarity to our customers. There are three
challenges to address if we want to shorten the sales cycle time. (1)
The "decision" challenge. The customer must have a high-quality decision
process with which to make this type of decision.(2) Is the customer
really ready to address the issue of "change."? (3) Can the customer
measure the "value" /impact of your solution? Does the customer have
enough knowledge or a method to measure the value your solution will
provide pre-sale, and worse, left on their own, are they able to measure
the value they have received from your solution post-sale?
buyer_choice_rejection  clarity  decision_making  high-quality  measurements  ROI  sales  sales_training  sales_cycle  selling  think_threes 
march 2010 by jerryking
Create Your Own 'Big Bang' - WSJ.com
APRIL 6, 2004 | Wall Street Journal | By STEPHEN H. GOLDSTEIN.
How to spark and build a business ecosystem? following three approaches,
recently proven to be good starting points:

* Court a king. to win Wal-Mart over are standing at the head of the
line now.
* Advocate an ecosystem.
* Create a standard. In embryonic or fragmented markets, the way standards get set can be critical to the pace of market adoption and individual companies can usually play a role
in steering and setting standards.
growth  embryonic  start_ups  strategy  ecosystems  big_bang  measurements  standardization  standards  jump-start  platforms  fragmented_markets  customer_adoption  market_risk  new_categories  howto  think_threes  category_killers 
january 2010 by jerryking
Ambidextrous Marketing - WSJ.com
OCTOBER 11, 2005 | Wall Street Journal | by JOHN A. QUELCH.
(Charles Waud & WaudWare)
Many marketing managers are failing their employers, showing little
interest in the balance sheet impact of their promotional programs. Such
marketers lack the quantitative, analytical skills necessary to drive
marketing productivity; and resist being held accountable for marketing
performance. So what must a marketing manager be able to do to succeed
in a world where information rules?

* Start with gathering and analyzing basic data.
* Supplement and refine this big picture approach by analyzing the
profitability of each customer account.
* Even when you know which customers to target, today's media
fragmentation has increased the complexity of achieving an optimal
allocation of marketing expenditures.
* Measure what's important.
Today's boards want chief marketing officers who can talk the language
of productivity and return on investment and are willing to be held
accountable.
marketing  howto  ROI  managers  accountability  HBS  decision_making  growth_hacking  metrics  data_driven  CMOs  measurements  John_Quelch  fragmentation  advertising  the_big_picture 
january 2010 by jerryking
Planning for profit
Mid-Mar 2000 | Professional Builder Vol. 65, Iss. 4; pg. 59, 2
pgs | by Tom Stephani . Simply defined, profit is payment for risks
taken, capital invested, and liability exposure. Sadly, far too many
small volume and custom builders operate as non-profit businesses. In
order to make a net profit in the home building business, builders must
define profit, plan for profit, and have systems in place to measure it.
Profit is the most important component of the gross margin that you
apply to every construction project that you sell. Profit is over and
above any salary benefits the owner is paid for the day-to-day operation
of the business. Often, smaller builders assume that profit is what is
left over after paying all of the bills. Determine what your profit goal
is first, and then work the numbers to determine what gross margin you
must achieve at a realistic sales level.
profits  planning  profitability  profit_dynamic  measurements  small_business 
december 2009 by jerryking
A road map to risk management
Dec 2001 | Journal of Accountancy. Vol. 192, Iss. 6; pg. 65,
5 pgs. | by Stephen W Bodine, Anthony Pugliese, Paul L Walker.
Businesses must measure risks, try to minimize them and - if possible -
use them to their advantage. This article describes a generic framework
or set of steps for risk management - based on current best practices -
that is applicable to any size or type of organization.
Employer_of_Choice  employer_branding  metrics  roadmaps  risks  Freshbooks  onboarding  risk-management  frameworks  measurements 
october 2009 by jerryking
Corner Office - To the C.E.O. of Teach for America, Charisma Is Overrated - Question - NYTimes.com
July 4, 2009 | New York Times | Interview with Wendy Kopp,
founder and chief executive of Teach for America, conducted and
condensed by Adam Bryant. "For three years, every single payroll was a
huge question. But ultimately that near-death experience led us to see
the power of really clear, measurable goals."
leadership  managing_people  teachers  failure  metrics  overrated  goal-setting  CEOs  charisma  Teach_for_America  hiring  recruiting  measurements 
july 2009 by jerryking
Six Ways Companies Mismanage Risk - HBR.org
March 2009 |Harvard Business Review | by René M. Stulz
(Charles Waud & WaudWare)
Financial risk management is hard to get right in the best of times. Stulz explores 6 ways institutions usually drop the ball:
1. Relying on Historical Data
2. Focussing on narrow measures
3. Overlooking knowable risks
4. Overlooking concealed risks
5. Failing to communicate
6. Not managing in real time
HBR  risk-management  execution  failure  risks  measurements  unknowns  financial_risk  hidden  latent  Communicating_&_Connecting  signaling  real-time  disclosure  mismanagement  overlooked 
march 2009 by jerryking
reportonbusiness.com: Disaster relief
November 28, 2008 at 2:46 PM EST G&M article by DOUG STEINER
Rules for post-disaster investing.
Step 1: Cope and gather new data. Smart people in hurricane-prone areas build defences into their homes and businesses, then watch the weather. Do you do that with your investments?.... Don't invest aimlessly assuming that you'll be able to avoid a crash, then buy at the bottom. I don't know when the next market plunge will happen or how deep it will be, but I'm fortifying my investment castle against disaster by spending less and saving more....Look for new sources of information.
Step 2: Analyze the data. I'm not smart, but I looked at historic data and made a connection-what happens in the U.S. usually happens here, too. We worried enough to sell our house in 2007, but I wasn't disaster-hardened enough to rent, so we bought a smaller house.
Step 3: Consider what country you're in
Step 4: Identify the worst thing that could happen right now. You think Canada's economy is grim? How about the city of Detroit, where the median price of a house or condo dropped to $9,250 (U.S.) in September from $21,250 (U.S.) just a year earlier? Could things get that bad here? Almost certainly not.
Step 5: Act when things stop getting worse (there's an element of "next play" here). Don't wait till they start getting better. If you wait for positive signs, it will be too late. I like hotpads.com, the U.S. real estate search engine with information on foreclosures from RealtyTrac. It lets you swoop across a map of the country like a vulture, looking for distressed properties. I'm not looking in Detroit, but I am interested in Longboat Key, Florida. I'm also combining the online information on foreclosures with updates from a local real estate agent who's desperate for buyers, and who forwards me every property listed in the area.
Step 6: Find out who's ahead of the curve and learn from them. The most interesting financial analysis these days isn't in stock and bond markets-it's in the markets for things like natural disaster insurance. A 2007 study, led by Laurens Bouwer from the Institute of Environmental Studies at Vrije University in Amsterdam (remember that Dutch people living below sea level are keenly interested in floods), includes estimates of the costs of future weather-related disasters. By 2015, potential financial losses from disasters in the world's 10 largest cities will likely climb by up to 88%. Three recommendations: 1) Get more and better data. 2) When adapting to surroundings, take precautions to reduce disaster risk. 3) Find new financial instruments or innovations to spread risks among investors.
Step 7: Invest where the potential returns are highest relative to the risks. Even though stock markets have plunged due to panic, they may not be the most profitable place to put your money in the future. The worst mispricing of assets will almost certainly be in the real estate market, so that's where you may find some of the best bargains. Detroit might turn into a mecca for artists, where $9,000 buys you a house in a neighbourhood that may rebound and thrive. You just have to have the courage to look at the disaster data and act.
ahead_of_the_curve  crisis  dark_side  de-risking  defensive_tactics  disasters  Doug_Steiner  extreme_weather_events  financial_instruments  financial_innovation  first_movers  information_sources  instrumentation_monitoring  investing  lessons_learned  measurements  mispricing  next_play  precaution  risk-sharing  rules_of_the_game  smart_people  thinking_tragically  tips  worst-case 
february 2009 by jerryking

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