Make use of customer complaints

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Neat article on this in Sloan Management Review – whilst not bringing up much that’s new, it’s a useful reminder of some good principles and practices. Few organisations seem to really leverage this source of valuable data though, which can tell you all kinds of things, not only about inadequate skills but also about where imbalances are building up in the system and threatening serious strategic damage [see SMD chapter 9 for the basics of how some ...

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IT/communications technology

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Just come back from a great talk by Brian Levy, HP’s Chief Technology Office for Communications & Media. Amongst many useful insights he offered were

  • there is a very real possibility that current growth in video-based internet traffic will cripple internet capacity [driven e.g. by bit-torrent and similar, as used by BBC iPlayer – basically uses loads of our PCs to help supply content on to others, I think] 
  • … and it’s not clear who will get paid how for resolving this – ...
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Good old tools still help

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You would expect knowledge in a professional field to accumulate – what we use today being built on what was known and used in the past. Strategy often doesn’t feel like that – a new fad gets promoted, then falls away as the next one comes along. So it’s a good reminder that one such tool is still helpful – if used with very great care!

The GE-McKinsey nine-box matrix helps identify which business units in a corporate entity ...

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How to Expand While Cutting Costs

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An interesting article in on this topic, which is probably front of mind for quite a few organisations right now, in strategy+business. The article comes up with ‘the frugal growth triangle’, on the working relationships between business units, corporate and shared functions. Unfortunately, while there are some good suggestions in it, there are also plenty of platitudes .. get business units accountable, connect innovation to consumer insight, have business units ‘pull’ services from the infrastructure, choose core capabilities to invest in, ...

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Customer satisfaction and growth

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Interesting article in Sloan Management Review on linking customer satisfaction to growth. Looks based on very thorough research on customer satisfaction metrics and their subsequent behaviour – especially passing on recommendations. Of course, to do the customers-to-sales link properly, you would want to break apart the three elements [a] customer win-rate, [b] customer loss-rate .. and their combined effect on the total customer base .. and [c] purchase rate. See Strategic Management Dynamics chapter 6.  Do beware ...

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