The upcoming week European citizens have the opportunity to elect the next ‘bunch of nonos’ in the European Parliament. Around 750 heavely overpaid politicians. Ask yourself what the Europeans got from them in exchange. Are you able to list 10 examples of their achievements? From our strategic intelligence perspectives we foresee crucial economic issues Europe is facing. We call them ‘The Gray Rhinos’. Gray Rhinos are threats already at the horizon, however, we don’t want to see them.
Strategic Invention Points, SIPs, are an creation of former CEO and Founder of Intel’s Andrew Grove. SIPs are not always easy to spot, but you can’t hide from them. Intel’s first SIP was when the Japanese started producing better-quality, low-cost memory chips. It took Intel three years and huge losses to recognize, to rethink and to reposition the company to become, once again, leader in its field.
The potential hostile takeovers of Unilever and AkzoNobel were a wake-up call for their respective boards of management and boards of directors, providing a reason for both companies to act, however, both moved in the wrong direction, by selling-off parts of their companies, and of course via cost-cutting. Two easily-implemented actions which helped improve shareholder value. The Big Egos at the top were no doubt very proud of themselves to have made a decision. Together with my co-author, Dr. Antoinette Rijsenbilt, we described those too Big Egos in numerous cases in our 2015 book “Big Boys Big Egos and Strategic Intelligence”.
It has been instructive to see the following three things happening which people tend to accept far too easily: how effective are Boards of Directors, and what of their responsibility and accountability in controlling and monitoring their Boards of Management? It seems they are not effective at all, most have no idea of what is really going on, and what new challenges that are facing.
It was interesting to read first about Unilever’s Consumer and Market Insights Group (CMI), and then Christensen’s comments that most companies spend too much time and money compiling data-rich models that make them masters of description but failures at prediction. Let us explain. Organizations now know more about their customers than ever before. Big-data analytics can provide an enormous variety and volume of customer information at unprecedented speed. Almost all companies have established structured, disciplined innovation processes and have brought in highly-skilled talent to run them. Structure is created to show correlations.
The story starts every year with the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where the heads of the corporate world meet: CEOs, political friends and the consultancy-whisperers. They blame the politicians who are not able to solve the crisis, corporate management already has a focus on the future, and multinationals take the lead in solving the big future challenges: sustainability, growth and poverty.
One cannot do today’s job with yesterday’s methods and expect to be in business tomorrow! Do you want to learn new methods, new insights and foresight, new perspectives, and techniques, to get motivated, inspired and learn how to compete successfully in the future? Why is this of importance? The best ideas in the world are not in your head, your organization, or your industry: most come from looking around.