Tell the Story

What’s the story of your organization, your business?

There’s a story there, there always is. Numbers on a spreadsheet don’t do it justice. Yes, there is the annual report, but first, who reads it, and second, that’s just the point – it’s “annual”. The story of your business is dynamic, it runs all year long, 24/7. Numbers and metrics are only part of if.

The Guiding Assumption

Your guiding assumption—what you really think about your customers—can be the biggest obstacle (or catalyst) to your success. In an era when customers are scrutinizing every move you make, you can not afford to assume that they are all not trustworthy.

Trust your customers. And if you don’t, find new customers you can. Running a business and establishing a relationship on the conviction that everyone around you is out to get you is not a recipe for business (or personal) success.

Did I Believe Criss Angel? Lessons in Experience Design

The Criss Angel Show “Believe” at the Luxur hotel in Las Vegas was true to what Las Vegas is all about: a constant attempt to outdo your competitors….

…[Although] the cynic in me did not buy into the magic and illusions, I did appreciate the experience and admire the showmanship and the work that went into the show. Criss Angel did not take his audience for granted and did his best to deliver the exceptional experience they paid for.

Finding Strategy

Knowing the purpose for the strategy is as important as building the strategy itself. So don’t wait to find your strategy when caught on the wrong foot, rather plan for the right purpose. The purpose should account for the best as well as the worst, and should plan for for issues to come.

It Sure Is Noisy Around Here

This is what the combination of analytics and visualization does best – together they filter out the noise so that you are left with the core concerns. Decision making under uncertainty is tough enough – no sense wasting time and effort striving for precision and accuracy around the WRONG variables or issues. No matter how you choose to mix your metaphors, data visualization turns down the noise so that you can hear yourself think.

Carnegie’s Secret to Success? Networking.

One of the most impressive figures of the nineteenth century’s Gilded Age was Scottish immigrant Andrew Carnegie. He started off in obscurity and abject poverty, rose to develop the U.S. steel industry, became the wealthiest man in the world when he sold to J.P. Morgan, and went on to become the premier philanthropist of his time.

What was the greatest secret to his success?

Paisa Vasool

When Indian consumers experience the perfect mix of quality and value, they will often say “Paisa vasool”—loosely, “I got my money’s worth.” It is the highest praise. Around the world, consumers are budget squeezed—skeptical of merchandisers and worried about the future. Paisa vasool can become the watchword to creating greater value, offering more features for less money, and attracting consumers who become your advocate. Paisa vasool implies high quality, a complete package that delivers value for money.

Are You a Rebel?

Organizations need more “champion” behavior from their middle managers. Linkedin discussion groups frequently chatter about poor guidance from executives. A recent discussion had many discussants moaning about their CFO function’s reluctance to implement activity-based costing (ABC) principles for lame reasons such as it would result in two different sets of product costs or that ABC is too complicated to implement. This is nonsense.

Riddle: How are Analytics Like a Mosquito in a Nudist Colony?

There are so many opportunities to apply analytics today- it’s like being a mosquito in a nudist colony.

There is a problem, however, that not everyone thinks or behaves like a mosquito. They do not always inherently sense opportunities – the opportunities to apply analytics.

Perhaps I stretch this mosquito analogy too far when I presume that many opportunities may have insect repellent applied to them. For example, let’s consider the high expectations of service at a five star hotel. Ever wait in a long line at your hotel check out during the morning rush with others checking out? It might not appear cost-justified to the hotel, but it may be a very valuable extra expense to add one or more front desk staff if you irritate an important and delayed social media influencer who will complain on Twitter or How would you know? It is an opportunity for an analyst’s experiment or survey. The insect repellant analogy implies that an analyst may not “sense” an opportunity.