Saturday, February 4, 2023

A New Value Curve


Jeroen Kraaijenbrink

Jeroen Kraaijenbrink
Strategy and Leadership Consultant 

Some strategy tools are simple and useful. The “Four Actions Framework” of Blue Ocean Strategy is one of them. This is how to use it.

The Four Actions Framework is one of the core tools in the Blue Ocean Strategy toolbox that was developed by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne in 2005.

To understand how it works, let’s start with its background basics:

a) Every category of products or services can be described along a set of dimensions (factors) that create value for customers. Think of price, quality, speed, design, availability, sustainability, etc. 

b) Every product or service that a particular company offers scores somewhere on these dimensions. A high-end product, for example, may score high on price, high on quality, low on availability, etc.

c) The combination of scores on these dimensions can be visualized by what the authors have called a “value curve.” Think of it like a bar chart or line chart representing the scores of the product or service.

d) The best strategy generally (or at least what Blue Ocean Strategy tells you to do) is to create a unique value curve that is different from the competition and that speaks to a specific group of (new) customers.

Now, with this background knowledge in mind, we can move to the Four Actions Framework. As visualized, it consists of four actions that you can apply to the current value curve of a product or service:

1. Eliminate: get rid of unnecessary factors. E.g., “slow food” takes speed completely off the table.
2. Reduce: reduce your score on factors. E.g., reduce quality to allow for a lower price. 
3. Raise: raise your score on factors. E.g., improve design to make the product stand out more. 
4. Create: add new factors not used before. E.g. add sustainability as a distinctive factor.

Along these lines you can actively and intentionally redesign your company’s value proposition(s) to make them stand out more from the competition or entice your customers more.

Please note the order of the four actions: first eliminate and reduce, before you raise or create. So, simplify first and do less, before you start doing more!

Which of your company’s products’ and services’ value curves will you start redesigning next?

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Metropolis II by Chris Burden (the movie)

We are Occupied by Automobiles..!

A short doc about a kinetic sculpture that took four years to build. We had the honor of spending three days in Chris Burden's studio filming this sculpture before it was moved to the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art (LACMA) where it is being reinstalled. The installation opened fall 2011. Chris Burden is one of our favorite artists of all time. For more about him and his work and for a video about his awesome tv commercials/video art go here Directed by Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman Edited by Max Joseph Cinemtography by Schulman, Joost & Van Neistat Music by Tortoise (Ten-Day interval) & Mahogany (Windmill International A) Special Thanks to Zak Cook and everyone at the Burden studio...Tortoise, Mahogany, Jaclyn Slimm & Andrew Prinz.

Friday, November 25, 2022

6 Rules for Productivity


[Reportedly] Elon Musk sent an email to the staff at Tesla with his 6 rules for productivity. Unsurprisingly, it leaked.

Here they are:
1) Avoid large meetings
Large meetings waste valuable time and energy.
- They discourage debate
- People are more guarded than open
- There’s not enough time for everyone to contribute
Don’t schedule large meetings unless you’re certain they provide value to everyone.

2) Leave a meeting if you’re not contributing
If a meeting doesn’t require your:
- Input
- Value
- Decisions
Your presence is useless.
It’s not rude to leave a meeting.
But it’s rude to waste people’s time.

3) Forget the chain of command
Communicate with colleagues directly.
Not through supervisors or managers.
Fast communicators make fast decisions.
Fast decisions = competitive advantage.

4) Be clear, not clever
Avoid nonsense words and technical jargon.
It slows down communication.
Choose words that are:
- Concise
- To the point
- Easy to understand
Don’t sound smart. Be efficient.

5) Ditch frequent meetings
There’s no better way to waste everyone’s time.
Use meetings to:
- Collaborate
- Attack issues head-on
- Solve urgent problems
But once you resolve the issue, frequent meetings are no longer necessary.
You can resolve most issues without a meeting.
Instead of meetings:
- Send a text
- Send an email
- Communicate on a discord or slack channel
Don’t interrupt your team’s workflow if it’s unnecessary.

6) Use common sense
If a company rule doesn’t:
- Make sense
- Contribute to progress
- Apply to your specific situation
Avoid following the rule with your eyes closed.
Don’t follow rules. Follow principles.


Wednesday, November 23, 2022

HR Governance


Leading edge HR teams are pivotal to helping organizations achieve their mission or win in the marketplace

“Research confirms what we intuitively know: aligned, innovative, and integrated HR practices make a dramatic difference in individual and organizational performance.”
Dave Ulrich HR from the Outside In: Six Competencies for the Future of Human Resources

What if your HR team could be equipped with:

1️⃣Tools and support to create an HR strategy

2️⃣A complete catalogue of employee and leadership development workshops that would meet your organization’s most critical development priorities

3️⃣All the support you need to develop and execute a complete diversity, equity and inclusion strategy

4️⃣A complete set of diagnostic tools that would allow you to do the gamut of employee surveys including: pulse surveys, DEI surveys, comprehensive employee engagement surveys, new hire surveys, exit surveys and retention and wellness surveys

5️⃣Leading edge actionable research that includes complete tool kits and guidance from experts to develop and implement HR strategies and programs including:
-Leadership development strategies
-Leveraging culture for competitive advantage
-Succession management strategies
-HR analytics
-Employee development strategies
-Holistic HRIS strategies
-Compensation strategies
-Well-being strategies
-A complete talent acquisition strategy
-A clear concise and compelling employment value proposition

6️⃣A complete end to end HR academy to develop your HR team on the most critical HR competencies

7️⃣A complete tool kit of resources for leading and sustaining organizational change at scale

The value proposition of a McLean & Company membership is exponential - to learn more about how a McLean & Company membership can accelerate your HR teams success see the link in the comments box below or connect with me

What is the future of HR?
“administration must be flawless; HR practices must be innovative and integrated; and HR must turn strategic aspirations into HR actions. But rather than rely on these waves, we see future-facing HR professionals looking outside their organizations to customers, investors, and communities to define successful HR.”
Dave Ulrich HR from the Outside In: Six Competencies for the Future of Human Resources

McLean & Company is an HR research and advisory firm providing practical solutions to human resources challenges via executable research, tools, diagnostics, and advisory services that have a clear and measurable impact on your business.

McLean & Company offers an evidence-based insight approach to resolving key strategic and tactical initiatives. We systematically improve the core HR capabilities of organizations with our data-driven solutions, which are used and developed by the needs of over 30,000 members globally.

Similarities And Differences


Project Manager vs. Product Manager: Similarities And Differences

What Is a Project Manager?
Project managers begin their work during the planning stages of a project, and they continue working through each logistical step. This includes planning and defining the scope of a project, establishing schedules, bringing in staff and other needed resources and communicating with team members and stakeholders.

A person who never failed is a person who never tried anything new.

These professionals stay with a project from the beginning stages until completion, making sure everything goes according to plan.

Project Manager Role and Responsibilities
Project managers work on projects through all stages, so they have set responsibilities from beginning to end to make sure their projects succeed. Project managers’ responsibilities include the following.

👉Establish parameters and manage each logistical element of a project. This may include planning, defining the project’s scope, managing resources, executing various steps and bringing the project to a close.

👉Monitor a project from start to finish to anticipate potential challenges ahead of time and solve problems as soon as they occur.
Ensure that a project stays on budget. In doing this, project managers may need to reallocate funds to make sure the funds are used effectively.

👉Maintain effective communication with those involved in the project.

What Is a Product Manager?
Product managers play a strategic role in product development as they develop a vision for the product and ensure that it effectively meets customers’ needs. These professionals establish guidelines to determine a project’s success. They also monitor updates to make sure progress aligns with the organization’s original goals and vision

Product Manager Role and Responsibilities
Product managers take on a broad but high-level role in product development. They ensure that a product develops according to its vision and meets the needs of customers who will use it. Product managers’ responsibilities are as follows

👉Create a roadmap for a product by determining what users need. Establish priorities to determine when elements of the project should be built.

👉Set defining metrics to help determine a product’s success.

👉Monitor performance, changes and new features to ensure that the project stays within the set parameters for success.

👉Conduct research and market analysis to maintain a high-quality product.

👉Work with cross-functional teams to implement strategies that result in a successful product.