August 26, 2017

Organization Design - New Ideas


In "The New New Way of Working Series," published the article, "Boosting Performance Through Organization Design" dated JULY 17, 2017 authored by By Fabrice Roghé , Andrew Toma , Stefan Scholz , Alexander Schudey , and JinK Koike.

The authors reported that analysis of the same survey results suggests that six specific factors in organization design can make a company more likely to become a top performer, with faster growth and higher profits than its peers. The six factors are:

Agile ways of working
A value-adding corporate center
Clearly delineated profit and loss (P&L) responsibilities
A flat management structure with a strong frontline focus
Effective use of shared services
Strong support for people and collaboration

For more information on agile read the article

Related articcle

August 25, 2017

Cost Center Reports and Analysis

Cost Center Reports and Analysis

Any activity can be analysed by its costs and the ’output’ it generates. A business might want to know the cost of running a production line compared to other production lines or ways of producing things. Similarly, a firm might want to look at the total cost of running training courses (salary, rents, training materials, utilities and so on) compared to the number of people actually trained.

Cost centre analysis tries to attribute all costs involved in a particular activity to one ’location’ or ’cost centre’. To calculate costs involved in a particular activity it is necessary to calculate the cost of:

All materials used directly  and materials used indirectly (for instance packaging).

All labour costs directly involved and the proportionate cost of any supporting labour (for instance
administrative staff).

Sales And Marketing Costs
Regular, on-going costs of advertising and promotion of that activity’s product or service.

Proportionate costs of regular expenses associated with that activity such as rent, rates, power, interest repayments, other charges.

Additional Costs
Other costs solely attributable to the activity (for instance higher insurance costs for a new machine).

ABC Novelties company  management want to know the real cost of manufacturing toys. Materials used cost $2,000 per year. Production involves 5 trainees paid $500 expenses each per year. The single machine
used is used for toy production 20% of the time and full depreciation is valued at $1,000 per year. Electricity costs $600 a year and toy production takes up half of a workshop costing $2,000 in rent, rates and repairs
per year. The paid administration worker calculates that he spends 30% of his time on book-keeping, sales and marketing toys. He is paid $8,000 per year. The total income of the project is $25,000 per year
and sales of toys contribute $5,000 to this. 

Its total costs are $24,500 per year.

Cost Centre Analysis
Materials            =    $2000
Labour (5 x $500) =   2500
Depreciation ($1,000 x 20%)   =  200
Electricity ($600 x 20%)   =  120
Rent ($2,000 / 2) =           1000
Administration ($8,000 x 30%) = 2400
Total                 =   8220
From these figures we can calculate the following:
Toy making is responsible for 34% of all costs ($8,220 / $24,500 x 100)

August 21, 2017

Design Thinking - Introduction

Design Thinking: Understand Phase

Design Thinking: Explore Phase

In his 1969 seminal text on design methods, “The Sciences of the Artificial,” Nobel Laureate Herbert Simon outlined one of the first formal models of the Design Thinking process. Simon's model consists of seven major stages, each with component stages and activities, and was largely influential in shaping some of the most widely used Design Thinking process models today.

A five-stage model was proposed by the Hasso-Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford ( is the leading university when it comes to teaching Design Thinking. The five stages of Design Thinking in this model are as follows:

Empathise, Define (the problem), Ideate, Prototype, and Test.

A process guide describes the stages in more detail. Download: An Introduction to Design Thinking - Process Guide

Five stage explanation - Another article

IBM Design Thinking

101 Design Methods: A Structured Approach for Driving Innovation in Your Organization
Vijay Kumar
John Wiley & Sons, 09-Oct-2012 - Design - 336 pages

Developments in Retailing - New Retail - Omni-Channel

"New retail" is  a phenomenon recently coined by Chinese e-commerce group Alibaba, entails retailers integrating their online and offline businesses, and leveraging the Internet and customer data to sell better.

24 July 2017

August 17, 2017

Service to Customer: Follow Up After The Sale

Selling Skill - Service to Customer and Follow Up After The Sale

A satisfied customer is the best advertisement to you as a salesman and to your product. But if you make a sale and runaway, you do not know the feelings of your customer. The prospect became your customer after buying from you. High performing salespersons do the follow up and provide any service the customer requires and convert this interaction into further sales to the customer or to his friends and acquaintances through referrals.

Service to Customer

A satisfied customer is the best advertisement to you as a salesman and to your product. But if you make a sale and runaway, you do not know the feelings of your customer. The prospect became your customer after buying from you. High performing salespersons do the follow up and provide any service the customer requires and convert this interaction into further sales to the customer or to his friends and acquaintances through referrals.

Service will keep customers and increase sales. Use your company’s goods return policies judiciously to replace defective products with customers. Go back to the customer, check the product that you have sold and make sure that the customer is getting the expected services from it.

Become a customer benefit oriented salesman, your profits swell through your efforts to make the benefits of customers swell. Develop your reputation from providing benefit to customers. Provide service above and beyond the call of duty. Always schedule some time in your daily sales plan for delighting customers. Delight comes to a customer when you deliver something beyond expectations.

Part of Selling Process - 10 Steps

Updated 18 August 2017, 25 November 2011

August 7, 2017

Scanning of Environment for Marketing Ideas and Decisions

Marketing Management Revision Article Series

Unmet needs of people always exist. Companies can make fortunes if they can find a solution to problems of people like cancer, mental diseases, nonfattening but tasty food etc. There are many more problems awaiting a solution. Marketers have to scan the environment and find out problems requiring solutions and report them back to their product development specialists to facilitate focused efforts to develop solutions for them.

For this purpose marketing executives scan macro environment. Macro environment is further divided into different environments for study purpose.

Demographic Environment

The first macro environment that marketers monitor is global and domestic population and trends in it. The parameters they look for are worldwide population growth, population age mix, and geographical shifts in population, household patterns, educational groups and ethnic groups.

Economic Environment

An exchange market requires purchasing power for transactions to take place along with people who want goods. The available purchasing power in an economy depends on parameters like current income, prices, savings, current debt levels and credit availability. Marketers have to identify major trends in income and spending patterns.

Natural Environment

Marketers need to consider the threats and opportunities associated with four trends in the natural environment: the shortage of raw materials, the increased cost of energy, the increased levels of pollution, and the changing role of governments.

Technological Environment

There is a rapid technological change. Technology is creating opportunities for new products and services. Research and development expenditure is an important variable that determines development of new technologies. Marketers have to promote R & D activities both at company level and country levels through government funds. Government regulation of technology has increases to assure public safe technologies.

Political/Legal Environment

Regulation of various businesses by government and liberalization of some businesses are issues that need to be monitored by marketers.

Social/Cultural Environment

There is high persistence of core cultural values of societies. There are subcultures in every society. There are shifts in secondary cultural values through time. Marketers have to be alert to such changes and analyze marketing implications of such changes.

For Further Reading

The Marketing Concept - Kotler

Philip Kotler, Marketing Management, Text Book

Planned Revision schedule for marketing chapters is in February and March

Originally posted on Knol

Knol number 122

Updated 8 August 2017, 25 November 2011

August 5, 2017

Wisdom - Theory Development

Targowski, Andrew
Harnessing the Power of Wisdom (2013),

Cognitive Informatics and Wisdom Development: Interdisciplinary Approaches: Interdisciplinary Approaches

Targowski, Andrew
IGI Global, 31-Dec-2010 - Psychology - 260 pages

Wisdom is the ultimate human virtue. Its development and  application is important for humans and civilization.

Cognitive Informatics and Wisdom Development: Interdisciplinary Approaches argues that wise civilization cannot function without wise people and vice versa, that wise people cannot function without positive conditions for the development of wise civilization. Using the cognitive informatics approach as a basis for the investigation of wisdom, this book offers solutions on how to study and evaluate the state of wisdom in 21st century society and the requirements for wise civilization and its monitoring systems.

Wisdom is information reflecting good judgment and choice; it is the final cognition unit in the Semantic Ladder and has different levels of scope and quality depending on the four minds, namely basic, whole, global and universal mind, which are supported by the art of living, understood as the reflection of behavioral aspects of wisdom within the philosophical framework of the hierarchy of possible purposes of one’s life.

Emotional Intelligence Quotient Test - Patent - Sajid Khan

Cited Patent Filing date Publication date Applicant Title

US4931934 * Jun 27, 1988 Jun 5, 1990 Snyder Thomas E Method and system for measuring clarified intensity of emotion
US6375470 * Nov 9, 1999 Apr 23, 2002 Dennis Rohan Method for facilitating alliance building
US6418435 * Aug 11, 1999 Jul 9, 2002 Connotative Reference Corporation System for quantifying intensity of connotative meaning
US6497577 * Jan 8, 2001 Dec 24, 2002 Janet M. Kanter Systems and methods for improving emotional awareness and self-mastery
US6651071 * Aug 4, 2000 Nov 18, 2003 Alverno College User interface educational database system for monitoring proficiency, performance and evaluation of student
US20030108849 * Dec 10, 2001 Jun 12, 2003 Hodges Vannie Kay Method of grouping patient information

Citing Patent Filing date Publication date Applicant Title

US20100293492 * May 12, 2010 Nov 18, 2010 Lewis Farsedakis Systems, Web Sites, Games, Calculators, Meters and Other Tangible Items for Measurement of Love

US20140032277 * Jul 18, 2013 Jan 30, 2014 Infosys Limited Methods, systems and computer-readable media for computing performance indicator of a resource

Process for assessing and developing emotional intelligence in early childhood
US 20040009457 A1
Publication date Jan 15, 2004

Method for improving the emotional quotient in infants and children
US 20080268408 A1
This invention is a method to teach emotional awareness to children. The method uses a video to increase the child's emotional quotient. The emotional quotient is a measure like intelligence quotient that measures sensitivity to emotions. Because the video uses images it can be used with pre-literate or even pre-language children. It can also be used as a tool for teachers, parents and therapists who are using a larger education system or the video can be used by the child as a primary educational tool.
Publication date 30 Oct 2008

Strategy Execution - Best Practices

What Is Strategy Execution?

By: Ed Barrows

Execute strategy through strategic projects

Identify strategy projects.
The first step in improving project-oriented strategy execution is to capture and organize all strategy projects

Resource strategy projects.
Projects that directly impact the strategy should be resourced.

Manage projects.
Organizations must develop a capability in project management if they are to execute strategy effectively.   The full complement of strategy projects  should be coordinated and controlled by a central strategy project office or officer with the responsibility for monitoring both progress and performance.

Communicate strategy.
It is difficult to execute strategy when the strategy itself isn’t well understood, or performance relative to it is not communicated.  Leaders must communicate their strategy to the workforce in a way that will help them understand not only what needs to be done, but why.

Align individual roles.
Senior leaders have to ensure that roles are modified so that employees at all levels see their contribution to the strategy success and can articulate and evaluate their personal roles toward achievement of specific strategic goals.  This is perhaps one of the most critical aspects of the execution process.

Reward performance.
In strategy execution, as in any other area of management, what gets measured gets done.  Taking this one step further, what get measured and rewarded gets done faster.  After explaining the strategy and aligning the workforce to it, senior managers institute the incentives that flow from the success of strategic endeavors or projects,  that drive behaviors consistent with the strategy.

Research on the strategy-execution gap

Updated 6 August 2017, 30 October 2016