Tag: business strategy

Who Should We Compare Ourselves With?

July 4th, 2010   •   no comments   


Don’t just benchmark Google for its technology – it also has one of the best corporate cultures in the world. (source)

Yesterday morning, I had an interesting conversation with my wife (an organisational excellence whiz) on the question of benchmarking and best practices.

First, we spoke about how global liveability indicators like this (from Mercer), this (from the Economist), this (from Monocle), and this latest one (conceived in Singapore), are used as top-line outcome measures in the Balanced Score Card – a universally accepted system for strategic management. Such measures provide objective assessments of a city’s efforts to position itself as a beacon of success.
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Digging Deeper To Find Gold

June 14th, 2010   •   no comments   


Finding treasure requires a lot of investigating and digging. Just ask Indiana Jones! (source)

In any successful marketing endeavour, one must be willing to think, live and breathe like one’s potential customer. This also means that preconceived notions and prejudices must be tested and thrown out the window if they are proven untrue.

What are some of these common misconceptions and myths? Let me offer some examples.
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From Buying to Believing

April 22nd, 2010   •   2 comments   


Courtesy of Christopher Madden

If you want to succeed beyond your wildest dream as an entrepreneur (or an intrapreneur), don’t just create products or services. Instead, start a religion, or better yet, a cult.

The best organisations don’t just push out great products or services. They start movements and create causes. They turn jaded old ideas upside down. They spark off ripples which resonate so much with their followers that these become giant tsunamis of market revolution.
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Understanding What Productivity Means

February 8th, 2010   •   1 comment   


Courtesy of The Right Time Is Now

Productivity, the old panacea of economic goodwill, is making a comeback yet again. Several of our leaders have cited its importance, and the latest budget to be unveiled on 22 Feb will announce measures to boost productivity. I am certainly excited about this outcome as it may be the only way forward in a natural resource constrained economy like ours.

In order to understand what productivity is about, let us look at its basic ingredients, which is Value Added. According to Wikipedia,

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The Art of the (internal) Start-up

February 6th, 2010   •   3 comments   


Courtesy of A Fresh Start (up)

As some of you may know, I am in the midst of switching portfolios in my organisation and heading to the National Art Gallery, Singapore to lead the corporate services function. Unlike my previous role at the National Heritage Board, this one covers a broader spectrum of responsibilities – from HR, Finance, Admin, Strategic Planning, Policy, Marketing & Communications, to IT. You can say that it stretches from conceptualisation, development, funding, and staffing to communication, reporting and implementation.

Due to the start-up nature of the institution (which just celebrated its first birthday), many things need to be put in place. It has certainly been an exhilarating couple of weeks thus far, and I look forward to more excitement ahead.
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Adopting Multiple Marketing Perspectives

January 6th, 2010   •   no comments   

eye see you, originally uploaded by jwlphotography.

To succeed in the art and science of marketing, one cannot simply stick to one central approach and hope to wing it come what may. What’s needed instead are a mix of both long-term, medium-term and short-term views. The adoption of these perspectives should vary depending on one’s vantage point.

For a start, one should have a clear long-term vision of the goal and desired end point. What are the overall objectives of one’s marketing efforts? Heightened customer satisfaction? Improved profits? Greater sales turnover? Or stronger brand positioning? Deep in the trenches of marketing skirmishes and battles, one should never forget what the end goal is.

Next, one should look at the medium-term strategies that are needed to accomplish that. What would be the few projects spanning several months to year that should be considered? These could be the development of new products, refurbishing of shop-fronts, training of staff in new areas, organisation of events, or upgrading of service levels.
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The Four Rs of Winning Businesses

December 25th, 2009   •   no comments   


Competing in a crowded marketplace requires the 4 Rs (Shinjuku courtesy of William Bullimore)

What are the most important ingredients in any successful business?

Is it the ability to stimulate Recognition deep, far and wide, penetrating into every household (or organisation) in the land?

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The Purrfect World of Hello Kitty

October 16th, 2009   •   no comments   

Hello Kitty Cafe Queue

Courtesy of The Straits Times

Hello Kitty strikes again!

This time around, the opening of the Hello Kitty Cafe at Changi Airport generated huge and serpentine queues. According to a story in The Straits Times, this is the world’s first 24 hour Hello Kitty Cafe, offering a modest 84 seats in total.

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How Market Leading Companies Do It

September 18th, 2009   •   no comments   

In the world of business, there are few winners and many losers. The merciless marketplace leaves little room for companies trying to be all things to all men, spreading their resources too thinly across many areas. Those who make it focus their energies and resources on focusing their energies on one of the three key value disciplines – operational excellence, product leadership or customer intimacy – and look at ways to continually improve superior value.

According to The Discipline of Market Leaders, the true formula for enduring strategic success is to be either operationally excellent, exceptional in leading the market in product development, or to have one’s entire business closely integrated with one’s customer’s processes. Authored by Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema, the slim volume proposes that market leaders choose their customers carefully and find the best ways to meet their needs in a highly differentiated and focused manner while ensuring that quality standards are not compromised.
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Why Being Quirky May Be Better

July 31st, 2009   •   no comments   


Nobody does it quirkier than Richard Branson!

In the past, one sought to conform as much as possible to the IT crowd.

“Be part of this cool collective!”

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