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Organizations have, in recent times, become more aware of the worth of regulating their Organizational Knowledge.  Extensive studies in academia have been conducted on the subject, because of its importance.

Organizations learn with time and experience.  The cause-and-effect relationship is gathered in the collective memory of the organization in the form of:

  • Shared mental models
  • Standard operating procedures
  • Rules and routines
  • Assets

This learning, in some cases, becomes a source of Competitive Advantage for the organization.

New learning, in organizations, is possible when redundant knowledge and bad habits are effectively erased from the organizational memory.  Managing Organizational Forgetting has to be part of Strategic Planning because of:

  1. Wasted resources—Knowledge forgotten, that should not have been, has to be re-acquired by diverting resources that could have been used elsewhere or for acquiring new knowledge.
  2. Opportunity cost—Required knowledge not available (because it was forgotten) at the time an opportunity arose.

Effective Organizational Forgetting should be an Organizational Culture so as to keep organizations on their toes and maybe preserve or gain Competitive Advantage.

Organizations that intend to manage their Organizational Forgetting effectively, need to comprehend 2 dimensions of Forgetting and the relationship between them:

Dimension 1:  Accidental Forgetting vs. Intentional Forgetting

The 1st element pertains to loss of valuable knowledge; the 2nd to increased competitiveness as a result of Forgetting.

Dimension 2: Entrenched Knowledge vs. New Knowledge

The 1st element relates to knowledge embedded in relatively durable objects like machines, databases, taken-for-granted routines; the 2nd to a transient setup like individual minds, association among small teams, makeshift organizational groups.

The process of Forgetting is altered depending on the interaction of the elements of the 2 dimensions.

Interaction of the above 2 dimensions results in 4 processes that constitute the Forms of Organizational Forgetting:

  1. Memory Decay
  2. Failure to Capture
  3. Unlearning
  4. Avoiding Bad Habits

The interaction of the 4 processes has been conveyed in the form of a matrix dubbed the Organizational Forgetting Matrix.  These processes explain an array of Organizational Forgetting that may occur.  Each of the 4 processes need distinct management approaches because each process is connected with a disparate set of challenges.

Let us delve a little deeper into some of the processes.

Memory Decay

Memory Decay occurs when concepts, practices, values are lost because of non-use or key personnel leaving the organization.  Organizations can forget elements long ingrained in their collective memory triggering costly and harmful consequences, like spending large sums to regain knowledge that was a source of Competitive Advantage.

Memory Decay is exacerbated in the process of downsizing.  Extremely valuable pieces of knowledge and skills can be lost if proper retention measures are not put in place.

Failure to Capture

Failure to capture new knowledge and disseminate it throughout the organization, results in loss when individuals bearing that knowledge leave.  Knowledge Articulation and Knowledge Institutionalization are 2 processes that can prevent such loss. 

Unlearning

Intentional Forgetting enhances organizational capability.  Intentional Forgetting can be achieved in 2 ways.  The 1st is strategic removal of knowledge.

Interested in learning more about Organizational Forgetting?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on Organizational Forgetting here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market.  They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions.  I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

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“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power.  For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients.  In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over!  The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd

Value ChainA traditional Value Chain involves a linear sequence of activities—from conversion of raw materials into components which are assembled into products.  The products are then distributed, marketed, sold, and serviced.  Management plans and execute strategies and operations based on this sequence.

This set of activities worked well for organizations in the past.  However, this linear progression does not encourage Innovation and provides little protection from the risk of being outperformed by rivals in today’s disruptive markets.  Such a competitive environment calls for implementing more robust ways of managing Customer Demand and Value Creation.

An effective approach to deal with this challenge is the Value Grid Analysis Model.  The Value Grid approach provides a perspective beyond traditional linear progression of activities, where organizations need to balance equilibrium between suppliers and manufacturers aside from concentrating only on reducing lead times.  It outlines new opportunities and risks for organizations.

The Value Grid Analysis provides a number of routes to improve Performance and reduce risks.  It encompasses the following 3 pathways—or dimensions:

  • Vertical pathway – using traditional Value Chain, companies find opportunities upstream or downstream from adjacent tiers in the existing Value Chain.
  • Horizontal pathway – companies look for opportunities from similar tiers in multiple (parallel) Value Chains.
  • Diagonal pathway – explore opportunities to create value across multiple value chains and tiers.

The Value Grid Framework necessitates diverting leadership attention towards 3 key opportunity areas to create Competitive Advantage:

  1. Customer Demand
  2. Information Access
  3. Multi-tier Penetration

Let’s dive deeper into the 3 opportunity areas.

Customer Demand

The first opportunity area to drive competitive advantage pertains to controlling internal and external customers’ demand.  It warrants a company to manage customer demand upstream (suppliers and companies that supply to suppliers) as well as downstream (customers).  By managing customer demand downstream, organizations control the decision makers responsible for the purchase decision.  When companies are unable to control the decision makers, they look for levers across the Value Chain to influence decisions.  These levers include direct advertisements to the end users, focusing on distributors, or incentivizing retailers to recommend a product.  Organizations also try to influence upstream, e.g., their R&D units, to create products which can be used in conjunction with the existing product range to boost their efficacy and benefits for the end-users, ultimately influencing consumers’ decisions downstream.

Information Access

The 2nd opportunity area involves linking information sharing to influence decision making.  A few manufacturers prefer to partner with those suppliers who openly disclose the information (capabilities, flexibility, and pricing structures) of their 2nd-tier suppliers with them.  This assists them in planning and helping the suppliers manage materials and prices better.

For instance, with increased tariff on imported steel and price of steel continuously going up, car manufacturers like Honda purchase steel in bulk and sell it to their suppliers at a reduced rate.  This helps them keep the prices of their cars down and compete better.

Multi-tier Penetration

Nonlinear thinking (Value Grid Model) enables the organizations to determine innovative solutions beyond the scope of traditional Value Chains.  To manage excess demand organizations take on multiple Value Chain tiers to control demand and buyers’ power.

Leading manufacturers evaluate multiple value chain points for their participation in order to scale.  They sell not only to Original Equipment Manufacturers but also in the aftermarket.  Supplying to more than one Value Chain tier allows organizations to withstand pressure from OEMs to reduce costs, demand shifts, and offers attractive margins.

Interested in learning more about the 3 opportunity areas of the Value Grid Analysis Framework?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on Value Grid Analysis here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power. For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“As a small business owner, the resource material available from FlevyPro has proven to be invaluable. The ability to search for material on demand based our project events and client requirements was great for me and proved very beneficial to my clients. Importantly, being able to easily edit and tailor the material for specific purposes helped us to make presentations, knowledge sharing, and toolkit development, which formed part of the overall program collateral. While FlevyPro contains resource material that any consultancy, project or delivery firm must have, it is an essential part of a small firm or independent consultant’s toolbox.”

– Michael Duff, Managing Director at Change Strategy (UK)

8971202493?profile=RESIZE_400xHow do people make decisions?  Do they always follow a rational linear process to come to a conclusion? 

Studies have suggested that the traditional Decision Making model—commonly known as the Rational Decision Making Model—does not explain the whole ambit of Decision Making.

People, including managers of organizations, arrive at decisions using a variety of routes.  Experts suggest that there are at least 3 Decision Making Models that work in consonance to make the best decisions.  The 3 Decision Making Models are:

  1. Thinking First – Rational Decision Making
  2. Seeing First – Insight-driven Decision Making
  3. Doing First – Experimentation-based Decision Making

The latter 2 models need to supplement the 1st in order, for people in general and managers in particular, to improve the quality of Decision Making.  Developing a strong understanding of these foundational Decision Making models is recommended for any Business Leader who seeks to make better, more informed, more rational decisions.

Experts have suggested that people have the capacity to use all 3 models for arriving at a decision and so do organizations.

The 3 approaches to Decision Making draw a parallel from science, art, and craft.  People who are partial to Thinking are more into facts, those who favor Seeing appreciate ideas, and people who prefer Doing always value experiences.

Let us delve a little deeper into the details of the 3 Decision Making Models—Thinking, Seeing, Doing. 

Thinking First

More commonly known as the Rational Decision Making Model, this model has a clearly identified process.  It is linear, logical, effortless, and iterative—i.e., keeps travelling back and forth with interludes for new events, alterations for opportunities until conclusively arriving at a decision.

Thinking First Model is associated with science and is mainly verbal in nature i.e., comprising of linear words.  People leaning towards the Thinking Model prefer facts.

Usually, the Thinking First Model is used in well-founded production processes.  Thinking First succeeds when:

  • The matter is well-defined.
  • The data is trustworthy.
  • The situation is structured.
  • Thoughts can be restrained.
  • Discipline can be applied.

However real-life Decision Making exposes some limitations in the Thinking First Model as rational Decision Making is uncommon. 

Seeing First

Decisions are motivated as much by what is Seen as by what is thought.  Visualization and conceptualization of a problem or situation is the basis for the Seeing First Model.  It is usually used in creative solution finding.  Experts have identified 4 steps in creative discovery:

  1. Preparation
  2. Incubation
  3. Illumination
  4. Verification

An example of Seeing First Model will be Mozart’s allusion to the best part of creating his music; “when I am able to see the whole of it at a single glance in my mind.”

Seeing First Model works ideally in circumstances where:

  • Numerous elements have to be pooled into a creative solution.
  • Commitment to the solution is steadfast.
  • Communication takes place beyond boundaries.

Doing First

When stumped for a solution, diving head first and tinkering with a problem—bringing Problem Solving Mindset characteristics into play—leads to the necessary insights following trial and error.  Attempting various things, discovering which among them functions, finding meaning in that and repeating the productive behaviors while abandoning the rest is the gist of Doing First Model.

Experts have identified 3 stages of this process:

  1. Enactment
  2. Selection
  3. Retention

Doing First Model is ideal, when for example, companies are faced with disruptive technologies or unchartered territories.

Interested in learning more about the 3 Decision Making Models: Thinking, Seeing, Doing?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on Decision Making Models: Thinking, Seeing, Doing here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro Library.  FlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives. Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market.  They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions.  I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects

“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power.  For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients.  In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over!  The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd

pscyho sessions2Understanding others has a lot to do with collaboration, performance management, and building effective teams.

Developed by Taibi Kahler in the 1970s, Process Communication Model (PCM) is a prominent psychometric tool for individual and team development.  The main utility of the PCM model is in understanding others’ personality types, discovering one’s own personality, and personifying others’ personality types to have better relationships.

PCM allows the executives to understand others’ needs, influence others, find practical solutions to problems, and manage conflict.  The model has found its utilization in a number of Fortune 500 organizations.  NASA has used PCM for the training and selection of its astronauts for over 20 years.

As per the PCM model, each individual embodies an assortment of behaviors, each with its own set of psychological requirements, strengths, weaknesses, communication style, and motivations.  The Process Communication Model describes that each of us exemplify a combination of 6 personality types—each of personality type has its strengths and weaknesses—but one personality dominates the others in an individual.  The 6 personality types are:

  1. Harmonizer
  2. Rebel
  3. Thinker
  4. Persister
  5. Imaginer
  6. Promoter

Let’s discuss these personality types in a bit detail.

Harmonizer

Individuals with a dominating Harmonizer personality type are humble, quiet, and naturally gifted at forming relationships with others.  The Harmonizers care for their family and friends, are compassionate, and use their feelings to judge the world around them.  They treat others cordially, make them feel comfortable, listen to them attentively, and do not shy away from making physical contact.

Recognition of their personality and others’ amiable communication style motivate the Harmonizers.  Under difficult circumstances, these individuals tend to become apprehensive, lack firmness, act irrationally, and make grave mistakes / incoherent decisions.

Rebel

The individuals possessing a Rebel personality are generally creative, fun loving, and radiate positive energy for others.  These individuals respond promptly, reciprocate righteousness with virtue, and enjoy the present.  The Rebels are valued for their extemporaneous humor, interest in others, energy, and problem-solving ability.  They are a bit impulsive and judge the world around them through their likes and dislikes.

Others upbeat communication style and stimulation through playful contact motivate the Rebels.  Under stress, the Rebels tend to get confused, whine, irritate others, leave complex situations, and bounce responsibility to others.

Thinker

Individuals with a dominating Thinker personality believe in data, logic, and perfectionism.  They take on a methodical approach to doing things, ask too many queries, and only attend meetings when there is a formal agenda set in advance.  The Thinker personality likes to evaluate detailed information before drawing any conclusions.  These people are valued for their planning and organization ability, dependability, structuring ideas logically, and clear expression.

Recognition of their thoughts and accomplishments motivates the Thinkers.  Under stress, they reverse delegate tasks and start doing those themselves, try to gather as much detail as possible to understand the situation, and may start arguments or even attack others.  These people need time and assurance of their abilities to return to their organized selves.

Interested in learning more about PCM and its other personality profiles?  You can download an editable PowerPoint presentation on Process Communication Model: Personality Types here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro LibraryFlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives. Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market. They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions. I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects

“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power. For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“As a small business owner, the resource material available from FlevyPro has proven to be invaluable. The ability to search for material on demand based our project events and client requirements was great for me and proved very beneficial to my clients. Importantly, being able to easily edit and tailor the material for specific purposes helped us to make presentations, knowledge sharing, and toolkit development, which formed part of the overall program collateral. While FlevyPro contains resource material that any consultancy, project or delivery firm must have, it is an essential part of a small firm or independent consultant’s toolbox.”

– Michael Duff, Managing Director at Change Strategy (UK)

CX2Most organizations aren’t ready to deliver great Customer Experiences across all channels.  Many of them have invested heavily in conventional methods of doing business, backed by in person or over-the-phone customer experience.  This has led to creation of siloed operational structures within companies, where each silo operates individually.

With the advent of digital channels, these organizations set out to use and proffer their services via digital channels.  They did this by creating discrete digital-product groups in their existing operational infrastructure.  However, their siloed infrastructure falls short of meeting customers’ requirements in terms of seamless communication and interaction across all channels.  The reason being:

  • Customers’ utilization of multiple channels and touchpoints across Customer Journeys.
  • Requirements of personalized services / products by the customers.
  • Anticipation of impeccable coordination and communication by the customers no matter how they interact with the business.

This necessitates the businesses to not only provide great Customer Experiences at each channel, but also make the transitions across these channels simple to improve the overall Customer Experience (CX). However, improving the overall Customer Experience isn’t that simple a feat, especially with silo-based operational infrastructures.  Providing consistent amazing Customer Experience warrants:

  • Creation of a robust operational ecosystem through Transformation of internal operations, to respond quickly to customers’ expectations.
  • Meticulous design and delivery of Customer Experiences.

Most organizations understand the significance of Transforming their Customer Experience—however, they lack the direction and support required to realize this goal. Organizational leadership can make use of the Customer Experience Pyramid to guide their CX Transformation.

The Customer Experience Pyramid is an empirical research based framework, which is quite effective in not only improving individual touchpoints but streamlining the entire Customer Journeys.  The CX Pyramid entails 2 core dimensions:

  • Focus Areas – the organizational spheres that must change to enable provision of amazing digital Customer Experiences.
  • Strategic Building Blocks – the strategies that define how this change can take place and made part of the organizational processes to deliver exceptional Customer Experiences.

The 4 Focus Areas crucial in a business to change in order to deliver top-quality Digital Customer Experiences at scale are:

  1. Vision and Strategy
  2. Talent Management
  3. Operations
  4. Technology

Let’s discuss the first 2 individual Focus Areas of the CX Pyramid in detail for now.

Vision and Strategy

Redirecting focus on making Customer Experience a part of the Organizational DNA necessitates creating a Vision statement and Strategy to depict, clarify, and plan out the purpose and objectives of serving the customers.  The senior leadership needs to come up with a short and crisp Vision statement.  The Vision sets out the foundation that reflects the leadership’s focus, importance the organization gives to Customer Experience, and the high-level objectives associated with the provision of quality Customer Experiences.

Next, the leadership should work on developing strategies to build fundamental competencies within the 4 CX Building Blocks—i.e., CX operations, metrics, CX-centric culture, systems and governance protocols.

Talent Management

Once the Vision statement has been agreed upon, it’s time to work towards carrying out the required actions to produce customer-centric outcomes.  The first step in that direction involves linking all employees who work in discrete silos (in conventional structures).  To align all employees, there is a need to create a Transformation team and define new roles / CX groups.  The Transformation team should train and direct teams responsible for the different stages of the Customer Journey, instill new ideas, and foster desired behaviors in them.

Senior Leadership need to also assign a CX Team to run the CX program.  The CX Team has to lay out processes and yardsticks to foster cross-functional collaboration and coach functional units to adopt customer-centric design practices in their operations.

Interested in learning more about the other focus areas of the CX Pyramid Framework?  You can download an editable PowerPoint presentation on Customer Experience Pyramid here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro LibraryFlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives. Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market. They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions. I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects

“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power. For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“As a small business owner, the resource material available from FlevyPro has proven to be invaluable. The ability to search for material on demand based our project events and client requirements was great for me and proved very beneficial to my clients. Importantly, being able to easily edit and tailor the material for specific purposes helped us to make presentations, knowledge sharing, and toolkit development, which formed part of the overall program collateral. While FlevyPro contains resource material that any consultancy, project or delivery firm must have, it is an essential part of a small firm or independent consultant’s toolbox.”

– Michael Duff, Managing Director at Change Strategy (UK)

8818272056?profile=RESIZE_400xFuturistic, technology-driven business models are weakening the conventional advantages of Economies of Scale.  Large corporations, founded on Scale, nevertheless have areas that they can exploit if they reposition rapidly.

For the best part of over a century, Economies of Scale—Cost Advantages that businesses achieve owing to their scale of operation—fashioned the corporation into a perfect engine of business.  The economic concept of Economies of Scale was first floated in the Adam Smith era where the idea of obtaining larger production returns through the use of division of labor was introduced.

A technological rush, distinct in history, was observed near the beginning of the 20th century.  These new technologies were accompanied by scale i.e., bulk production and access to huge markets.  The Economies of Scale guided business success—the strong inverse relationship connecting fixed costs and output grew into a basis of Competitive Advantage.

Back then, investments in scale was the most sensible proposition.  Not only did it lower fixed costs but also created a formidable barrier for competitors, denying them entry in the market.  Every type of business spent the 20th century in the quest for scale.

The advent of game-changing new technologies such as mobile devices, social media, and cloud computing, augmented by Artificial Intelligence (AI), is whirling Economies of Scale into Economies of Unscale.

Specifically, rise of Software as a Service (SaaS) and emergence of Product to Platform Transformations—coupled with AI’s ability to customize—overthrows bulk production and mass marketing as a basis of Competitive Advantage.  These progressions have battered the powerful inverse correlation between fixed costs and output that delineated Economies of Scale.

Today, minor, unscaled businesses, leveraging Platform Scaling Strategies while renting SaaS, can hunt in niche markets, effectively contesting big companies that are strained by decades of investment in scale, i.e., in large-scale production, distribution, and marketing.

The triumphant companies in the current tech rush—enabled by Platforms and SaaS—are the ones led by Customer-centric Design, providing each customer precisely what they want, that too while making a profit, and not companies offering everyone uniform products.

Large corporations can remain relevant in this era of niche marketing by taking leverage of their existing infrastructure through astute modifications in their use.  They can deploy 3 key tactics to accomplish this:

  1. Product to Platform Transformation
  2. Absolute Product Focus
  3. Dynamic Rebundling

Let us delve a little deeper into the details of the 3 tactics for leveraging Economies of Unscale.

Product to Platform Transformation

Dynamic corporations have expended decades building scale which is extremely specialized for their industry.  Efficient factories, distribution channels, retail outlets, supply chains, marketing expertise, and global partnerships have been painstakingly developed.  It is time for these corporations to take a decision on whether it is more viable to rent out this capability to other companies or not.

An example of such an approach is that of P&G’s Connect + Develop program that has been running for more than a decade.  

Absolute Product Focus

As corporations become bigger, emphasis on control becomes more pronounced—processes, regulations, stock prices, and a variety of non-core issues take precedence over great product offering.  Niche market focus blurs and attempts are made to make a product that may appeal to the masses in an effort to create Economies of Scale.

In this age of Unscale, the product/customer-focused competitor preys on such weakness.  Large corporations can mitigate the repercussion of such weakness by organizing as a network of small businesses focusing on core function while outsourcing non-core functions.  Each business, completely dedicated to creating a product perfect for its part of the market.

Apple Inc. contracts out manufacturing to Chinese companies while keeping the R&D and innovation—its core function—in the U.S. 

Dynamic Rebundling

Successful companies in this day and age of Unscale are the ones that make every customer feel like a market of one.  A corporation—a compendium of products—can match this by initially understanding its customer, then bundling its products as per each customer’s needs.

A great example is The Honest Co., which in 2012, began selling specialized line of diapers and wipes by subscription.  First year, the company raked in $10 million in revenue by supplying a niche customer, a niche product, dissimilar to mass-market brands.  By 2016 it was making sales exceeding $300 million.

Interested in learning more about the 3 tactics for leveraging Economies of Unscale and how corporations have, in their own way, taken advantage?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on Economies of Unscale here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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“Strategy without Tactics is the slowest route to victory.  Tactics without Strategy is the noise before defeat.” – Sun Tzu

For effective Strategy Development and Strategic Planning, we must master both Strategy and Tactics.  Our frameworks cover all phases of Strategy, from Strategy Design and Formulation to Strategy Deployment and Execution; as well as all levels of Strategy, from Corporate Strategy to Business Strategy to “Tactical” Strategy.  Many of these methodologies are authored by global strategy consulting firms and have been successfully implemented at their Fortune 100 client organizations.

These frameworks include Porter’s Five Forces, BCG Growth-Share Matrix, Greiner’s Growth Model, Capabilities-driven Strategy (CDS), Business Model Innovation (BMI), Value Chain Analysis (VCA), Endgame Niche Strategies, Value Patterns, Integrated Strategy Model for Value Creation, Scenario Planning, to name a few.

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You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro Library.  FlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives.  Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market.  They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions.  I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects

“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power.  For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients. In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over!  The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd

8812893896?profile=RESIZE_400xThe phenomenal success of tech innovators using Platforms has spurred a desire in companies, from a greater variety of sectors and markets, to gain advantage of Product to Platform Transformation.

This Transformation is based on the need to model businesses on a Customer-Centric Design approach.  The need has arisen because the concept of Economies of Scale has become archaic and has been taken over by Economies of Unscale.  Each customer is now being offered customized products and solutions.

The phenomenal success, by the trailblazing tech innovators, was achieved partly by deploying Platform Scaling that enabled Business Transformation and monopolization of the market.  Though, this monopolization and questionable use of the Platform, especially data generated therefrom, saw attempts to regulate these tech companies—making the decision to scale a complex one.  Understanding the intricacies of Platform Scaling is thus critical to the development and deployment of any Platform Strategy.

When considering Platform Scaling Strategy, there are 2 key aspects that are of utmost significance:

Regulatory Complexity

Regulatory Complexity means present level of legal and regulatory impediments that govern Platform entry and operation in a sector. 

Regulatory Risk

Regulatory Risk refers to the probability of an upsurge in Legal and Regulatory Costs and Complexity in the future.

Some equitable and measurable metrics for calculating Regulatory Risks do exist but generally it is extremely challenging to predict policy outcomes or even ascribe odds to various outcomes.

A straightforward approach for Platform owners and operators to understand and evaluate the prospective combinations of Regulatory Complexity and Risk is to create a 2×2 matrix of high vs. low for the 2 factors.

Regulatory Complexity and Risk are turning out to be the determining factors in the strategic decision between Fast and Slow Scaling.

Fast Scaling, which has also been referred to as Blitzscaling, requires choosing speed over efficiency.  Fast Scaling has the strategic objective of growing briskly, experimenting swiftly to tweak product-market fit, and taking advantage of robust network effects to achieve and maintain a leading market share.

Fast Scaling is required to activate 3 interconnected positive feedback loops:

  1. Network Loop
  2. Data Loop
  3. Capital Loop.

Slow Scaling is the most sensible strategy in areas with both High Regulatory Complexity and High Regulatory Risk.  Slow Scaling does not disregard the quest for network effects, which are a requirement for success of platform businesses, but it gives preference to analysis, constant growth, and risk curtailment instead of speed.

Platform businesses functioning in High-Risk, High Complexity situations may evade pitfalls by employing 4 key components of Slow-Scaling strategy:

  1. Analysis of the Macro Environment
  2. Careful Risk Management
  3. Investment in Stakeholder Trust
  4. Incremental Geographic Expansion.

Let us now delve a little deeper into the various permutations of Regulatory Complexity and Risk, quadrant-wise, in the matrix.

QUADRANT 1

Regulatory Risk              Regulatory Complexity

Low                                        Low

Compliance costs are comparatively low in such situations and there are no serious deliberations among regulators and policy makers concerning restrictions on business models or operations.

The Strategy in this case is to Scale Fast.

QUADRANT 2

Regulatory Risk             Regulatory Complexity

Low                                        High

Sectors in such scenarios are highly regulated e.g., financial services sector.  Significant workforce is employed in governance, risk management, and compliance activities.  Entering such markets necessitates careful consideration of Regulatory Complexity.

The strategy in such scenarios is to Scale Fast.

QUADRANT 3

Regulatory Risk             Regulatory Complexity

High                                       Low

Operations are generally in a Regulatory void—i.e., no established and powerful regulatory authority, tight net of rules, or strict barriers to entry.  There is a great degree of ambiguity regarding how regulators may react.  Environment in such markets makes it difficult for businesses to mature discrete policy scenarios, allocate probabilities, and make strong assumptions on timing.

Strategy is to Scale Fast in such environments.

QUADRANT 4

Regulatory Risk             Regulatory Complexity

High                                       High

There is high Regulatory Complexity, such as unclear approach by various regulators in the various markets.  There are strong chances of sudden change in regulator and policy maker’s approach due to a particular incident.  Precipitous increase in entire sector’s Regulatory Risk triggered by events is highly likely.

The most sensible strategy in such cases is to Scale Slow.

Interested in learning more about the permutations of these 2 Scaling Strategies, areas of strategic focus, and the 4 components of Slow Scaling Strategy?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on Platform Scaling Strategy here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro Library.  FlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives.  Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market.  They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions.  I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

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– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients. In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over!  The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd

stock image 2 - Good Listening skillsHumans instinctively want to share their experiences.  The more experienced a person, the fuller they are with ideas.

Many people view Listening Skills to be of lesser consequence than articulation and focus on learning how they can present their own views more effectively.

Good listening—the keen and orderly pursuit of probing and challenging the information collected from others to enhance its quality and quantity—is key to developing a knowledge-base that creates new insights and ideas.

Listening is unquestionably the most efficient route to making informed judgments, particularly judgments that leaders have to make.  That is why the Soft Skill of Good Listening is considered a building block of Leadership Development.

Good listening can lead to a longer and fruitful relationship at work and elsewhere.  Exceptional Client Management and Team Management, especially, and a host of other situations demand Good Listening skills.  Respecting the speaker, even if there is disagreement and reacting in the moment without expectation is part and parcel of Good Listening Skills.  The speaker should feel respected and understood after having a conversation with a Good Listener.

People possessing Good Listening ability assume a somewhat passive speaking role in the conversation yet actively participate in the conversation using body language and follow-up questions.  They display 3 Critical Behaviors that make them what they are—Great Listeners:

Demonstrate Respect

Making the speaker feel that what they are saying is important.  This feeling gets reciprocated quickly.

Remain Quiet

One cannot really listen while busy talking.  Remaining quiet enables understanding of the actual point the other person is making.

Challenge Assumptions

Good Listeners seek the underlying assumption in the conversation and challenge it.  This generates new ideas and opens up paths untrodden.

Let us look a little more deeply into some of the key characteristics of the 3 Critical Behaviors of Good Listeners.

Demonstrate Respect

People displaying a Problem Solving Mindset solicit input from all levels and demonstrate respect in this manner.  They always make the speakers feel that they have something exclusive to contribute and assume that the conversation partner has the proficiency to develop worthy solutions.

Remain Quiet

In a good conversation, the conversation partner speaks 80% of the time and the Ideal Listener speaks 20% of the time.  A Good Listener poses questions in most of the 20% time.  By remaining quiet the listener’s objective is to extract the prime motivation or thought behind the conversation.  Patience and practice are needed to cultivate the habit of weighing in at the correct moment.

Challenge Assumptions

A Good Listener challenges long-held and valued assumptions in order to make gains from conversations.  Ambiguity is embraced and a quest to uncover what both conversation partners can gain from the conversation is enlivened.

From the above 3 Critical Behaviors, we can synthesize the following 13 actions that a Good Listener should make while in an active conversation:

  1. Be fully present.
  2. Do not listen to respond.
  3. React in the moment.
  4. Do not have an agenda.
  5. Do not jump to give advice.
  6. Never interrupt.
  7. Ask follow-up questions.
  8. Listen as much as (or more than) speaking.
  9. Demonstrate listening.
  10. Be patient.
  11. Listen to learn.
  12. Be interested in what the speaker is interested in.
  13. Summarize what has been heard.

Identifying what a Bad Listener looks like helps avoid such behavior and consequentially move us on the path to becoming a Good Listener.  Bad listeners may be categorized into the following 6 types:

  1. The Opinionator
  2. The Grouch
  3. The Preambler
  4. The Perseverator
  5. The Answer Man
  6. The Pretender

The same person can display these behaviors at different times and under different circumstances.  Perfecting listening skills means learning what prevents us from seeking and hearing the information we need.

Interested in learning more about the critical behaviors and actions of Good Listeners, and 6 Types of Bad Listeners?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on Soft Skills: Good Listening here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Do You Find Value in This Framework?

You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro Library.  FlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives.  Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market.  They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions.  I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects

“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power.  For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients.  In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over!  The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd

M&A Turnaround Strategy 1The impact of the global pandemic, volatile stock markets, and slowed economic outlook across the globe has hurt the performance of enterprises across the world.  The scenario has forced leaders to consider undertaking Transformation of their strategy and operations significantly.

The strategy to buy out troubled businesses and determining to fix the issues that upset the target companies has been a focus of Buyers’ senior leadership for the past 2 decades.  In the year 2017 alone, 36,000 M&A (Mergers & Acquisitions) transactions were announced globally.  Acquisition of troubled businesses hoping to have a Turnaround account for around 50% of all M&A deals.

A Turnaround can be defined as the financial recovery of an economy or an organization after a period of inertia or Downturn.  Several issues trigger a Downturn—issues pertaining to technological disruption, regulations, processes, organization’s financial health, management, business model, hierarchy, or competition.

The ratio of success for M&As is, however, not very healthy.  Historical data of 61% of M&A deals based on a BCG’s study, carried out on 1400 M&A deals globally between 2005 and 2018, shows a high failure rate (61%), where they remained unsuccessful to show any improvement in financial performance.

The ones that do succeed offer significant revenue growth and profit margins—around 25% positive variance in TSR than unsuccessful M&As.  However, buying and fixing a business under the weather isn’t an easy job.  This necessitates a meticulous strategy.

In order to materialize a Turnaround, the leadership needs to thoroughly understand the root cause(s) of the Downturn, have a willingness and plan to reform or transform, and rigorously implement the strategy to rectify the situation (Transformation Execution).

Empirical Research demonstrates that the triumph of M&A Turnaround deals is attributable to 6 Critical Success Factors:

  • Investment in R&D
  • Long-term Horizon
  • Clear Purpose
  • Investment in Transformation
  • Synergy Targets
  • Quickness to Action

Deployment of a combination of these CSFs bring about more pronounced outcomes—in terms of positive 3-year TSR and overall Organizational Performance.

A robust M&A Turnaround Strategy—based on lessons learnt from empirical research—revolves around 4 key M&A Deal Characteristics.  These M&A deal characteristics have a profound impact on the outcome of the transaction:

  1. Level of Performance
  2. Sector Alignment
  3. ESG Factors
  4. Deal Size

Knowledge of these key Deal Characteristics allow the senior leadership to ascertain the factors liable to affect the deal outcomes.  Now, let’s discuss the first 2 deal characteristics in a bit detail.

Level of Performance

The performance of the Target company during 2 years pre-deal is a key point to consider for a M&A, as it is directly proportional to the deal success rate and Total Shareholder Return.  BCG’s research demonstrates that M&A transactions where the target entity had a 2-year TSR decline of lower than 10% were liable to be more successful than deals where target companies were in more distress (a decline of ~30% or more).

Sector Alignment

Senior leaders should not ignore the significance of uniformity of sectors of the target and acquiring company.  Based on research, the rate of success for an acquisition transaction involving the buyer and the target operating in the same industry is 5% superior to the rate for transactions involving the companies from different sectors.  The reason for this higher success rate is attributed predominantly to similar business models, customers, vendors, and processes in firms of the same sector, which make the Post-merger Integration of the buyer and target a lot easier.

Interested in learning more about the other characteristics influencing the outcome of an M&A deal?  You can download an editable PowerPoint presentation on M&A Turnaround Strategy here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Do You Find Value in This Framework?

You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro LibraryFlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives. Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market. They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions. I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects

“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power. For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

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8760904287?profile=RESIZE_400xThe concept of Return on Investment (ROI) was formed as part of the concept of Value Creation.  The origins of ROI were in the Manufacturing sector, where it’s simple to measure time and output.  Next, to adopt the concept was the Banking industry where intense competition necessitated Innovation Management and with that the need to calculate ROI.  ROI calculation is now a common feature in every industry and business function.

Employee Training is part and parcel of workforce development.  It necessitates spending a lot of effort and resources.  Deliberating if the Training Program is going to be worth all the costs is a valid concern.

Return on Training Investment (ROTI) is the comparison between financial benefits obtained from a training program and the total cost of running that training program.  The objective of ROTI analysis is to see whether the benefits outweigh the costs i.e., to establish if the investment was worthwhile.

ROTI calculation and analysis is significant when:

  • Investment in a training program is viewed as a substantial outlay.
  • Attainment of explicit strategic or operational objectives is associated with the training program.
  • Financial benefits and their amount from the training program is ambiguous.

ROTI can be calculated dependably so long as:

  • Measurement data on changes in business performance, pertinent to training, is reliable or can be rationally estimated by those who matter.
  • Financial values can be assigned to the applicable performance measures.
  • Cost related to developing, delivering, and handling the training program can be classified.

ROTI calculation involves selecting performance measures, gathering data on those measures as well as data on costs—both direct and indirect—related to training, and lastly calculating the Return On Training Investments.

Key steps in the ROTI calculation are:

  1. Choose the performance measures to use.
  2. Gather data on changes.
  3. Gather data on costs.
  4. Calculate ROTI.

There are 3 types of calculations that are relevant in ROTI analysis.

  1. ROTI as a percentage
  2. Benefit to Cost Ratio (BCR)
  3. Payback Period

Let us delve a little deeper into the calculation methods.

1. ROTI as a percentage

This calculation shows Net Training Benefits as a percentage of Training Cost.  An outcome of 100% or more denotes that the Program has a Net Benefit after accounting for all the costs connected with running the program.

2. Benefit : Cost Ratio (BCR)

This ratio divides Total Training Benefits by Total Training Costs.  When BCR is greater than 1, the benefits exceed the costs and the program is judged a success.  When BCR is less than 1, the costs surpass the benefits and signify that enhancements or alterations are needed to warrant the continuation of the program.

3. Payback Period

This calculation exhibits the time in which the Training Investment will be paid back i.e., when the costs equal the benefits.  The calculation is usually done in terms of months.

Monthly Training Benefits are calculated by dividing Total Training Benefits over 12 months.

It is pertinent to note that although ROTI analysis is important in evaluating a training program, merely a ROTI calculation will not typically be adequate to make the business case for a Training Program or influence top management to act.  Sometimes we have to consider non-monetary benefits of training, such as a change in attitude.  When monetary and non-monetary benefits are combined, these supplement Performance Management resulting in benefits such as reduced absenteeism, lower turnover rates, and more promotions from within.

Interested in learning more about Return on Training Investment?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on Return On Training Investment (ROTI) here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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The purpose of Human Resources (HR) is to ensure our organization achieves success through our people.  Without the right people in place—at all levels of the organization—we will never be able to execute our Strategy effectively.

This begs the question: Does your organization view HR as a support function or a strategic one?  Research shows leading organizations leverage HR as a strategic function, one that both supports and drives the organization’s Strategy.  In fact, having strong HRM capabilities is a source of Competitive Advantage.

This has never been more true than right now in the Digital Age, as organizations must compete for specialized talent to drive forward their Digital Transformation Strategies.  Beyond just hiring and selection, HR also plays the critical role in retaining talent—by keeping people engaged, motivated, and happy.

Learn about our Human Resource Management (HRM) Best Practice Frameworks here.

Do You Find Value in This Framework?

You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro Library.  FlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives. Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market.  They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions.  I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects

“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power.  For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients. In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over!  The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd