Why do strategies fail? How do CEOs ensure that things they want done get done?
Most of the time, strategies fail because they are not executed well. It is because there is a gap between what the CEO wants to achieve and the ability and priorities of his or her organization to execute.
I have seen organizations that seem incredibly busy and, yet, when you compare what the organization is busy with, it sometimes has very little to do with corporate strategy execution. Sometimes this is due to the fact that the strategy calls for a different DNA in the organization. Sometimes, it can be due to the wrong people in the wrong jobs. Sometimes, it is the result of unclear communication. Sometimes, organizations second guess the CEO and the strategy, and focus on what is, in their mind, the “right” stuff.
Whatever the cause, this is a symptom of cancer in a company.
How, to quote Scott McNealy, does a CEO “align the arrowheads”? >>>
In the next phase of the interview, I look to understand where Selco earns its revenues and how it plans to finance its growth. It is interesting to see the mix of social venture funds along with private foundations.
SM: Of the 80,000 installations completed, have they paid you one-time fees, or do you go back and do more work for them? Do you have any recurring revenue from them? HH: In most cases, at least in terms of solar, it’s a one-time revenue. However, there are a lot of places where people who are return customers for more energy in a few years, after they have expanded their income. >>>
In our earlier series, Newspapers: Industry in Turmoil, we missed to cover Scripps.
The E. W. Scripps Company (Scripps) is a $2.5 billion diverse media company engaged in the publishing of newspapers, broadcast television, interactive media, licensing and syndication. The Company has 5 business segments – Scripps Networks, Broadcast Television, Newspapers, Interactive Media and United Media. In this piece, we will take a look at Scripp’s shifting business dynamics. >>>
We’re talking about large media companies and their assets: readership / traffic, brand, channels, advertiser relationships, sales forces, and inventory. Why should old media just concede the battle to Google and Yahoo, with so many great assets?
SM: Not only do they have great sales forces and good relationships with advertisers, but they also have tremendous traffic. RF: The issue tends to be that they do not have tremendous traffic of the valuable inventory. One of the reasons these traditional guys work with Adify is that they have a lot of traffic, but they could sell a lot more traffic than they already have.
SM: Yes, exactly. They have the channels to access more traffic if they have cost effective content available. The cost structure of producing content in media companies is problematic. RF: Right, and we enable them by introducing them to all these other websites out there who would love to be associated with the media companies. They already have a sales force who knows how to sell their media, so why not work with these other sites?
How does one identify and recruit top notch executives, A-players?
How does one make that top notch talent work as a top notch executive team, A-team?
Here we review the current status of Selco. Harish and his company have completed 80,000 installations with plenty of room for growth. They have 25 service centers, and just over 140 employees.
SM: What stage are you at now? How many installations have you done, how many employees do you have, what is the level of profitability, and what kind of geographical coverage are you accomplishing? HH: As of today, I have reached a revenue base of approximately $4 million. I have 80,000 housing installations, most of them are in individual households in the state of Karnataka which has population of 44 million and approximately 8 to 10 million households.
We have 25 centers, and we aim to have all of these centers profitable. We have 142 employees, 20 in the head office and the rest in the centers. We believe that sustainable energies are only sustainable if we have door step service and door step financing. That is why we created 25 centers, and their location is based on the distance a technician can travel on a motorbike in two hours. That is the service area. >>>
Today anyone with an Internet access and Credit card can just like that, plan for a week’s tour to South Africa or the Himalayas, thanks to the travel sites who offer trip planning at your finger-tips – flight booking, hotels and car rentals along with the reviews of the hotels, places of interest, and information on packaged deals. Clearly travel sites have been redefining the travel agency business. In 2005, over 79 million people in the US used the Internet to plan and book their travel, a function which previously involved travel agents much more actively.
Online travel is one of the largest e-commerce categories. According to Forrester Research the online travel industry is projected to grow from $63.6 billion in 2005 to $110.5 billion by 2008 in the US. JupiterResearch on the other hand estimates $128 billion to be spent on online travel in the US in 2011. Jupiter expects 38% of all travel revenues to be made online by 2011. Over the last few weeks, we have analyzed the Travel sites based on the Web 3.0 framework. >>>
Over the last few weeks, we discussed a number of iPhone related issues that are key blocks challenging the rest of the eco-system today. Here is a quick synthesis of the key nuggets:
(1) It’s positioning as a laptop replacement device, which I believe will force most of the other laptop and cellular handset vendors to consider introducing one, causing ripples through the entire eco-system (RIM, Nokia, Dell, Motorola, Palm). >>>