Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Portfolio is nothing but initiatives that the organization takes to build new products/ services or to bring a difference in the services it gives to its customers. The initiatives should be compared across dimensions such as stretch, strategic fit, risk, and potential return and resource requirements. By using different charts as lenses to compare initiatives, you can mix and match alternatives until you come up with the portfolio that's right for you.

There are four reasons why the organizations should use the portfolio approach to manage innovation

1.Risk Management :The portfolio is a risk management tool. If the organization have more innovation initiatives under way than traditional firms, and it is prone to stretch farther within each initiative, without an overall view of its innovation efforts, it could easily wind up taking too much or too little risk.

2.Visibility: The portfolio provides visibility that allows the organization's firm pace the introduction of new products and services. The organization should balance the introduction of revolutionary products with incremental improvements in others so as to maintain a steady flow. By having a comprehensive view of initiatives over time, it can avoid either overwhelming or underwhelming the marketplace.

3.Timing of New Initiatives: The innovation portfolio will time when the organization start a new initiative or transfer a completed one into manufacturing or the marketplace.

4.Discovering Synergies: The portfolio illuminates potential leverage opportunities among technologies, processes, products, and markets. This capability will enable your firm to get more for each innovation dollar while reducing development cost and risk, reduce complexity and free up people to work on tasks that generate greater customer value.

Source:100 ADVICE

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

FEEDBACK: How it has evolved??

Businesses since time immemorial have a tendency to follow the lifecycle of START-GROW-MATURE-DIE. But then, the trend changed with the evolve of technology, the lifecycle had a new face, START-GROW-MATURE-FEEDBACK-REGROWTH and then something called “Social Media” re-defined the way companies do business. The term “FEEDBACK” is not restricted to “WHETHER you are satisfied in my product/service?” any more…It has got new dimensions to it…

FEEDBACK is closely associated with INVOLVEMENT, PARTICIPATION and sometimes BEING THINKERS!!! If Fritolays plans to come out with a new Flavour, instead of involving the core research team, why not throw the question to the people itself who uses the product “LAYS” and then “RAJMA” flavor gets introduced. Gone are the days when customers were treated as the ones who gives feedback, they have become an integral part of business re-definition. With the advent of Blogs, Twitters, Facebook, it has become easy to reach and extract the untapped customer interest/ideas, I would not use the term “feedback” for the sheer reason that it helps in giving a new face to business. “Customer Conversations” are a key to successful business, nothing to do with feedback, but just mere plain conversations!!! Conversations are not just one-sided anymore where the customers used to get newsletters, read about profits/balance sheets from the newspapers/websites, it has become two-way. The “Conversations” have an enriching customer experience where there is an open platform to interact with the company and the topic can range from complaints, issues, feedback, general discussion on services/products etc.

No wonder “Feedback” is associated with TRUST and LOYALTY, an engaged customer can only provide a true feedback be it positive or negative because of the sheer trust he/she has in the organization and believes the organization will show the same loyalty by taking care of such feedback.

Businesses which die and are thrown out of competition are the ones who stick to the old ways of taking feedback from their customers coz it’s not FEEDBACK ANYMORE, IT’S AN ENGAGEMENT!!!

Friday, May 21, 2010


There is always a room for improvement and every organization has some measurement and benchmark placed to improve their policies and processes. The Best Practices can be treated as a KM initiative and a way to improve the policies and processes in an organization.It’s not something which is internal to the organization,but external to an extent that it involves the study of the practices across industry. Best Practices are certainly not absolute and it depends on the kind of organization and its services/ offerings. But few things for an organization to look for while defining the best practices for them are:

1. Internal Practices: Before you start looking outside, concentrate internally. If you are a start up, then check the measure, matrices and balances and see whether they are properly in place. Before you actually start on improving policies and processes, see to it that the basic requirements are met for any processes or policies. For e.g. a successful project management should fill the criteria of gathering exact client requirements, defect management, risk management etc. And, if you are already an established organization, how the existing practices have affected and impacted the organization as a whole in terms of performance and running of organization.

2. Market Benchmarking: An organization cannot run in isolation. A lot of external factors impact the organization. It’s always advisable to research on specific practices and policies used by other organizations in the market who sell the same kind of services/ offerings. Not only that, you can also focus on the practices and policies which are generic to all the organizations. For e.g. Risk Management is very specific area while Resource Management is quite a generic one.

3. Involve your customers: Customers are the king. Always involve them while setting up the best practices in your organizations, take their suggestions and regularly inform them regarding the changes in process and policies in your organization. Publish Newsletters and let them know the practice areas of other organizations and how it differs in your organization. And, sometimes, involving your clients and customers can help you get the benefits of extracting information regarding the dynamics of other organizations as they are the one who works with different service providers.

4. Involve Industry Experts: Industry Experts are the one who have the experience of working in various organizations across the globe, working with acclaimed industry leaders and renowned organization. So, they have the knowledge of setting up the best practices for each and every kind of organization. Involving them would certainly help the organization in knowing the loopholes in the existing practices and the areas of improvement.

5. Documentation and Version Control: It might seem trivial but this is one of the important aspects of best practices in any organization. Proper documentation and version control helps in knowing the history and the changes that actually occurred in any practices and its overall impact.

Can we have too much KNOWLEDGE???

When it comes to Knowledge Management, too much knowledge can prove even more dangerous than having just a little if you want to share ideas.

Why is it that the more we know about something, the harder we find it to explain what we know to other people? Research evidence suggests that our difficulties aren’t caused by the amount and complexity of our knowledge but by our inability to accurately judge just how much other people already know.

In other words, we make life difficult for ourselves because we’re not very good at working out what goes on in other people’s heads. And, because the content of our own mind is the only reference point we have for understanding other people’s minds, we often struggle to appreciate just how different other minds can be from ours.

Bridging the knowledge gap

The solution is to create a metaphor that will make it easier for your listeners to make the journey from familiar territory (what they already know) to unfamiliar territory (what they don’t know). Thinking metaphorically forces us to take a step back from what we know and imagine seeing it from someone else’s point of view. This is because metaphors are created by answering the question, “What’s it like?”

However, when we know a lot about something we often find ourselves resisting this question because we’re worried that any answer to it will be simplistic and inaccurate. We are so in love with the detail and subtlety of what we know, we can’t stand the thought of misrepresenting it. When it comes to expertise, it’s often a case of all or nothing.

For example, there was a time when computers were the exclusive domain of experts who communicated with each other in the mysterious language of computer code. The great breakthrough in the design and popularity of the personal computer happened when the metaphor of the desktop replaced the barren landscape of the command line. Instead of being lost in an abstract world of code, the home user now found themselves in a familiar office environment surrounded by documents, paper folders, filing cabinets and wastepaper bins – a place where they could do business.

The desktop/office metaphor may have many inadequacies (for example, seeing a word processor as a typewriter wouldn’t lead a new user to look for a replace command) but without it, the computer revolution might never have happened.

Many computer experts doing innovative work today started life on the desktop and eventually burrowed their way down to the creative power of the code beneath it. Once we have a map of the unfamiliar territory and a feeling for it, we’re ready to revise our mental models and start making sense of the technical details. At this stage, we can hear the tune in all its glory – and we can even hum it ourselves.

- An article by Martin Shovel. Source:Knowledgeboard

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Social CRM: Balanced Scorecard

I had previously written a post on SOCIAL CRM explaining what SOCIAL CRM is all about. Today, I will be sharing on what actually SOCIAL CRM means to companies and how should they percieve about it. While recently reading “The world is flat” blog, I bumped into “Balanced Scorecard for SOCIAL CRM” which I thought to share with you all.

From a financial perspective, how about measuring the profit through Improved Lead Management by listening to customer conversations, reminds me of “Tweets, Retweets” concept. Capturing the conversation happening between the organization and the customer in a system helps in better understanding and catering to their needs. A proper history/track of conversation is definitely a better way from turning lead-prospect, converting to an opportunity and then grabbing it.

The simple example of DELL India catering their customers in Twitters, listening to their problems, giving them solution…how about all those information flowing into SOCIAL CRM, the point being here the customer are not individuals but organizations.

There is always a fear among the sales force of losing their clients to other sales people in the same organization because of the targets and other factors but then there is a loss of information which happens in the process because of the fear. If I as a salesperson approach some customer and some conversation happen between me and him which I think can help other sales people who are targeting similar clients, why not share it with them and what better than a SOCIAL CRM which can help in the process ensuring free flow of ideas/discussions to others sales force. SOCIAL CRM can act as an incredible tool in forming an association among sales force and a platform for them to innovate and discuss ways which can help to improve and peform better.

And, when customer behaviour/conversation/insight is tracked, then definitely it guarantees a higher satisfaction among customers and that in turns ensures customer loyalty and retention.

Balanced Scorecard

Financial: Improved Lead Management, Improved Brand Image,Higher Cross/Upsell, Higher Profitability

Internal Business Processes
: Innovation via Employee Ideas,Internal Social CRM enablement,Technology enablement

Customer:Higher satisfaction and retention,High service quality, high loyalty

Learning and Growth:Targeted Products, High Innovation (both made possible due to customer behaviour and insight)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

IFFORT-YOUR GATEWAY to Social Media Consulting

Iffort is an India based web strategy & social media consulting firm that plans,
creates and executes a thorough road-map to deliver tangible value for its clients and their stakeholders.

Co-founded by Daksh Sharma, Iffort is the "IN" thing in the field of Web Strategy and Media Consulting.Iffort's value principles are built on working together with organizations of different scales & processes to define their overall objectives and help them leverage the social web in the right manner. The offerings span across businesses which lie in the WAP (Web Adoption Pyramid) framework.

Iffort's end-to-end web marketing activity covers the following:

1.Corporate Blog Strategy
3.Social media marketing
4.General internet marketing (Collateral creation and Email marketing)
5.Viral campaigns/ Viral applications
6.Corporate website (CMS migration)
7. Community strategy

If you think, your business needs a competitive edge, then look no forwards because IFFORT is the one stop solution for all your needs.


Friday, February 26, 2010

SOCIAL CRM: The "IN" Thing...

CRM has always been a fascination for me. So, after all the buzz CRM has created focussing on the “constructive” interaction between a customer and a company, something else has taken a centerstage now. A new thing that has added a zing factor to CRM is “SOCIAL“. So, how different is SOCIAL CRM is from a regular CRM system??

The difference between these two is just one word, social. Social brings a new element into CRM because now instead of just dealing with data and information we are dealing with conversations and relationships. These conversations and relationships take place not just from company to consumer but also from consumer to consumer. The social CRM can be used by marketing and sales teams to listen to conversations, craft appropriate messages, join in immediately with customer conversation and offer them value in terms of information and solutions.

Social CRM has the ability to:

* Convert content to conversations therefore humanising a company so that customers regard the organisation as a trusted peer.
* Extend conversations into collaborative experiences, putting the customer at the core of a company’s strategy.
* Transform these experiences into meaningful relationships based upon real customer engagement.

Social CRM will help generate marketing intelligence, providing the marketing department with insight that will assist your company to source better leads and reduce customer support costs through self-helping communities.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


There are various models that can be used to assist in the formulation of strategy.I would discuss three broad categories of formulation models:

1. Matrix based Formulation Models
2. Nmemonic Letter based Formulation Models
3. Issues/Themes Models

Matrix-Based Formulation Models

These models take two variables, one variable being placed on a vertical axis and the other being placed on a horizontal axis. This makes possible to plot various options, products, companies and so on. Variables can be dependent or independent. They need to be important issues that are of relevance to the strategic situation being considered. Scale can be any of any parameters either a matrix can have three scales like "high", "medium", "low" etc or even 2 scales like "high" and "low". Plotting of variety of things like products/services, companies or even strategic choices can be done on a matrix which can be represented as bubbles, dots or enhancements. The size and shading of these can be used to show vital information.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

OPERATIONAL Alignment- Continued

3. Degree of business strategy and IT alignment:HIGH and Use of Technology:HIGH(B):It means the business has a clear view of where it is going and how to innovate, identify and deploy technology to contribute to business success. The challenge for a business is to maintain this initiative to avoid falling into the place where the degree of business strategy and IT Alignment is low. Both the Balanced Scorecard and the 5 Views Model will be used continuously and reviewed to ensure that a business can maintain its competitive lead.

4. Degree of business strategy and IT alignment:LOW and Use of Technology:HIGH(D): There is a chance that the business is spending too much on technology and also that it is not getting any measurable benefit or contribution towards its business strategy. Many new start-ups either started or ended up here because of combination of poor business models and bleeding-edge technology solutions.

There are additional drivers pertaining to Planning, Funding and Communications from Operational and Strategic point of view.


Operational Fit: Responsive to business unit requirements, prioritize by business unit, IT plans reviewed by the business, IT infrastructure approval linked to funding

Strategic Fit: Involves all key business stakeholders, Single, well-integrated business plan


Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Businesses aim to enable strategy through the proper use of IT to support business processes. The Operational Alignment Matrix allows a consultant to test and position a business within this framework. The axes of the matrix are first, degree of business strategy and IT alignment, and second use of Technology. The first axis defines the degree to which a business has established a strategy and the level of alignment expected to deliver it. The second axis determines how businesses will make use of technology to enable business processes so that they can deliver their products and services.

To give a bigger picture, a business may see a particular technology as being a fundamental differentiator of its products and services in a marketplace. There are 4 situations:

1. Degree of business strategy and IT alignement:HIGH and Use of Technology:LOW (A):It means the business is forward looking and has a clear view of where it is going and why. The technology is enabling the strategy, but probably not driving business change and process improvement

2. Degree of business strategy and IT alignement:LOW and Use of Technology:LOW(C):As long as the business recognizes that it is here and why, then there is no problem, although clearly there will be many opportunities to improve on both strategy and enabling technologies. The Scorecard model will be of particular help here, to develop and focus a business strategy and provide the drivers as measures to develop an IT strategy in support of the vision.

Keep reading for the next 2 situations.....