This article does a great job of summarizing some of the key risks and mitigation efforts to enable what the authors call a “resilient supply chain”. The article also talks (although only briefly) about how resource planning methods can be used to analyze risk and identify mitigation opportunities for early signs of break points (definitely read the sidebar on the medical device company!).
BCG - Jul 29, 2021
Real-World Supply Chain Resilience
For years, companies have focused on eliminating redundancy in sourcing to reduce fixed costs and promote efficiency. Greater efficiency, however, came at the expense of diminished flexibility and effectiveness—a tradeoff the pandemic-induced supply chain disruptions have made painfully clear.
McKinsey & Company - Jul 19, 2021
Into the fast lane: How to master the omnichannel supply chain
Consumer-product and retail companies looking to jump into the fast lane of modern shopping will need to overhaul their operations to master the seven building blocks of an effective omnichannel supply chain.
This is an extremely well-written summary of scenario planning. Having just written a joint post on the same topic, I appreciated the clarity of thought as well as the methods that are outlined. Especially significant were both the lenses for identifying the uncertainties at the beginning of the process and the “signposts” to detect early evidence of marketplace shifts at the end of the process. I would suggest bookmarking this post, so it is ready to be shared with your colleagues.
Bain & Company - Jul 20, 2021
A Strategy for Embracing Uncertainty
There are no crystal balls, but companies can get a lot smarter about envisioning future scenarios and knowing when to act on them.
Though this post is not my traditional type of selection for resource fluidity, this article looks at office space and begins to consider what’s really needed as we begin to get back to convening within physical spaces. The authors review the main reasons for physical office space and then move on to explore the main attributes that should be considered for a reduced footprint. This is a topic on many people’s minds and it greatly impacts resources.
Harvard Business Review ($) - Jul 2, 2021
Do You Really Need All that Office Space?
The pandemic shifted many professionals to work at home. As we emerge from the crisis and companies shift to hybrid work arrangements, they should reconsider the size, location, and design of offices.
The idea of matching talent to strategy is such a basic concept. It’s common sense that organizations need to hire and/or build key capabilities to deliver on future strategy. However, I feel like many businesses are slow to respond. This post mentions how private equity firms build value by aggressively deploying purpose-fit talent against a clearly defined value creation plan (VCP). With this strict intentionality, they outperform their traditional counterparts. Why can’t all organizations do the same?
Bain & Company - Jun 21, 2021
Lack of Talent Isn’t Your Problem. How You Use It Is.
As companies plan for a changing business climate, getting the right talent into a select number of business-critical jobs is key to outperforming the competition.
Here is an article about getting your corporation’s head up to sense the environment, so you can iteratively detect, discuss, & align around a set of commonly held assumptions about the future. I love all articles that challenge teams to understand one another and to share understanding transparently.
Futurealities Limited ($) - Jun 15, 2021
Incorporating ‘Futures‘ Foresight Into The Process Of Strategic Planning
In the authors’ experience a fact of corporate life is that management all too often ignores future uncertainty. And, even if vaguely uncomfortable with this situation, it is unfamiliar with, or even skeptical about, ways to address it. Yet paradoxically the increasing pace of change on many dimensions makes this an ever more critical issue for effective strategic planning.
Harvard Business Review ($) - Jun 15, 2021
Figure Out the Right Hybrid Work Strategy for Your Company
As leaders grapple with how to return their teams to the office, they face an additional challenge when discussing hybridity: What they think is a single discussion is in fact three different discussions in disguise, each with different objectives. It’s a bit like trying to declare a winner among three teams that are each playing a different sport.
Having worked as a facilitator of cross-boundary collaborations focused on solving complex problems, I found this article on joint planning between CPG companies and retailers as a super fun read. The article explores the benefits, the barriers, and the key practices to succeed in this joint work.
Bain & Company - Jun 10, 2021
Growth for Both: How US Brands and Retailers Grow the Profit Pool for All
Manufacturers and retailers can improve joint business planning to help each other thrive amid mounting challenges in a postpandemic world.
Deep dive into scenario planning. Not for the faint of heart, so only go there if you love the topic. The chapter/short book explores characteristics of scenario planning like time horizons, the definition of “uncertainties, what I deem to be the meaning of internally consistent futures, and lots more.
Medium ($) - May 26, 2021
Scenarios: Learning And Acting From The Future
The building of multiple alternative scenarios is justified in a reality dominated by uncertainty and a fast pace of change. If the future was predictable, we wouldn’t have this need to develop and explore scenarios, being the strategic planning and decisions based on a univocal and extrapolation-based forecast.
Leveraging Strategic Initiatives to Capture the Future
Initiative management is the planning, overseeing, and sometimes culling of projects to reach a new strategic position in the future.
Medium ($) - Apr 23, 2021
Pretotyping vs. Prototyping — What’s the difference?
One of the most common mistakes made by founders and product developers is building something that they thought people would want, only to find out that their assumptions were wrong.
Great video interview (and complementary article) that discusses Tata Steel and what appears to be a corporate wide transformation initiative focused on value creation and agility. I recommend watching the video in its entirety. Around minute twelve of the video, the speaker transitions into a deep dive on their work to enhance both their demand planning and their sales and operations planning. I loved the way that Dr. Svend Lassen of Tata Steel speaks to the enhanced visibility, the evolving cross-boundary collaboration, and the value capture from developing better PLANNING. I’m sure it was a ton of work, but it’s exactly what we should be seeing at all of our corporations! Nice work.
Anaplan - Apr 19, 2021
The growth driver — S&OP the ultimate engine aligning business plans
Given ongoing challenges of disruption, some S&OP processes may be constrained while other elements are proven essential to planning with agility. One of the key benefits of S&OP is collaboration across functional areas of the organization. Anaplan and Tata Steel discuss the importance of aligning strategy and execution to increase revenue for the business while leveraging S&OP to navigate uncertainty.
I know that this is not a traditional resource planning or resource allocation article, but it may be a new way for all of us to think about shared resources! This article lays out how businesses are leveraging one another’s resources to conduct business. It’s a variation on ecosystems … but not really. In this article, the authors discuss how businesses are taking advantage of idle capacity, tangible and intangible, of their peer companies so they can “do better with less”. They say that the B2B shared economy could be a trillion dollar market. I love the myriad of examples that the authors highlight.
Fast Company ($) - Apr 14, 2021
The sharing economy’s next target: Business-to-business
Some parts of the sharing economy took a big hit during the pandemic. But businesses sharing with other businesses is poised to be an incredibly lucrative model for the future.
Harvard Business Review ($) - Apr 2, 2021
Research: How to Get Better at Killing Bad Projects
Most innovation managers know that few of their initiatives will succeed, so they keep multiple projects running at the same time and create processes for quickly separating winners from losers. One popular way to make decisions about what stays and what goes is the use of stage gates. Yet, even with stage gates, firms struggle to kill bad projects. The authors undertook a decade-long review of the product development portfolio at former handset maker Sony Ericsson. They found that that the conventional use of stage gates can actually be part of the problem, impeding project discontinuation in counterintuitive ways.
BCG - Mar 5, 2021
To Make Zero-Based Budgeting Work, Change Behavior
Over the past 12 months, the COVID-19 crisis has forced business leaders to double down on cost management, ensure liquidity, and scrutinize budgets. Apart from prompting short-term contingency measures—such as cutting back on marketing budgets or IT projects—the lockdowns have spurred cost reductions. Just consider the dramatically lower spending on travel that has accompanied the shift from physical meetings and events to virtual ones.
Harvard Business Review ($) - Mar 2, 2021
Does Your Company Lurch from Crisis to Crisis?
Many organizations find themselves in a perpetual state of crisis and rely on company “heroes” to put out the fires. While many people love the feeling of saving the day, it shouldn’t be a way of life. If you’ve wondered why your organization performs well in a crisis but struggles otherwise, it may be time to pause and ask why. Your heroes may actually be revealing that you have a deeper problem. The author offers four ways to move away from a culture of perpetual crisis. First, understand that heroism is not a sign of commitment, but rather that it’s time to make changes in your organization. Second, make sure the way you’re allocating resources is realistic. Third, get better at cross-functional coordination. And finally, reward teams, not just individuals.
Fast Company ($) - Feb 26, 2021
A moonshot can be exhilarating for your business. Don’t stymie it with overplanning
Sometimes the best way to tackle an ambitious project is to throw away the original blueprint, a CEO writes.
Duke Corporate Education - Mar 1, 2021
Five Steps for Business Impact
Creating value is about exceeding expectations. For any business decision, we must understand the expectations of the decision-maker, and provide a path to exceed those expectations. For leaders and managers seeking approval from their colleagues in the finance function for new projects and initiatives, this is an increasingly urgent priority, because organizations are looking ever more closely at the ‘business impact’ of their resourcing decisions.
Forbes ($) - Feb 23, 2021
Four First-Quarter Objectives For CFOs To Drive Success In 2021
Bijan Moallemi is CEO of Mosaic, the first strategic finance platform that transforms the way business gets done.
Institute of Business Forecasting & Planning - Jan 22, 2021
Why You Need an S&OP Product Review
As the business environment has changed, we have seen S&OP adapt to become a centralized business process that enables coordinating decision making. With this, a Product Review or Portfolio Review has become a critical step in mature or vanguard organizations to better understand and manage product offerings and inventory.
Resource Fluidity mobilizes people and dollars across a portfolio of ongoing and emergent initiatives
All Time Favorites
Harvard Business Review ($) - Feb 1, 2003
strategy+business ($) - May 25, 2010
Harvard Business Review ($) - Nov 1, 2001