Digital Evolution Index

The digital economy is reshaping the way business is being done globally, fact.

One way to analyze it and understand it better is through the Digital Evolution Index, that provides a clear view of how countries and complete economies are adapting themselves to better compete in a digital world.

The index analyzes 4 factors is each of the countries: supply, demand, innovation and institutions.

As a result, it provides a clear and very straightforward way of seeing the countries, grouped in 4 categories:

  • Stand Out
  • Stall Out
  • Break Out
  • Watch Out

 

digital evolution index

If you are curious about the topic, please visit the following resources:

 

I hope you find it useful and relevant!

 

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The Innovators’ personallity

I’m enjoying very much Walter Isaacson’s “The innovators“, and specially one part about Bill Gates’s early years:

…of them all, Gates was the prime example of the innovators personality: “an innovator is probably a fanatic, someone who loves what they do, works day and night, may ignore normal things to some degree and therefore be view as being imbalanced”, he said. He was (at his early age) also a rebel, with little respect for authority, another typical trait of innovators.

If we have had the chance to cross our way with similar characters, in retrospective it’s cristal clear whether this was the case but… wouldn’t be great if we could learn to identify them in real time, just to leverage the maximum of each interaction with them?!

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This is just a thought that crossed my mind and wanted to share with you, feel free to letting me know if you’ve been there!

What’s needed to walk the way from manager to executive?

Luckily it is a way that can be pleasantly when jointly between the company and the manager.

When thinking about the implications of moving a high performing manager into an executive position it is interesting to see that the better the planning, for the company as well as for the professionals involved, the more chances to be successful on the transition.

Why? As Harvard business review article recommends there are specific points to take into consideration for each party. Let’s explore them in-depth.

A recipe for high potential managers – Follow this (simple?) steps and be as prepared as you can for the uncertainty.

  • The specialist who became a generalist.
  • The analyst who became an integrator.
  • The tactician who became a strategist.
  • The bricklayer who became an architect.
  • The problem solver who became an agenda setter.
  • The warrior who became a diplomat.
  • The cast member who became the leading role

A recipe for organization – How enterprises generate new leaders?

  • Give them on cross functional projects, international exposure to a broad range of business situations.
  • Give them a position on senior management, exposure to stakeholders, appoint them to lead an acquisition or integration.
  • Send them to executive program that would help them build their capabilities and external network.
  • Challenge them but assign them to thriving business units, staffed with experienced teams he could learn from.

Conclusion

It’s a typical complementary scenario in which each part depend on the other: great organizations need great leaders and great leaders what to feel part of great organizations. Despite the fact that sometimes it looks like a chicken and egg dilemma, it is not.

As one of the great thinkers of the XX century once said:

“your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living by the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary”

Disclaimer:

  • This post was motivated by Marcel Planellas and Alberto Gimeno, and based on the article of Harvard Business Review.
  • These are my opinions and my ideas, and do not reflect the view of my employer whatsoever.

A low-cost strategy for the car industry?

I think we are really entering an era of low cost for the automobile industry.

Though it’s not a similar low cost scenario as we’ve seen in other industries (such as travel or financial services, when the internet disrupted the distribution channels, hence dropping prices as well) but a one that will increase the margins and profitability of the car makers, and a one that will hardly translate into a drastic price dropping (except for the expected price fluctuation that any particular market/segment could experience following the classic demand / supply model).

Why do I see a low cost industry that will hardly lead to a low price market? for a number of reasons.

In order to make my thoughts clearer I will use the help of the five forces acting and defining the competitiveness on a market or industry, and during the analysis of them we’ll go through the different aspects that led me to that conclusion.

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The threats of new entrants to the industry: It’s too difficult to enter the global automobile industry with relevant global scale and presence.

  • Supply side’ economies of scale. There are two trends establishing themselves as the next standard: 1) car maker holdings in which more and more brands under their structure (VW group has 12 different brands as of today), and 2) car maker increasingly share with each other their R+D to launch faster and explore product lines that couldn’t do independently (Ford KA and Fiat 500 where developed on the same shared factory, as well as Peugeot 108, Citroen C1 and Toyota Aygo, and BMW uses Kymco motors)
  • Demand side’ economies of scale. The importance of known and big companies that can provide pre-sales and post-sales services is crucial, and on this aspect we are seeing an increasing concentration of the sales on the same players, also for the 2014 figures.
  • Capital requirements. though is true that apparently strong newcomers are entering the market with lots of innovations (Google, Tesla), it is really difficult for me to think that those new solutions will cross the chasm to mass market anytime soon.
  • Unequal access to the distribution channels. Newcomers should ensure the satisfactory distribution of their products and the associated services to it, and the car industry is more and more a global market move by local consumers with local flavors.

Influence of the existing providers. It’s also important to take into consideration the influence of existing providers that “need to ensure” that changes in the industry are incremental and not exponential, in order not to be disrupted and survive… Additionally they could jeopardize their own existence if moving towards significant cost drops.

Influence of the existent buyers and substitutive products. These two forces are pushing the global market on different directions at the same time. At one end the people now accessing the middle class on developing markets, then there are the governments decisions to eradicate the cars from the cities (at least down to a certain degree) on developed markets, and at last new trends such as second hand car buying and sharing economy’ solutions. My opinion is that those forces combined will continue to lead the market grow in volume, as in recent years (even though car makers would eventually dedicate more resources to post-sale as the fleets get older, instead of focusing on selling new cars).

Rivalry among existing competitors. As we’ve seen, the backend of the industry is not a one of rivalry but a one of collaboration to growth the industry itself. This being said, the competence is fierce and tough in terms of marketing and sales. I see an increasing effort of the brands (not the car maker groups) for differentiating themselves quick on the new trends (low emissions, electric, smart, etc) and here is the biggest area where I see price fluctuations. But at the end, the low cost industry will eventually translate into more profitable classical pricing structure.

Conclusion

My opinion is that we are not going to enter into a low price market because of the growth in margins for the players on it, even though the industry itself is changing step by step into a low cost one.

But this is my opinion… what is yours?? feel free to share it!

Disclaimer:

1- This post was motivated by Marcel Planellas and the article in El País about the empire of low-cost cars. Thank you @marcelplanellas for pushing us out of our comfort zone! =)

2- These are my opinions and my ideas, and do not reflect the view of my employer whatsoever.

Breathing ideas

One of the last best things I’ve acquired lately is a membership to an audiobooks service (I will not say it’s name to avoid you guys think this is a promoted or sponsored post).

 

Why is that one of the best things I’ve acquired lately?:

  1. It pushes me to read (in this case hear) 2 books a month.
  2. The energizing moments of reflexion are multiple: commuting, at the gym, walking around…
  3. Allows me to try topics that I wouldn’t choose on a “real” book store, maybe because I never tried…! =)
  4. I can buy any 2 books I want. So can choose expensive ones, and it would be positive from and ROI perspective…even cost saving vs printed ones!
  5. I’m always learning something new: from work-related topics, or storytelling in general, to languages… you name it!

 

Just in case you would want to check out the titles I read in the last months:

Star wars: episode 1. The partner, John Grisham. In the plex, Steven Levy. Delivering happiness, Tony Hsieh. Creativity Inc., Ed Catmull. David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell. German unit 1, Pimsleur….

 

This never ending learning mode is so powerful! It’s an amazing feeling that helps me get more creative. Having the chance of nurturing this curiosity and “always-learning” mode is just great!

I sincerely wish you will find it too, soon… happy reading or listening! =)

L

This is why he’s the King!

A couple of years ago, there was a great marketing action from Burger King (Whopper Sacrifice) in which it encouraged to delete your Facebook Friends in order to receive a free whopper. It was such a big success that Facebook itself asked them to remove and cancel the promotion.

Now, a few years after their last social activation’s success, they came up with a way of getting rid of the brand fans who were “free riders” or were following the brand for the “wrong reasons”.

Their solution?
To test the loyalty of their brand lovers, they developed a way to delete fans (no mistake here, they wanted to delete them!) by giving a free BigMac (if you are not a citizen of earth, their competitors’s blockbuster product) with one condition: they could no be fan of the brand anymore in the future.

This action helped them increasing the engagement and participation of those who remained loyal to it for the “right reasons”, see the video here Burger King Sell Out.

To sumarize.
In these days in which might seem that everything is invented and there is no more room for innovation, sometimes  “back to basics” might be the biggest  possible innovation… cleaning the database and focusing on the responsive prospects (or customers) is an old trick, that now has its social media version!

As said in the title, that’s (also) why it’s the king!

burgerking