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PNR | Q2 Insights

Welcome to the first edition of PNR Insights, a quarterly newsletter with our favorite strategy related content and progress on our mission.
Given a world increasingly driven by technological change,  our mission is to help organizations move faster. For us, it starts with leaders and the strategic choices they make. Strategy is about making choices and increasing the odds of success. Strategy should be creative, scientific and most importantly agile.

We had a great quarter chock full of challenges, growth, a new office and one of our partners JF took a well deserved mini-sabbatical.

For this first edition, we want to distill some of the top strategy insights from the past quarter.

Importance of product management

Over the past quarter, our firm was mandated with the organizational designs of two well known organizations. The pivot point both for both of them? Product Management. Mastering product management has become table stakes for all organizations. One can assume that this is only important for technology organizations but this is no longer true. As technology increases in importance across the value for chain in every industry, owning the customer relationship is crucial. As such, it is becoming even more important for organizations to master product management as the need to augment the customer experience is continuously increasing.

Here are our top reads about product management
12 things about product-market fit
It’s Time to Rethink Agile at Enterprise Startups
The Agony and Ecstasy of Building with Data

Insights from strategy execution

Our strategic planning platform enables measurement of a team’s velocity and the comprehension of trends to ensure strategic accomplishments. We believe that contemplating strategic orientation on a quarterly or annual basis is incongruent in today’s economy. With the sprint methodology, we are able to track & measure strategy execution and adjust the strategy and the priorities on a monthly basis.

One quick tip on strategy execution is blocking time in the calendar in order to work on any strategic initiative. Spending time on any strategic initiative is a challenge for any busy executive. Blocking time once a week in the calendar is quick hack to isolate oneself from the demands of operations.
We see this constraint in the data from our strategic planning platform. On average, a team only completes 36% of the tasks they’ve assigned themselves during a sprint. Every executive team starts with good intentions at the start of the quarter but are confronted with the reality of running a business.

Top strategy content

Canada is getting recognized for its leadership in artificial intelligence. Developments in artificial intelligence are truly transformational albeit a bit overhyped presently. Understanding artificial intelligence, more specifically machine learning is an imperative for a senior business leader today. The first reason is to avoid being sold snake oil from every supplier touting “artificial intelligence” as the solution. The second reason and more importantly is the increasing importance of extracting intelligence, both descriptive and prescriptive, from data.

Here are our top reads to better understand AI
Machine learning for humans: a great article on how machine learning works
Andrew Ng – the state of Artificial Intelligence: a YouTube video by one of the world’s leading minds on the topic of AI (ex-Google, ex-Baidu)
The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World: a great read that demystifies machine learning by Peter Domingos, a leading data scientist.

Here’s more strategy content from the past quarter

If you have any suggestions or comments, we would love to hear from you! insights@thepnr.com

Sincerely,
PNR Team