PNR Q2 2019 Insights

July 16, 2019

Welcome to the Q2 edition of the PNR Quarterly! With summer finally in full swing, this edition will focus on a core topic: platforms.

We explored the concept of platforms in depth this past quarter and conducted a lot of research on this topic. It is a fascinating exploration of a topic that is growing in importance.

Platform design

A core part of the research focused on the platform design toolkit created by Simon Cicero. To begin, what are platforms?

Platforms help companies and organization leverage the power of ecosystems to grow and reach outstanding results that cannot be reached independently. Platform Design is a key capability for your organization: it helps you deliver more innovation with smaller investments respect to building traditional services.

We used the platform design tool whitepaper as an enhanced methodology for one of our customers. A platform focused workshop was created to better understand the opportunities in creating a platform and the subsequent impact on their strategy.

In combination with Wardley mapping, we set out to understand their current position and figure out what aspects of the customer’s value chain can be leveraged on a platform.

If you are interested in learning, check out their whitepaper that does a great job of explaining the methodology.

Marketplaces and platforms

A sub-component of platforms are marketplaces. A marketplace not only facilitates the exchange between buyer and seller but also owns the transaction process. One of the leading thinkers of marketplaces is venture capitalist Bill Gurley. His recent post on the topic helps explain the power of marketplaces and how they unlock economic wealth. He also recently spoke in depth about the topic of the Invest like the Best podcast.

Transparency and communication

Another topic that we’ve been exploring is transparency and communication. We believe that an organization’s strategy should be widely shared within the company. Some organizations push this philosophy to the extreme. For instance, Gitllab publicly shares its strategy and OKRs.

In that same spirit, we recently updated our strategic planning platform. More data on your organization’s strategy was added. You can now filter the information on your dashboard by selecting an epic, a priority or combining both. Ultimately, better understanding of progress on your strategic plan enables better understanding and communication.

Fun stuff

Our most downloaded podcasts from the past quarter:

Experience design with Alex Nemeroff, Co-Founder @ Dynamo

Since co-founding Dynamo in 2000, Alex Nemeroff has been responsible for guiding some of its biggest clients to success. Alex has funneled his vast bank of knowledge into specializations in digital product design and user experience. His user-centric approach to design and his keen eye for detail has proven to be a winning combination for growth. He’s also host and moderator at Dynamic/MTL, a series of speaking events for Montreal’s creative community. Every three months, Dynamic/MTL invites top guest speakers from across various creative industries to talk about their work and share their experiences.

Unapologetically determined with Marie-Josée Gagnon, CEO @ Casacom

Marie-Josée is the CEO and Founder of Casacom, a Canadian integrated data-driven public relations & strategic communication firm founded in 2001 that helps clients thrive in the digital era. They are a multi-channel and multi-disciplinary approach gives their clients a unique marketplace advantage. Known for their strategic thinking and award-winning campaigns, their ‘house’ is home to dedicated professionals who consistently aim high – for themselves and their clients. Their mission is to elevate. They have ambitious clients that challenge them to elevate their brand and their business.

Serial entrepreneurship with Ian Jeffrey, Co-Founder and CEO @ BreatheLife

Ian is the Co-Founder and CEO of Breathe Life, an InsurTech Software as a Service that brings financial security to people, whoever and wherever they are. Breathe Life’s mission is to power the insurance world with innovative technology that delivers seamless experiences to consumers and industry experts alike.

Our favorite articles:

Digital Transformation Is Not About Technology

We’ve been quite public about my dislike of the term “digital transformation” but it a term that still symbolizes the transition we’re living in. This post in HBR does a good job of providing a few important guiding principles to follow. The one that resonated the most with us is determining your business strategy first before anything else.

The Feedback Paradox: Brutal Honesty, Radical Transparency, Radical Candor and Netflix

In our strategy work, oftentimes the biggest challenge for our customers is cultural change. One key element to create an innovative culture is the ability to candid and share feedback openly. This great post by Joe Dunn highlights the paradox this entails. People want to be comfortable in their work and not feel threatened

The case for Agile Strategy

We wrote a post sharing our philosophy around agile strategy. Strategy exercises can be ethereal. We believe by linking design and execution, strategy can be much more effective. The benefits being increased transparency, velocity and alignment.

Announcing the next evolution of AI | Actual Intelligence

Our April Fool’s joke poked a bit of fun at hype around Artificial Intelligence. We had included this in our last review. What is a bit surprising though is that the joke backfired. We got a bunch of emails, phone calls and messages of people wanting to work with us. It helped convince us that we should stay far away from the hype.

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

Have a great Q3!

The PNR Team

Past editions

Q1 2019

2018 Review

Q3 2018

Q2 2018