PNR Q1 2019 Insights

April 9, 2019

Welcome to the Q1 edition of the PNR Quarterly. We had a great and challenging quarter. Our firm is now 10 strong with two new members. Amal Gayed recently joined us from Facebook as Principal, Accounts and Strategy. She will lead client engagements and has a wealth of digital expertise. Eric Tran joined us from Beyond Technologies as an Engagement Manager and will lead market research and data visualisation.

We’d like to share our top strategy insights from the past quarter!

Strategy Communication

One of the big levers of success of any strategic initiative is proper communication throughout the organization. Oftentimes, we’ve seen that strategy communication resembles something like this below

We worked with several customers to equip them with the right tools for their strategy to be shared and internalized amongst their teams. For instance, a weekly huddle was implemented for an executive team to review their strategy execution every week. This enabled them to be aligned on the constraints and opportunities they have every week. We also surfaced more insights from our platform to share progress on strategy execution as well as benchmarking them across other industries.

Our efforts here are still nascent and there’s still a lot of work to be done. Tackling culture and community within an organization is no small task. We intend to develop more tools and methods to empower executives and their respective teams.

The biggest opportunity we see in communicating a strategy lies with Agile. The use of Agile in strategic planning continues to unlock new opportunities for organizations. It is not only about the application of the method to a strategic plan that we care about but also the human component that remains vital. The rise of Agile Management gives the opportunity for high performance teams to achieve even more.

Change Management in High-Growth Firms

Antoine wrote an excellent piece on the challenges faced by high growth firms.

“Change is a process by which you move from where you are to where you want to be. Managing change is not easy as you need to always confront reality and be comfortable with the discomfort that learning from the process brings. The chaos generated in high-growth firms environments makes it even harder as you are in a constant state of unfreezing, moving and refreezing and, at the same time, you are trying to create a balance between yesterday and tomorrow.”

“The firms that manage the change and the transition by bringing people, systems, and processes in line with the needs of the organization experience less painful challenges and, as a result, are able to continue to adapt and grow at a fast pace.”

The research in this article sheds some light on how high growth firms can adapt in a challenging environment. Notably, how leadership and governance play an important role.

Uncovering Insights from the Value Chain

As mentioned in the last PNR quarterly, we are continuing to experiment with Wardley Mapping. Wardley Mapping is all about building a shareable visualization of context and intention. It affords the articulation of a detailed strategy while remaining intuitive and compact.

Below is an example of Waymo, the autonomous driving division of Alphabet:

It highlights how lidar sensors will increasingly become a commodity and this has led Waymo to start selling sensors.

A key insight on commoditization:

It’s not the innovation of an act but the industrialisation of an act that dramatically causes change and enables the adjacent unexplored to be explored. Industrialisation is the key driver to progress.

We held our first Wadley mapping session with a customer this past quarter. Marin led the workshop and helped surface new opportunities in our customer’s value chain.

Strategic Deficit

Nectar wrote a post entitled Strategic Deficit where I posit that a strategic deficit occurs when the market evolves too rapidly for the company to adapt in an effective manner.

The framework explores how leaders can survey the market to ensure they have the proper strategy. It can be a predictor of how a market will change in the future. As technology invades more parts of the value chain, it becomes even more important for an organization to be aware of market changes on a continuous basis.

Fun stuff

Our most downloaded podcasts from the past quarter:

Re-inventing Healthcare with Anna Chif, Co-Founder and COO @ Dialogue

Dialogue is a startup that is getting many headlines as of late and for good reason. They are reinventing healthcare in the workplace. Anna Chif, COO at Dialogue, came on the podcast and discussed their vision and hyper growth. She is an incredible entrepreneur and is only getting started.

Investing in security with Alex Manea, Chief Security and Privacy Officer @ Georgian Partners

Alex Manea is a world renowned security expert. He was formerly the CSO at RIM and now at Georgian Partners, a leading venture capital firm. He shared some great insights on security and privacy.

Our favorite articles

Schumpeter on Strategy – Jerry Newmann

This is one of the best explanations of strategy It is short and simple yet covers many of the essential elements of business strategy. The explanation of “innovation” is brilliantly simple and straightforward.

Announcing the next evolution of AI | Actual Intelligence

Our April Fool’s joke poked a bit of fun at hype around Artificial Intelligence. We announced our rebranding to AI or Actual Intelligence.

Amineh spoke at Product MTL event recently. She used the “Playing to Win” framework to share career advice for product managers.

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

Have a great Q2!

The PNR Team

Past editions

2018 Review

Q3 2018

Q2 2018