No Investment, No Growth!

There will always be a certain amount of risk and anxiety when it comes to developing new strategies. But it seems that the terror of another global crisis led the majority of the companies to stop developing growth strategies. Business leaders are completely risk adverse, massive amounts of cash are piling up, M&A diminished 14% globally since 2008, and stock buybacks just continue to increase.

In reality, business leaders always had to face uncertainty, knowing that if money is not invested… growth, expansion, and innovation just don’t happen!! However, they are doing nothing and nothing is just a terrible decision. Especially nowadays, when the market change rate is accelerating and products and services go from new to completely obsolete in less than 6 years (See the case of the first generation iPhone declared obsolete last June).

Likewise, companies can grow their markets like never before. One example is Samsung, “the world’s largest technology company by revenue” who entered the global smartphone market and conquered it (almost) in just 3 years. Competition isn’t confined to the industry leaders anymore – it can come from the smallest garage start up or from an international company.

“Business leaders can anticipate change” by understanding that uncertainty is unfamiliarity. This means that old ways can be adjusted and new methods acquired. The example provided by Bain is an extreme eye-opener. A couple of years ago everyone believed that money was scarce and talent was abundant. Today, businesses lack talent and that situation could change into a shortage of 95 million people by the end of the decade.

Bain finishes the article with a clever mnemonic, stating that what is needed is an “A” game: one that’s alert, agile and able to move with alacrity.

After reading the article, we at Proto Partners, questioned something that we consider essential. How can your company create innovative strategies that allow you to grow without knowing what your customers need? Well, you simply can’t! If you look carefully to what the biggest companies in all industry segments are doing, you see that they are focusing their attention on their customers, anticipating their needs and delivering outstanding customer experiences. They know that innovation and success become possible when they have feasible technology, it is economically viable and finally also desirable by the customer.

Read more here.

Banks are terrified! The solution: Technology and a Customer Centric Strategy

As many of us who’ve worked with the banking sector know, they can be a risk adverse and change resistant group. But in a recent article in the Australian, ANZ’s Chief Executive Mike Smith cautions, it is an industry about to face a ‘tsunami of disruptive technology’, a change he describes as “terrifying”.

Some of the source of that terror is driven by the pace of change happening in Silicon Valley where small and medium start-ups are breaking into the market with competing services previously confined to the banking industry.

We believe that to survive and thrive, banks will not only need to start playing in the digital sphere and embrace innovative technologies but also start looking and behaving like customer centric organisations like Amazon (considered by several as the most customer centric company in the world), delivering meaningful and delightful services. And as a customer insight specialist we know that it all starts with first understanding your customer needs and aspirations.

Over the years we’ve helped numerous organisations do just that and where we often find the real magic happens is when the organisation and customers goals align. Technology came into our lives to help us answer customer desires in an easy, reliable and user friendly way. Its use must facilitate the interaction between company and customer, generating a tight and last longing relationship.

Proto Partners helps companies create feasible (Your company has systems to develop it), viable (Your company can afford it) and desirable (Your customers want it) solutions that can be later prototyped and implemented.  In even simpler words, do customers WANT it, can we MAKE it, and is there a market for it?

To read the whole article, please click here.