“How can you Control the future, you cant predict?” That was the question, Professor Sarasvathy at IIMB 4Startup has attempted to answer through her extensive research on Expert Entrepreneurship. She said, any start-up venture needs to deal with a fear of uncontrollable and unpredictable future. But good news is there is an approach to reverse this fear into cheer. She further explains, usually, most of us at grown-up stage are wired to think rationally based on learnings and experiences. This approach could be called Causality which is based on relationship of events. But there is another approach which is not based on analysis and wisdom but based on feeling the pulse of action at the edge. This second approach, Effectuality, is based on taking smaller and calculative steps forward by sensing and learning along the way to success.
To explain further, most business situation demands exerting utmost Control for desired future outcome by conducting extensive research to make it Predictable success. But we rarely get balanced weight of both in any situation. If both are low, we tends to Adopt to situation and try to conduct more research to increase Predictability. If we get better Predictability, we tends to Plan and try to increase Control bit for situation. If we gets lucky with increased Control and Predictability, we need to Persist on current strategy. But when disruption is in air, Predictability goes down in markets. This is where Blue Ocean gets created where Corp avoids sailing into, but Entrepreneurs come-in for fishing using co-creation strategy. But surprisingly, in these Blue Oceans, it has been observed that, Expert Entrepreneurs hate three types of fishes; Business Planners, Market Researchers and Venture Capitalists.
To make more sense and address the curious “How” question around it, she defines a five principals approach in her research.
- Bird-in-Hand Principal
- Instead of defining goals and working on its means, It is better to know your means which are your current and immediate capability and capacity.
- Affordable-Loss Principal
- Instead of estimating ROI and assessing associated Risk, it is better to estimate the investment which might not bit if lost. It is more like “Risk little and fail cheap”.
- Crazy-Quilt Principal
- Instead on focusing on competitors, it is better to focus of building alliances/stakeholders who are committed to venture.
- Lemonade Principal
- Instead of worrying about unexpected outcomes, it is better to be ready to convert any adversaries into advantage to create new market and product features.
- Pilot-in-the-Plane Principal
- Instead of relying on inevitable trends established by market forces, it is better to roll out pilot and work on create trends.
I feel, this theory is not just applicable for Startup but anyone even in the Job. In our offices, sometime, we have to take risky and newer assignments, where we dont have liberty of research for future predictability.
As IT industry is going through its churning stage to find a new growth path, there is a lot of buzz around “How to Move Up the Value Chain?”. Concept of Service Productization offers new avenue. But, I scratched my head on this a lot and could come out with my 101 notes on Service Productization.
What is Productization?
- Productization is a practical and systematic methods to implement product-like features and characteristics into a service and package it into a more manageable and understandable object.
What is Service Productization (SP)?
- It is packing a Service offerings into a product bundle to deliver a domain solution with better cost, lesser time, better quality and higher predictability than Pure Service model. It is a complete domain solution full of methodology, framework, accelerators to
What are the Differences between Service Productization and Service Model?
- Based on configuration rather than customization.
- Loaded with features rather than requirement gathering.
- At end, Not a project model but a product.
What are main Characteristics Productized Service?
- A pre-defined and clear offering or deliverable
- A consistent standard delivery methodology
- Supporting tools and templates for executing the service
- Consistent knowledge and skills required to deliver the service
- Quantifiable costs and demonstrable value
Why should we productize services?
- Sophisticated client base demands constant proof of repeatable and demonstrable value. Fixed-time, fixed fee and shared-risk engagements represent about half of all the work performed by Project
- Executive Group nowadays. Therefore it becomes increasingly important for us to structure our work in a way that offers clear deliverables with pre-defined scope, methods, skills, time and cost.
- A standard service methodology delivers significant improvement in revenue, pipeline size and utilization.
Why is it called Blueprinting of Services?
- Yes, it is a blueprint of end to end domain solution using services. If compared with Template, it is just about time and resources. But, Blueprints is about adding additional views of complete guides, deliverables, required authorizations, historic effort and other critical information.
What are critical success parameters of a successful SP?
- To Build a successful productized service, it has to address following two aspects:
- Commercialization – A SP has to offer both most common and most appealing demand but in this, it should not loose sight on Cost Structure. It have to show one big price for full offerings but allows flexibility to change it by configurations based on customer requirements.
- Standardization – Success of SP is purely based on standardization of each service in its portfolio. Surely, this comes with experience, but a model can be placed to keep it standard across offerings.
- To Win in Marketplace, it is required to come with flying colors on following parameters as well.
- Customer expectation -In this, It will be about Ability to size the Customer expectations and ability model in SP offering is critical to success.
- Ability to deliver – Having modeled a fantastic SP, delivering it on promise is second most critical factor for continuation of success.
- Service proposition – Should continued to have its Service flavor to it to provide Customization flexibility.
Can any domain problem be consider for SP?
- No, bear in mind, that SP is only beneficial in solution domain where there is high volume of work from multiple clients.
During my Business Communication class, I had to make Business Pitch of 3 mins. At first attempt, I got miserable remarks from my professor. Then, they suggested the approach to improve it. Here is what I learned as a Structure of Good Business Pitch (3 Mins).
Here are slides of my presentation.
After reading Robert Greene Books: 33 Strategies of WAR, I have thought to categorize different strategies into psychological areas of WAR for its impact.
Ideal Warrior Transformational Characteristics
Certainly, I am no-one in tennis but have been playing leisure tennis (seriously) for sometime now. Started out with a player with lots of energy but no skill. But over period, I could acquire skills but could not win most of my matches. This made me think to analyze the Gaps in my game. After lots of deliberations, I came to realization that I was good at putting effort, improving on skills and being aggressive but was unable to hold my emotions.
Then, I go on to devise the formulas to pull myself out of loosing streak. Here are my experiments on self.
I told myself to remember Two Main Concepts.
- Getting out of my own way
- Trusting my athletic self
To do this, I planned to practice the tennis philosophy of “one shot at a time”. This can only be achieved by discipline to clear my mind constantly. In other words, it is like numbing my mind from thinking anything else. Then I gone back to my teaching of Yoga where it was taught the science of breath and meditation. So, I took two actions out of it:
- Focusing on my breath all the time
- Keeping eyes on Ball all the time
After achieving control on my emotion with above technique, I could see only four parameters to juggle with:
- The ball
- The court
- The opponents
- The OPTIONS
AND, many time, I have successfully used these techniques to dig myself out of a hole.
Even in situation, when you are down at 0-5 and 0-40 and looking at a humiliating loos down the barrel. Just by thinking positively from here on, could make thing dramatically different. In these situations, I thinks in two ways.
- If I am going to lose, let me give him some fight for a deserving loss
- If I am going to loose anyways, let me at least practice something those risky moves and shots. Who know, it might change the direction of game.
More courageous thinking could be, ” How about take the next 50 shots one at a time. Every time the ball crosses the net, it is my joyful opportunity to take my shot.” this may kill my opponent for “a Sad turn around!!!” …
Everyone admires the wealthiest investor of this world, Mr. Warren Buffet, but I never bother to know him more. But last evening, on NDTV, I heard his talk with Pranab Roy. Man, I was impressed by the Old man’s wisdom.
Here are few bits, picked up from his talk.
- People Orientation:
- People should love you.
- Assessment – Know what you like in other person and know your strength also know opposite. Just work on it.
- Shelled Personality – Don’t create shell around you through which people may restrict access to you. This is recipe for all failures and unhappiness.
- Forward Looking Personality:
- Conduct yourself so that you never look back by doing best for the moment,
- Emotions vs Rationale:
- Keeping Emotions and Rationale for the right places.
- Decision Making – Rationale
- People dealing with Emotions
- Art of Business Evaluation:
- Business should not be looked by its balance sheet rather than feeling of business.
- Feel Factor > Expansion Factor > Gordian Factor > Competitive Factor
- Cut the noise what people say, stick to your formula.
- E.g. a stock is going down but you see that it has potential just like Infy. Go for it.
- If you cant answer a difficult question what you doing, you are not doing the right thing.
- Dont answer anything that someone else has told you. It should be your clear answer from within.
- Find a fun job, you will never work forever.