SWOT analyses: Complex “heart” surgery can’t take months


It doesn’t matter whether it is a business YOU have built from scratch over many years; if it is a business turnaround; introducing Enterprise Risk Management; Corporate Process Management; Operational review, etc. getting to the heart of a complex business is a notoriously slow, painful and potentially costly process.

Financial data will provide little, as it is probably the reason why an exercise is being undertaken!

Qualitative feedback comes with a “tainted” perspective – whether top down or bottom-up – and can say more about the scale of the problem than it does about its nature.

Silos can be difficult to “get inside” or break down.

Buy-in is a whole different ball-game!!!

CHANGE MANAGEMENT ain’t easy and “time is money” that, often, can be ill-afforded.

One sure-fire way of getting insight, that is otherwise unavailable and provides an objective [100% quantitative] is a Complexity Analysis from Ontonix.

SO, if someone tells you “all I want is the best for the business” and that they, their role or their division “…are part of the solution, not the problem” you can test that out by mapping the interdependencies, strengths and weaknesses within the organisation.

Once you measure the health of the system you have a basis for sound, verifiable, decisions that are geared to maintaining, managing or improving the health of the business for its stakeholders.

WITHOUT measurement the complexity of the organisation may be compounded by that of the task: rendering projected timescales, improvements, savings and meaningful (sustainable) change, ineffective OR able, only to be assessed in terms of random outcomes…pot luck!

Good luck with that!

However, if you want to eliminate as much of the uncertainty and risk from these processes as is possible, I would be happy to hear from you. The Ontonix technology is unique: rigorously tested; reliable; effective; quantifiable; verifiable and, depending upon the size of the task, considerably cheaper that deploying a competent person.

Quantitative SWOT analysis Most people in business will have had, at least, a “brush” with an analysis of: STRENGTHS; WEAKNESSES; OPPORTUNITIES; THREATS (SWOT). Done properly, it can be a very useful tool. It can bring focus to key issues for the business to consider, can contribute much to strategic planning, change management and, even, negotiations…EVEN THOUGH, WHEN CARRIED OUT IN-HOUSE, IT IS SUBJECTIVE AND QUALITATIVE! Imagine how POWERFUL it would be if it was: OBJ … Read More

via Get “fit for randomness” [with Ontonix UK]

“Big Society”: Just a stinking acronym…


– We should recycle this “top down”, cynical, BS because its got to be good for something…

As many Corporations have found, embracing a Strategy for Sustainability, has had a positive effect upon their balance sheet! So, why then does the UK Government appear intent upon ignoring or marginalising the issues? How can you TALK “Big Society” and not WALK a strategy that can have a positive impact in every domain?

The paper that Spelman put out on Monday, under the compelling title ‘Mainstreaming sustainable development: The government’s vision and what this means in practice’, is without a doubt the most disgraceful government document relating to Sustainable Development that I have ever seen.

Jonathon Porritt, guardian.co.uk

Well said Jonathon!

It is beyond belief when you consider that, by running their operations more sustainably, Government Departments are saving money as well as reducing energy and water consumption, emissions and waste. In August last year, after the Government had announced its withdrawal of funding for SDC, I quoted this headline: “UK Government’s progress towards sustainable operations saves £60-70m a year”

I’m sure I am not the only person to feel deeply offended when treated with such utter contempt by Politicians who, patently, believe we should just accept the claptrap they spout in an effort to justify their actions! Still, I suppose that in the eyes of the blinkered or naive it is progress to see a semblance of some strategy…no matter how nonsensical and contradictory! Read more of this post

Raising performance by reducing complexity – McKinsey Quarterly interview TalkTalk CIO


This “lesson” comes specifically from IT but the principles hold true for businesses that “can’t see the wood..!”

Past experience has shown me how easy it is for organisations to get caught up in “legacy thinking” and its allied processes. That is why change management is so very difficult.

It isn’t too many years ago I conducted an exercise (on a much smaller scale) to address these very issues, for the same reasons. It was to be the final piece required to form a platform for the next, and most significant phase, of growth. The process started with building a team structure and corporate strategy around values but the will to see the transformation through disappeared. I never completed what was begun.

I was sad to leave without completing the job BUT frustrated because the rewards for every stakeholder in the business were so close.

Instead of everyone contributing to and sharing in the success the business was sold. So the Directors got what they sought, the staff morale died and the business replaced its soul with layers of complexity required to mask the fact that customer service and satisfaction were no longer the priorities of the new owners.

Communities – Nations – need (and want) quality family businesses. These are vital components of a truly resilient economy. But, if the vision dies or the rut is too deep to be able to see the possibilities that lie beyond, what is left is another “off-the-shelf”, high growth (ego and greed-fuelled) business model that views its customers merely as units of business required to achieve targets &/or fund debt repayments. Great just what the World needs!!!

COMPLEXITY can kill more than business capabilities and service…

Raising performance by reducing IT complexity: An interview with TalkTalk’s CIO

David Cooper discusses revamping siloed IT systems that were raising costs, hurting customer service, and dampening growth opportunities.

via Raising performance by reducing IT complexity – McKinsey Quarterly – Telecommunications – Broadband.