The 25 Minute MBA

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How to ground your projects in real, measurable business value--in 25 minutes.

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  • All businesses can be broken down into six basic functions: Vision People Process Data Issues Traction See “Traction”
  • Business plans should be No more than 10 pages long No more than 20 minutes long No smaller than 30pt type And 90 day business plans allow for agile development. Annual business plans are bullshit.
  • The best way to research the client’s problem is to ask the client. They have lots of information. And if you can get information from the CEO and top executives, all the better.
  • Hey, it’’s about the client’s business---paint, pharma, salty snacks, whatever. It’s not about you and your fancy pants social media interactive marketplace.
  • Basically only two ways to produce return on investment and you MUST, MUST define what those are.
  • Adrian Ho at Zeus Jones tells clients, “this proposal is a better way to spend that money you were planning to spend on <insert ad buy here.>”
  • Break the business problem into it’s constituent issues to re researched. Define those issues so they are “mutually exlusive” of each other as much as possible. Make sure you have all of the issues captured so your investigation is “collectively exhaustive.”
  • If Coke is losing money, why? Might be lack of revenue, might be expenses are too high If it’s lack of revenue, the problem might be in the US or in the rest of the world If it’s in the US, it might be in one of the divisions, etc. Remember the “5 Whys?” Ask the client why this is the problem? When they tell you, ask “why is that?” When they tell you, ask “why is that?” When they tell you, ask “why is that?” When they tell you, ask “why is that?”
  • 90% of project that fail, fail primarily because the wrong problem was framed—or the problem was framed wrong. Kodak thought they were in film emulsion sales. They actually were in the memory capture + retention business If they had figured that out they wouldn’t have lost half their market valuation when digital cameras came to dominate the market
  • At McKinsey, they say “Research, Presentations, and Management” are the three pillars of success. What’s the “narrative?” of the project? Can you tell it clearly? Can you offer examples?
  • There is a chasm between the early adopters inside an organization and the rest of the company. This is a “change management” issue. To cross this chasm you must: Get visible, consistent executive sponsorship from the most senior person in the organization you can—preferably the CEO. Identify the key managers and influencers and cultivate them with clear, valuable, consistent orientation and briefings Build prototype programs that have a high likllihood of success and when they are successful evangelize their success.
  • Book bibliography: Good to Great by Jim Collins: http://www.jimcollins.com/article_topics/articles/good-to-great.html (Chs 1-5 especially) The McKinsey Mind by Paul Friga: http://www.amazon.com/McKinsey-Mind-Understanding-Implementing-Problem-Solving/dp/0071374299 (Also, “The McKinsey Engagement” has the FOCUS structure) Re-Engineering the Corporation by Hammer + Champy: http://www.amazon.com/Reengineering-Corporation-Manifesto-Revolution-Essentials/dp/0060559535/ref=pd_sim_b_5 The Innovators Dilemma by Christensen http://www.amazon.com/Innovators-Dilemma-Revolutionary-Business-Essentials/dp/0060521996 Traction by Wickman http://www.amazon.com/Traction-Get-Grip-Your-Business/dp/0979799007 (Vision, people, process, data, issues, traction) Presentation Zen by Reynolds http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0321525655/103-6148611-3957463?ie=UTF8&tag=garrreynoldsc-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=0321525655 During our discussion Ed mentioned Col. John Boyd the inventor of the the OODA Loop, from “Patterns of Conflict:” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OODA_loop Also, a good handbook for business model building is “Business Model Generation” by Osterwalder and Pigneur: http://www.amazon.com/Business-Model-Generation-Visionaries-Challengers/dp/0470876417/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1273510887&sr=1-4 If I had to pick one to begin with for a basic business strategic consulting engagement structure it would be “The McKinsey Engagement.” Simple, practical and clear case studies
  • The 25 Minute MBA

    1. 1. THE 25 MINUTE MBA <ul><li>How To Anchor Projects in Real Business Results </li></ul>Rohn Jay Miller | AlphaBeta LLC | June 2010
    2. 2. “ A studio is just a f***** tape recorder with a bunch of knobs --John Lennon Rule 1: Business strategy should be simple
    3. 3. VISION PEOPLE PROCESS DATA ISSUES TRACTION
    4. 4. Business plans should be 10 / 20 / 30
    5. 5. ASK THE CLIENT FOR INFORMATION
    6. 6. <ul><li>ORGANIZATION CHART </li></ul><ul><li>INITIATIVES FOR 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>SALES PRESENTATIONS </li></ul><ul><li>MARKETING COLLATERAL </li></ul><ul><li>PROCESSES + PROCEDURES </li></ul><ul><li>LIST OF TOP CLIENTS </li></ul><ul><li>MINUTES FROM MEETINGS </li></ul><ul><li>TOURS </li></ul>
    7. 7. BUSINESS ECO-SYSTEM Wow, it’s not about me…
    8. 8. Rule 3: Define the challenge as a business problem DEFINE THE BUSINESS PROBLEM
    9. 9. MAKE MONEY, REDUCE COSTS
    10. 10. Rule 4: Sell to the boss….and the boss’s boss BETTER WAYS TO SPEND
    11. 11. “ Mutually exclusive, Collectively exhaustive” MECE
    12. 12. MECE: Mutually exclusive, comprehensively encompassing
    13. 13. Frame Organize Collect Understand Synthesize
    14. 14. FRAMING + THE HYPOTHESIS
    15. 15. Don’t be afraid of modeling
    16. 16. “ A spreadsheet is just a piece of paper with a lot of macros + pie charts” --Rohn Jay Miller BUSINESS CASE = DEFENSIBLE PREMISE
    17. 17. Tell the Story TELL THE STORY
    18. 18. <ul><li>Adoption of change curve </li></ul><ul><li>+ “Crossing the chasm” </li></ul>This is where the smartest managers are
    19. 19. The Title of Every Slide Should be an Insight <ul><li>Business plans should be simple + clear </li></ul><ul><li>Save money or increase profits </li></ul><ul><li>Define the problem -- MECE </li></ul><ul><li>Ask the client for information </li></ul><ul><li>Research / Presentations / Management </li></ul><ul><li>Models are good guesses </li></ul><ul><li>Tell the Story </li></ul><ul><li>Cross the Chasm </li></ul>
    20. 20. Books <ul><li>Good to Great </li></ul><ul><li>The McKinsey Mind (+ The McKinsey Engagement) </li></ul><ul><li>The Innovators Dilemma </li></ul><ul><li>Traction </li></ul><ul><li>Presentation Zen </li></ul>
    21. 21. ROHN JAY MILLER Managing Partner AlphaBeta LLC 1801 Dupont Avenue South Minneapolis, MN 55403 +1 (612) 749-0803 [email_address] www.alphabetadesign.com

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