NextGen: Learn to consult like an expert

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NextGen: Learn to consult like an expert

  1. 1. Note: This document was used in support of a live discussion. As such, it does not necessarily express the entirety of that discussion nor the relative emphasis of topics therein. What’s the Big Think? Structured Thinking for Impact Andrew Feinberg Chief Strategy Officer Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
  2. 2. •  Peter Orszag (Fmr. OMB Director) •  Karen Mills (SBA Administrator) •  Susan Rice (National Security Adviser, Fmr. UN Ambassador) •  R. James Woolsey, Jr (Fmr. CIA Director) •  Mitt Romney (Fmr. Governor of Massachusetts) •  Meg Whitman (eBay CEO, Senate Candidate) •  Jeff Immelt (CEO, GE) •  William Hague (Foreign Secretary, United Kingdom) •  Jim Cook (Founder, Boston Beer Works) •  Benjamin Netanyahu (Prime Minister, Israel) •  John Legend (Musician) •  And lots of other corporate CEOs YGL 2013 - 25 JULY 2013 All were indoctrinated into the problem-solving methods you are about to learn What Do the Following People Have in Common? 2
  3. 3. Why Structured Thinking Matters 3YGL 2013 - 25 JULY 2013 Move from… …Towards •  Rigorous processes•  Haphazard approaches •  Efficient and targeted effort •  Spinning your wheels •  Clearly defined questions•  Opaque and undefined problems •  Generating deep and relevant insight •  Answering the wrong question
  4. 4. Work “Smart” 4YGL 2013 - 25 JULY 2013 q  Money - 20% of people have 80% of the wealth q  Crime - 20% of criminals commit 80% of crimes q  Energy - 20% of population uses 80% of energy q  Competition - 20% of suppliers have 80% of market share q  Carpet - 20% gets 80% wear and tear  The “80 / 20 Rule”—what it is and where it comes from… 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Efficient Trying to be perfect Benefit for impact Collective responsibility to avoid
  5. 5. A Basic Approach… 5YGL 2013 - 25 JULY 2013 S Situation C Complication Q Question R Resolution
  6. 6. Gain the Necessary Context 6YGL 2013 - 25 JULY 2013 S  What is a “Situation Statement”? •  Quick background on the issue in question— the status quo •  Non-controversial (gets the collective in an ‘agreeing’ frame of mind) •  Can be compliment before tougher message •  The foundation, or the starting point, for the story Case Study: Blockbuster Video Situation •  The year is 1999 •  Since entering the movie rental business in 1985, Blockbuster has become the world’s largest retailer of home movie rental market, with: q  7,200 stores around the world q  Nearly 100% recognition with “active renters” in the U.S.  Tip of the Trade •  “Just the facts ma’am, just the facts” Sergeant Joe Friday, Dragnet
  7. 7. Case Study: Blockbuster Video •  Blockbuster is currently the world’s leading retailer of rental home movies… Complication •  Mixed financial results: q  Net income & operating income negative ‘97-’99 q  EBITDA positive •  Disruptive technologies have emerged: q  Increasing DVD adoption q  Increased broadband connectivity q  Emergence of DVRs S Frame the Problem 7YGL 2013 - 25 JULY 2013 C Activity: Take 2 minutes to collaborate with your neighbor and develop a list of sample complications…  Tip of the Trade •  The framing should make the connection between the situation and question seamless…  “So What”? Why does it matter? •  Ask yourself and your colleagues, “in what way is the current situation causing complications?” or “What is the problem we are trying to solve? •  Key change in the status quo that creates the need for problem-solving •  Can be a positive (e.g., new opportunity) or negative change (e.g., a new threat)
  8. 8. Case Study: Blockbuster Video •  Blockbuster is currently the world’s leading retailer of rental home movies… •  The company has experienced mixed financial results in an environment of emerging disruptive technologies… Question •  Are these technological changes directly impacting financial results? •  Should Blockbuster direct investments away from brick and mortar stores and towards new technologies? S C Activity: Take 2 minutes to collaborate with your neighbor and craft a question statement  Ensure Relevance •  Ensure that the question being defined is the most relevant question to the situation and complication laid out in previous steps •  Make the question specific •  Focus on what information the decision- maker needs to move forward Ask the Right Question 8YGL 2013 - 25 JULY 2013 Q  Tip of the Trade •  Don’t give in to your in-coming bias for a particular action—leverage the framework to expand your thinking
  9. 9. Question Context YGL 2013 - 25 JULY 2013 Q Question to be resolved •  Specific aims / objectives that will solve the problem Decision makers •  What audience are you addressing? •  Who needs to decide / act? Criteria and measure for success •  How would the decision maker judge a successful problem solving effort? Key forces acting on decision makers •  What are their concerns / issues around the decision Timeframe for resolution •  How quickly is the answer needed? Boundaries and constraints •  What is not under consideration or off limits Accuracy •  What level of accuracy is needed 9
  10. 10. Question Context: Blockbuster YGL 2013 - 25 JULY 2013 Q Question to be resolved •  Should Blockbuster direct investments away from brick and mortar stores and towards new technologies? Decision makers •  Global management team and Board of Directors •  Chief Strategy Officer •  Chief Technology Officer Criteria and measure for success •  Clear and compelling analysis that includes an analysis of current state of industry, future trends, and cash flow projections for proposed investment Key forces acting on decision makers •  Concerns include long-term financial viability and quarterly earnings pressure •  Analysis must clearly identify short- and long- term costs and benefits Timeframe for resolution •  An initial analysis must be completed in time for the next Board meeting 4 weeks from today Boundaries and constraints •  Company will not be able to exit VHS market for 18 months due to existing studio contracts Accuracy •  “Beyond a reasonable doubt” 10
  11. 11. Case Study: Blockbuster Video •  Blockbuster is currently the world’s leading retailer of rental home movies… •  The company has experienced mixed financial results in an environment of emerging disruptive technologies… •  Should Blockbuster direct investments towards new technologies? Resolution (Hypothesis) •  Blockbuster should shift focus from growing, expensive, brick & mortar stores to building new, more efficient technology-enabled channels S C Q Activity: Take 2 minutes to work with your neighbor and craft a resolution statement (or hypothesis) Articulate the Resolution YGL 2013 - 25 JULY 2013 R  Don’t just guess… •  Review all previous experience for analogs that might inform your hypothesis; analogs can come from: ð Your personal experience ð Prior Bureau work ð Other government agencies •  If necessary, contact subject matter experts outside of your direct network •  Test your hypothesis with colleagues before conducting deep research and analysis  Tip of the Trade •  Ensure that your hypothesis is “testable”; data should exist to prove or disprove your theory 11
  12. 12. •  Use 80 / 20 Thinking ð Avoid “boiling the ocean” or “polishing dirt” ð Acquire just enough data to sufficiently prove your point beyond a “reasonable doubt” •  Collaborate: share good ideas with the team and work together towards solutions •  Anticipate Obstacles… don’t do a Titanic •  Use experts as data / strategy sources •  Leverage your colleagues!!! Tap the creativity around you; in many cases they have thought through the problem you are trying to solve Best Practices for Analysis 12YGL 2013 - 25 JULY 2013

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