C-Suite Intelligence 21st April 2020

Winmark's C-Suite Intelligence service providing news, content and research to help leaders across all C-Suite functions address the exceptional business planning and management challenges they are facing.

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How to streamline communication by using “super connectors”
The larger a company gets, the more difficult it is to ensure smooth communication of relevant and timely information across all organizational levels.

A team of experts explain how organisations can use “super connectors” to ensure communication channels remain open and accurate even in large companies.

  1. Empower And Activate Ambassadors: Inform and empower managers to deliver timely information. Train them on how to take key messages and to share/deploy them with confidence.
  2. Start With Electronic But Add Human Connection: Leverage employee champions to help disperse important information at their in-person meetings.
  3. Make It Easy For Them To Share Information: Super connectors typically have the ability to distribute information at scale through social media.
  4. Create A Central Line Of Communication: Identify an individual super connector in each division.
  5. Leverage Collaboration Tools.
  6. Create An Employee Portal.
  7. Shine A Spotlight On Your Supers: Find a way to spotlight your super connectors such as a "column" on your intranet or other site/channel.
  8. Leverage Their Social Media Talents
  9. Align Communication And Leadership Structure: The person responsible for corporate communication should sit on your leadership team.
  10. Prep Tailored Messaging For Each: Give tailored messaging dependent on the super connector's personality type and company function.
  11. Establish A Two-Way Communication: If you open a discussion that allows comment and interaction, recipients will be more inclined to take notice of it.
  12. Create A Task Force.
  13. Make It Personal: People are more likely to listen if they feel a connection with someone.
  14. Create And Implement A Unique Intranet.  

Read here for full details.



6 ways your business can adapt to dynamic market shifts
The word agile conjures up a way of doing business where things are a bit chaotic, but it doesn't have to be that way. Best-in-class organisations have a vision for the future, and the ability to pivot based on changing levels of demand.
Here are six ways to adapt to dynamic shifts in market conditions: 
  1. Conduct a STEEP analysis: This is an external environmental scan of social, technological, economic, ecological and political trends that could affect your business.
  2. Separate trends from hype: In order to "separate the wheat from the chaff," assign team members to stay current on emerging technologies to assess their relevance. Identify external indicators that may provide a measurement of demand (such as volume or the stock price of companies in that space).
  3. Build scenarios into your strategic plan: Scenario planning provides opportunities to weigh multiple variables and imagine various financial conditions.
  4. Develop a 6+6 budget: By using a 6+6 budget, your financial people can blend reality into a forecast. For example, 6 months into the year, use 6 months of actual data and 6 months of budget to create a working forecast (this could be done in any month, as in a 3+9).
  5. Establish a business continuity plan: In recent weeks, companies have unearthed their business continuity plans only to find them out of date. Companies need to be prepared in the event they do not have access to the internet, power, or their physical workspace.
  6. Develop contingency plans: Other market shocks may require specific course corrections. 
Developing the mindset to manage crises with better results.
Harvard Business Review
In the midst of great uncertainty, leaders across all industries are adjusting strategies and supply chains and rewriting the rules of operating, and sometimes making things up as they go. This kind of leadership demands mental agility. However, there is a challenge: our minds are not naturally built for agility.
Evolution has wired our minds for distraction, as in eons past, constant attention to a dangerous landscape helped us survive. They are also wired for empathy, as this helped us gather in groups and create communities. And they are wired for ego, the most basic mechanism of self-preservation. To adopt an agile mindset, these three hardwired settings must be managed well.
This article takes a deep look at each challenge and offers thoughts on developing this mindset and managing crises with better results.
Preparing for the “next normal” via digital manufacturing’s scaling potential
McKinsey & Company
This crisis will eventually resolve, at which point production facilities will need to move quickly to respond to new sources of supply and shifting customer demands. It is these types of pressures that make digital capabilities so critical, providing flexibility and resilience manufacturers need to mobilize and operate in unfamiliar territory.
Yet most companies that have attempted enterprise-wide “digital transformation” have failed to capture the full business opportunities available from new technologies.
New research reveals new insights into the challenges and success factors in implementing digital manufacturing at scale. A transformational approach should be based on five fundamental principles:
  • Focus on business value.
  • Transform through an integrated approach.
  • Create capabilities for deployment.
  • Scale deployment capabilities and technology.
  • Manage impact capture.
Read here for full details. 

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