We all know Snapchat, the app that displays a picture (snap) taken with a mobile phone. The sender can choose for how long — between 1 and 10 seconds — the receiver can view the image. After the selected time frame, the snap disappears from the recipient’s screen unless he or she had enough time to take a screenshot. Snapchat is popular among young people because the sender has better control of where the picture ends up since it’s difficult to copy the image and share it on other social networks.Read More »Snap’s IPO
In my last blog, “Abdicate from the CEO Position,” I discussed the importance of preparing for the replacement of the CEO in an owner-led business. If you are the principal owner and CEO, you need to understand deeply why a replacement is beneficial for the company and be clear about what you expect from the new CEO.
However, for you, the most important question to answer is, how the change will affect you – personally and professionally. What should you do after you, as the principal owner (perhaps also the founder of the company) resign from the CEO role? What do yo love to do? Playing golf full-time is usually not challenging enough for an entrepreneur. In order to give you sufficient time to prepare for your resignation, you need to determine when the replacement should take place. A decision to resign has to mature, and that takes time.
Resigning from the CEO role is a vital decision when you are the principal owner of the company. You must accept the handover to an outsider of not only the control of the business but also your life’s creation and the management of the family fortune. I have, for example, met family business owners, and entrepreneurs, who had their entire lifelong savings in only one share, i.e., in the stock of their company.
To step down from the top position of a business is complicated and will need time for those concerned to process, accept, and enforce. A prerequisite for the successful exchange of the CEO is the understanding, trust, and respect from all parties involved. All shareholders, the board of directors and the top tier management need to be aligned. It is even more challenging when the resigning CEO also is a principal owner and perhaps the founder of the company. It requires rigorous mental, emotional, and practical preparations that take time. It is a life-changing decision, and it’s hard to see all the future implications fully. One of the most important matters is finding out what to do next.
I have, as a venture capitalist and adviser, worked with a large number of privately-owned companies. A typical task for a venture capital investor in an entrepreneurial, owner-led company is to drive the professional and personal development of key people and, in parallel, carry through needed replacements of top tier managers. I will in this blog post share my experiences of the replacement of the CEO in owner-led companies.
In my previous blog post “Recommend to a friend”, I brought up the background to the measurement of customer loyalty with the Net Promoter Score, NPS . The method is easy to use and popular among commercial companies as well as in the public sector. But, all methods based on a relatively simple model has its weaknesses. In this post, I am sharing reflections and some criticism of the NPS approach.
To own a company, operate on a Board of Directors or have a senior position in a business is a complex and exciting task. To… Read More »Best wished for Christmas and a relaxing holiday
Early in my career, as an engineer at Gambro (a Swedish medtech company), I was taught a simple method for expressing the core of the benefits of an offering to a client. The method requires the use of only a verb and a noun to explain what the customer needs.
For example, if you manufacture pencils, the “verb + noun” description is “make mark,” or if you manufacture jewelry and tie clips, the expression is “hold tie.” It is obvious that the business, market, and competitors will be completely different if you provide a solution to “make a mark” or “hold a tie” versus offering a pencil or a tie clip.
Today, there are three questions that all boards and management must ask themselves. They are:
- In what business are we?
- Who are our new competitors?
- How can we attract and retain talent?
I have in two previous blog posts addressed the first two questions. In this post, I share my views on the challenge of attracting and retaining creative talents.
The ability to attract creative and innovative employees today is as important as access to raw materials is to steelworks or paper mills, for example.
The commercial market battles will be determined by companies that can recruit and retain the very best people in all professional functions. Creativity and innovation are paramount to the success of a company. These companies develop superior and smarter products/services than competitors do.
There are currently three questions that all corporate boards and managements have to ask themselves:
- In what business are we?
- Who are our new competitors?
- How can we attract and retain talented people?
In my previous blog post I addressed the question: “In What business are we?“. The answer is vital input when positioning the company and its businesses. I highlighted the necessity, in the strategic business development, to make a thoroughgoing analysis of the business (industry) in which the company operates.
When making the business analysis, we need to drill down and deeply understand the “problems” that the company’s products aim to solve for the customer, i.e., the core benefits.
The chosen market position will, in turn, determine which products to be developed and what competition the company will meet. In this blog, I deal with the second question, namely the challenge to grasp who are the company’s competitors – particularly new, unexpected competitors. In an upcoming post, I will address the third question to give my view of the challenge of attracting talents to our businesses.