Are you a curious leader?

Natural curiosity is about a genuine drive to understand the unknown. Curiosity may also involve rethinking the status quo, reviewing and throwing away long-held assumptions proven false by the world we live and work in.

A curious leader is someone who does not accept everything at face value, but is driven to delve beneath the surface to gain a deep level of understanding. This trait should not be confused with skepticism. Being a curious leader implies that you don’t know the answers but is willing to explore with your followers. Many in leadership roles still perceive they must be seen as having all of the answers. Yet, possessing a healthy sense of curiosity can let a leader pursue new, different, or even previously-thought impossible initiatives. In the right business environment, this curiosity leads to experimentation which becomes the foundation of innovation.

Developing curiosity can always start with asking “Why…”, “How might…” and “What if…”.

SourceArt Pretty

 

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Applying a product development strategy to professional services

Traditionally, professional services (such as accountancy, HR, Legal or business advisory consultancies etc) have been able to grow only by selling more services that are billed by the hour. That however means more staff, which adds significant costs and keeps profit growth linear. A feasible strategy is to create a product out of the service, in which the products come about as the service becomes infused with automation, analytics, and a different monetization model. First, discover potential products by identifying opportunities for automation inside the business. Tasks that are performed frequently and require little sophistication are ideal. Next, develop and embed the products (e.g. as a software) to complement the services rendered. Lastly, monetize the products by moving away from billing hours to using a revenue model that captures the benefits through transaction-based pricing or even outcome-based pricing.

SourceHavard Business Review

Is ‘holacracy’ up to the latest hype?

In case you’re wondering, ‘holacracy’ refers to a form of self-management that confers decision power on fluid teams that put focus on roles rather than the individuals. Teams become the structure, and within the teams roles are collectively defined and assigned. Teams govern themselves but remain nested within the larger structure. Leadership in roles can vary depending on context. It is believed that such a flat organizational structure will foster flexibility, engagement, and efficiency. In reality, firms intending to utilize this concept to organize themselves shouldn’t go overboard with it. A better way to use this concept is to consider in which parts of the organization would greatly benefit from having elements of self-management where adaptability is paramount; and turning to traditional structures where reliability is vital.

Source: Havard Business Review

Here’s how to tell if you have a transformative business model

Chances are you’ll agree that Apple has revolutionized the audio device market when it introduced the iPod and iTunes. Other companies such as Uber which disrupted the taxi industry may also come to mind. What escapes the casual observer is that these companies’ success was largely achieved when the firm developed a business model that links new technology with an emerging consumer need. Christoph Loch et al believes that six features of a business model can determine whether the it is ground-breaking or not: personalized product or service, closed-loop process, asset sharing, usage-based pricing, collaborative ecosystem, and an agile and adaptive organization. The more features the business model has, the more it is likely to succeed in a big way.

Source: Havard Business Review

The rise of ‘Regtech’

Fintechs can help financial firms build capabilities that enhance client relationships, reduce costs through automation or simplification, and even facilitate regulatory compliance. It comes as no surprise that Fintechs that provide regulatory solutions, that is ‘Regtech’, have rose in prominence in recent times. One key area is in regulatory reporting. Currently, KYC and trade surveillance tasks require extensive manual efforts given the diverse sources of information. Regtech companies, deploying technologies such as natural-language processing and machine learning, can automate these processes while reducing duplication. New behavioral technologies can even analyze employee actions and provide alerts for possible noncompliance, helping banks proactively deal with any conduct issues before they arise. To find success, many Fintechs should build solutions that both minimize integration costs and enable financial firms to work alongside other industry vendors in a seamless manner. Regulators can also play a role in getting industry to adopt a technological standard.

Source: BCG Perspectives

How Domino’s Pizza found its way

Having deep insight into the nature of its business – Domino’s is not only in the pizza-making business, but also in the pizza-delivery business – led to significant effort into deceloping technology that changed how customers order (e.g. using the Domino’s app), how the firm monitors the status of orders, and how Domino’s manages its operations. What would come as a surprise to many is that nearly half of the staff at HQ works in software and analytics. Domino’s also crowd-sourced the design of its delivery van, (aka “cheese lover’s Batmobile”) with just one seat, and a warming oven with room for 80 pizzas. Today, Domino’s Pizza has more than 12,500 locations in more than 80 countries, and a share price approaching $160, which is a far cry from $8.76 back in 2010.

Source: Havard Business Review