On 1st January 2010, the people at the Harvard Business Review published The Decade in Management Ideas – their list of what they considered the significant management philosophies, or maybe fads, of the first decade of the millennium.
Here’s the summarised list:
- Shareholder Value as a Strategy
- IT as a Utility
- The Customer Chorus
- Enterprise Risk Management
- The Creative Organization
- Open Source
- Going Private
- Behavioural Economics
- High Potentials
- Competing on Analytics
- Reverse Innovation
I would also add:
- Web 2.0
Would you add anything, or remove something?
I agree fully with Frank Scavo about the effect of the revolving management (yet again) inside Microsoft Dynamics. I have also mentioned before that Microsoft doesn’t seem to be able to keep management in the Dynamics division, and they tend to get people without appropriate experience.
Here’s Frank’s comment:
none of the players since Doug Burgum have any experience whatsoever in enterprise applications. As I’ve said in the past, selling shrink-wrapped software–whether it be Microsoft’s or Adobe’s–is a far cry from selling enterprise applications that require months of presales team effort.
I learnt that in 2003 when I went for an interview at Microsoft South Africa for the marketing lead in the then Business Solutions division. The HR person who interviewed me obviously thought that selling ERP was like selling Office, and asked me what I considered to be uninformed questions. I didn’t get the job, which I now think was a good outcome, although at the time I was devastated – after all I had built up the JD Edwards marketing profile in South Africa, so why not Microsoft.
My marketing mentor from JDE, now a senior EMEA marketing person at an anti-virus vendor, tells me how he is struggling to get their consumer-oriented perspective to understand enterprise marketing issues.
I have become aware recently of two very different styles of partner management – from SYSPRO and Microsoft. One is collaborative and knowledgeable; the other is selfish and is poorly informed. Guess which partner?
At an informal meeting with SYSPRO, we got an assurance that they would would work with us in 2008 to get four 50+ user deals, which are a good size in this market.
The attitude at Microsoft Dynamics was to ask us to change to a NAV reseller, from AX, as it is not doing well in South Africa. A comment afterwards was that all Microsoft is interested in is having feet on the street. The fact that, as a NAV reseller, we would have to re-skill and would be up against a large incumbent, did not seem to be an issue to Microsoft.
I don’t know why Microsoft believes it can treat partners like foot soldiers in a battle. Perhaps it’s a cultural difference between a US and a South African company. I also wonder whether it’s not the old problem that US companies have about working in Africa – it’s far away and they don’t take the time and effort to get to know how business works here.
The MarketingSherpa website has published ‘5 Steps to Better Marketing Operations‘ (restricted access). It discusses the rise of Marketing Operations (MO), a field which is trying to formalise and quantify marketing, and something that I was introduced to at JD Edwards in the early 2000s. MO arose as a response to the executive view that marketing was not measurable and therefore not manageable.
The steps are:
#1. Establish a formal MO function
This means that MO is not a one-person job, and should have its own budget. It also mentions not making “the mistake of expecting immediate ROI … research shows that investments in an MO function should be viewed as a long-term investment and requires a three- to seven-year payback.”
#2. Broaden the MO scope
In order to be effective, broaden the scope of MO to cover not only the marketing department’s activities, but also interactions with the entire company.
Best practice firms included the following nine areas in their MO efforts:
o Process improvement
o Marketing IT
o Budget and finance
o Marketing intelligence, including research and analysis
o Socialization and communications within the organization to get buy-in for MO activities
o Stakeholder alignment
o Sales alignment
In addition, best practice companies also included dashboards and scorecards in their MO functions.
#3. Align MO goals with the biggest marketing challenges
o Measuring marketing ROI and demonstrating value
o Balancing marketing strategy and tactics
o Creating common goals for marketing success tied with other groups
Some companies using MO mentioned that they “practice marketing accountability (setting specific commitments, tracking and adjusting performance)” to measure and demonstrate ROI. Others said they use MO “to balance big-picture, strategic planning with day-to-day marketing execution decisions.” MO was also used to make better use of “other groups in the company who have a stake in marketing decisions.”
#4. Get buy-in from senior management and outside departments
o Integration with the sales organization to tie sales objectives with MO goals
o MO personnel having an early role with business units for product development ideas
#5. Conduct regular reviews to improve MO functions
Typical topics covered in these reviews are:
o Annual or quarterly marketing planning
o Budgeting and resource allocation
o Creative issues and brainstorming
o Education and team development
o Marketing portfolio investment evaluation
o Operations optimization
If you have never experienced MO, reading the above sounds like more marketing speak. It is definitely for larger organisations and you usually have to go through the stages of marketing accountability. At JDE, it required quite a culture in marketing to get us started, but that was the post-Y2K and -9/11 era, and marketers realised it was needed to help us survive in our jobs.
Many companies are going to find getting MO systems difficult, in the same way that HR managers struggle to justify investment in HR systems. Also, marketers are traditionally not a measurement-bound group of people, unlike sales, and therefore are likely to resist. Furthermore, few marketing managers will have a clear idea what measures to employ.
I’m not sure how many recent marketing-oriented graduates from SA universities have had the exposure to this new type of system, and whether it is generally taught at universities yet.
Which is more valuable, and easier to manage – IT or accountants? According to a post by Dennis, it seems that IT wins on both counts – in the UK at least.
Amazingly, businesses report that they are more likely to be within budget on IT investments than on accounting ones. Also, the accountants see less value in IT than business (their clients) do.
So much for the big consultants understanding IT.