The MLC Group Responds to President Obama’s Proposal to Reshape Higher Education by Affirming Need for Strategic Planning

Press Release – Charlotte, N.C.

web 900x600 cropped IMG_4340On February 20th, The MLC Group, a strategic planning consultancy, responds to a recent article from Eric Kelderman of The Chronicle of Higher Education, reporting on President Obama’s in his 2013 State of the Union address seeking major changes in the accountability system for higher education.

The article states that “Mr. Obama laid out his broad intent to hold “colleges accountable for cost, value, and quality,” including a call to set benchmarks for affordability and student outcomes as criteria for receiving federal student financial aid. Regional and national accreditors are now the primary gatekeepers for access to those dollars.”

The article goes on to state “New benchmarks, could be incorporated into the existing accreditation system,” or created “by establishing a new, alternative system of accreditation that would provide pathways for higher-education models and colleges to receive federal student aid based on performance and results.”

Lee Connellee, President of The MLC Group, responds to this article by saying that “Higher Education is already at tremendous risk – and the added threat of losing federal funding just puts more fuel on the fire. This seems to be a time of extraordinary (potential) change in higher education. If indeed the President’s proposals come to fruition, the need for colleges and universities to have carefully developed strategies is unprecedented.”

Connellee continues, “the institutions that start thinking today about their future now will mitigate the challenges that are looming in this sector.  In particular they need to consider:

  • Their distinctive capabilities and what threats the future of rising costs and technological advancements have on those capabilities
  • New models of learning that are replacing the traditional lecture model (ie. MOOCS and other on-line opportunities)
  • High cost residential campus
  • Ongoing trends to increase percentage of non-tenured faculty relative to that of tenured faculty
  • The traditional roles of the University are being displaced by “Certification Programs” that offer more specific training and outcome based objectives.
  • The need to prepare students to both think critically and develop strong job skills, while not losing the value of a liberal arts and well rounded education.

Connellee adds, “Innovation is critical to the future of Higher Education.”  Colleges and Universities need to engage actively in strategically planning for a new future that responds to the changing needs of its students/stakeholders, leverages technology, rethinks current staffing and education program models that addresses affordability, quality and student outcomes.

“The organization that is willing to respond to the marketplace and the changing needs of its stakeholders will have a strong competitive advantage over those that remain fixed in the past.”

The MLC Group – Because business needs clarity.

The MLC Group is a new breed of hybrid management consultants who bring innovative ideas and creative thinking strategies to organizations that want to improve the way they do business. The firm specializes in delivering world class strategic planning and facilitation services to executive teams using its proprietary VSE ProcessTM. Their services are designed to bring clarity to planning for the future as well as managing the day to day.

 

 

 

The MLC Group responds to a recent article from Kurt Listug, CEO of Taylor Guitars on Shared Values & Culture

Press Release – Charlotte, NC

shutterstock_48700171-1On February 12th, The MLC Group, a strategic planning firm, responds to a recent article from Kurt Listug, CEO of Taylor Guitars in “Kurt’s Corner” Wood & Steel (winter 2013).  He reports on the 38th anniversary of the company that culture and shared values matter -  “the measure of how broadly a business embraces fairness and success for its employees, customers, vendors, the environment and its shareholders might be the best measure of success one could apply.”

In the article Listug looked back at the decisions made that led to Taylor’s growth and success. “When we were small and struggling, the decisions faced were often critical; they impacted whether we’d still be in business a few months down the road. Decisions like which bill to pay or how to sell guitars this week so we could eat the next week. Other decisions seemed equally critical to survival, and they were, but in a different way. They had more to do with what we felt would be honest and ethical business; what kind of culture we wanted to create; and how we wanted to treat others. How would we define success, and how broadly would we measure that?”

Listug contends that businesses operating out of their own self-interest and profit motive wouldn’t survive because there’s more involved in building a quality business. He states “But it seemed that I was proven wrong. I saw companies that didn’t care about their customers, or would barely give you your money’s worth, continue to stay in business and even give an appearance of prosperity. But it does matter. In fact, I believe the measure of how broadly a business embraces fairness and success for its employees, customers, vendors, the environment and its shareholders might be the best measure of success one could apply. If you look at the best companies, I think you’ll find organizations that, to the best of their ability, provide opportunity and rewarding work for their employees; treat everyone they deal with honestly and fairly; care about and safeguard the environment; and provide a good return to their shareholders. I truly believe that the more value a company can deliver to its employees, customers, vendors, shareholders and anyone else the company interacts with, the more successful that company will be.

Melanie Connellee, President of The MLC Group, responds to the article by saying that a company’s shared values are a key driver to their success.  “We see so many organizations that develop plans – but when it comes to implementation – if the organization does not have a spirit of collaboration and a greater goal that drives them to make sacrifices for the company – they are very likely to dilute the effectiveness of their plan and fail in implementing change.”

“Successful organizations are powered by their shared values.  Values perform like compass headings – they are the “way we will get there”  – how we will work together in achieving our Mission.  They act as stabilizers in a constantly changing environment.  Their power is in providing a steady driver to influence behavior and create a thriving culture for an organization.”

Connellee adds, “Shared values are a critical pillar for every organization to study and address.  Every organization has a culture whether they recognize it or not. The most successful companies will be those who identify the culture that best serves their stakeholders and works to develop and sustain its spirit and life.  Peter Drucker defines culture as “a commitment throughout an enterprise to some common objectives and common values.  Without such commitment there is no enterprise.”

“We congratulate Taylor Guitars on building a successful 38 year old enterprise that values the way they live and work together.”

The MLC Group – Because business needs clarity.

The MLC Group is a new breed of hybrid management consultants who bring innovative ideas and creative thinking strategies to organizations that want to improve the way they do business. The firm specializes in delivering world class strategic planning and facilitation services to executive teams using its proprietary VSE ProcessTM. Their services are designed to bring clarity to planning for the future as well as managing the day to day.

 

The MLC Group announces Dr. Joseph B. Mazzola has joined the firm as Chief Academic Officer.

JMazzola

Press Release:  Charlotte, NC.

Dr. Joseph B. Mazzola brings over 25 years of experience in operations, management science, and strategic planning to The MLC Group.

In addition to advising corporate and non-profit leadership in innovative business strategies, Joe works with MLC’s Higher Education clients – focusing on strategic planning for Colleges and Universities.  He brings an innovative and thoughtful focus to higher education leadership as they navigate a rapidly changing education environment.

In addition to consulting, Joe has a Ph.D in Industrial Administration (Operations Research) from Carnegie Mellon University and has served on the faculties of leading business schools such as the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC Chapel Hill, and the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. His teaching and research interests are in the areas of operations management and management science. His research has appeared in leading scholarly journals such as Management Science and Operations Research, and his research has been funded by a number of organizations, including the National Science Foundation. His current research interests include global supply chain security and resource management, operations scheduling, productivity improvement through organization and process learning, and service strategy and innovation.

Joe joined the Belk College faculty in 2008 and served as Dean of the Belk College from 2008 to 2011. He currently serves as the Belk Distinguished Professor of Business at UNC Charlotte Belk School of Business.  At Georgetown, he served as the Senior Associate Dean and the Executive Dean of Faculty in  the McDonough School and also chaired the Graduate Curriculum Committee. As a tenured faculty member in the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, Joe served as the Area Coordinator for the operations management faculty and also chaired the MBA curriculum committee. Joe was a visiting professor at INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France.

Joe’s teaching experience includes undergraduate, MBA, Executive MBA, Ph.D., and executive education courses. He particularly enjoys teaching an MBA course in service operations management, which has been well received by students at Duke, Georgetown, UNC Chapel Hill, and UNC Charlotte. Joe is co-author of the books Operations Management: Production of Goods and Services, with L. Joseph Thomas and John O. McClain and Fischtale Enterprises, with William A. Fischer.

Joe received a B.S. degree from Stony Brook University. In addition to the Ph.D. degree, he holds an M.A. degree in Mathematics from Wake Forest University. Joe is also an alumnus of the Innovation Institution of the McColl Center for Visual Art in Charlotte as well as of Leadership Charlotte.

The MLC Group Completes Strategic Planning Engagement for The Innovation Institute

suzanne vision

The MLC Group, LLC announces the successful completion of an 6-Month strategic planning engagement for the Innovation Institute, an Executive Learning and Transformational Development program of the McColl Center for the Visual Arts, based in Charlotte, NC.

 

Press Release:  Charlotte, N.C.

The MLC Group led the Strategic Planning Task Force and Board in the development of the Innovation Institute’s 2015 Strategic Plan.  They process by using creative thinking and visual thinking techniques in developing the new “2020 Vision for the Innovation Institute.” From there the formal Vision and Mission statements for the organization were formulated.

The STF identified seven primary strategic objectives to further define the achievement of the 2020 Vision as well as identify the foundational truths on which the Innovation Institute will exist and operate. These Strategic Objectives are:

  1. Thriving Infrastructure
  2. Robust Financial Health
  3. Creative and Transformational Services/Operations
  4. Passionate Teams and Culture
  5. Effective Marketing and Sales Systems
  6. Mutually Beneficial Partner/Investor Relationships
  7. The Innovation Think Tank

The Strategic Planning Process was four fold:

  1. Multiple operational Work-Sessions with the Innovation Institute Leadership, Staff as well as outside Executives in the Executive Learning Industry were facilitated by The MLC Group.  The purpose of these sessions was to understand the markets in which the Innovation Institute was currently and could potentially operate as well as gain an understanding of both the objectives, operations process and economics of the current programs.
  2. A strategic planning task force was formed to develop a formal 2020 Vision and Mission for the Innovation Institute.  Strategic Objectives, Initiatives and Tactics to achieve the Vision and Mission were identified and incorporated into the 2015 Strategic Plan. In addition, the qualifications for an Executive Director were determined and documented
  3. Stakeholder Interviews – 16 Innovation Institute Stakeholders identified by McColl Center Executive Leadership were interviewed to gain their perspective on the strengths, weaknesses, and new Vision for the future of the Innovation Institute Programs. These stakeholders included corporate leaders, non-profit leaders, Funding Partners as well as Program Artists.
  4. A New Operational Model and Financial Projections for 2014 and 2015 were developed as part of the planning process.

Upon hiring the new Executive Director, The MLC Group will continue to refine the Execution Dashboard – a tool for the Board, McColl Center President as well as the Executive Director to manage and monitor achievement of the Innovation Institute 2015 Strategic Plan.

The MLC Group – Because business needs clarity.

The MLC Group is a new breed of hybrid management consultants who bring innovative ideas and creative thinking strategies to organizations that want to improve the way they do business. The firm specializes in delivering world class strategic planning and facilitation services to executive teams using its proprietary VSE ProcessTM. Their services are designed to bring clarity to planning for the future as well as managing the day to day.

The MLC Group specializes in helping organizations solve complex issues, navigate change, plan for the future and develop strategic plans that include a clear execution strategy.

 

 

The Value of Vision in Strategic Planning

Vision Pic

“WHERE THERE IS NO VISION, THE PEOPLE PERISH.” PROVERBS 29:13

This proverb was sent from a client who had just completed a Visioning and Idea Generation Session with MLC on new lines of business for their retail enterprise. It speaks volumes about the need for an organization to understand what they are working to achieve and then continually communicate that shared purpose to their employees and other members takeholders.

FOR AN ORGANIZATION TO THRIVE:

  • Leadership needs to fully define the Vision for their organization and clearly articulate it to their stakeholders.
  • Employees need to know their job has value and contributes to a greater purpose other than simply performing tasks.
  • Teams need to know that they are working for a greater good – and they can achieve greater outcomes by working together rather than individually towards a goal.
  • Partners need to know that they have been chosen to be a part of a clearly defined initiative and the role they play in achieving it.
  • Clients and customers need to know that by engaging with this organization – certain purposes are being achieved and their partnership matters beyond the project that is shared.

The key to success of any organization is involving employees and stakeholders in the creative process of defining, developing strategy for and executing on the Vision.

Are you ready?  Let this be a year of Transformation.  In order to create, innovate and grow, it can’t be business as usual.

 

Do you have a plan to deliver on your Strategic Plan?

MLC Golf copy (Small)

Did you know…

Of all the corporate strategic plans that are completed, only 10% are implemented?  What are you doing to execute on your plan in 2013?

Here are some ways to insure you drive your Strategic Initiatives down into your organizational departments and business units and successfully implement your plan.

1. Execution Strategy

Most Strategic Plans are not implemented because they do not have an execution strategy.  This is the nuts and bolts of the planning process.  Who is going to do what, when and where?  What resources are needed?  How much is it going to cost?  A sound Strategic Plan will have a comprehensive Execution Strategy that breaks down each overall Goal for 2013 into initiatives and tactics or tasks that are assigned to a specific person, with a due date and a champion responsible for making sure its been done.

2.  Write it down.

It’s imperative that the tactics you use to achieve your Strategic Initiatives be documented.

As a result of the meetings held to develop the Execution Strategy, an Execution Dashboard should be prepared by each of your teams that defines how it will achieve the Execution Strategy discussed in 1. above.  Many meetings are held at the beginning of the year with good intentions. However, unless these tasks are written down, posted and progress tracked – its likely that the team and organization as a whole will get caught up in the issue and crisis of the day and your Strategic Initiatives go on the back burner – never to be achieved.

 3. Discuss it.

Each employee within your organization should know specifically what their responsibility is towards achieving the goals for 2013.  Each manager should take the time to discuss with their direct reports the specific tasks related to the Strategic Plan and make sure both the individuals and teams are fully equipped with the resources they need to achieve them.  Accountability meetings should be scheduled to follow up on progress and discuss issues and concerns that arise.

4.  Pivot

Expect roadblocks, expect challenges, but plan to overcome them.  Making a Strategic Plan successful means continually monitoring the environment your organization is operating in, the team, the results – and when necessary making modifications to the plan.  The Executive Team should be monitoring feedback from all their departments and business units.  When issues arise – they should be brought to the forefront immediately and discussed thoughtfully for a satisfactory solution, new direction or other resolution.

Making a Strategic Plan successful is a lot of work.  If your organization is one to implement and execute well, the benefits are tremendous and can be a huge differentiator from your competition.

 

 

 

New Strategic Planning Website Launched by The MLC Group

Today, The MLC Group, LLC, a consultancy focused on strategic planning, announces the launch of its new website. In addition to promoting its management consulting services, the site offers a blog that features the latest thinking in creativity, innovation, and strategy to help organizations envision and create a better future. Also featured is a new video about the VSE Process :

Press Release:  Charlotte, NC

On the website of The MLC Group, clients can easily find service offerings, information about MLC’s consulting team, as well as information on their proprietary VSE ProcessTM. The MLC Group has added new services including their Comprehensive Creativity Workshop that helps organizations develop a framework to incorporate innovation and creativity into their business models as well as the Accelerated Assimilation Strategy that helps new leaders of an organization learn their business quickly and develop a 90 Day Strategy.

Melanie Connellee, President of the MLC Group, said “We are excited about our new website. We think it provides a great deal of information that is of value to business leaders who desire to improve the way they do business. A new feature is the typographic video on the home page. We designed it to graphically highlight our Strategic Planning process and illustrate how we incorporate strategy and analysis with design and creativity to bring our clients the most value through our consulting services. We know creativity is an important component of organizational success – our website highlights this and how we can help organizations incorporate creativity into their daily work.”

About The MLC Group

The MLC Group are management consultants who bring innovative and creative ideas to organizations that want to improve the way they do business. They combine strategy + analysis with design + creativity to solve issues that organizations are facing. Their services are designed to bring clarity to organizations in planning for the future and as well as managing the day-to-day.

MLC’s deep experience in strategic and tactical planning, global operations, process improvement, financial management and design thinking in addition to our proprietary VSE Process™ enable them to develop and implement solutions for building high performance organizations.

The MLC Group customizes strategies to not only help solve an organizations issues and concerns, but also to help implement those strategies and achieve results.

The MLC Group – Because business needs clarity.

Strategic Planning - The MLC Group Serves the Homeless

Providing a meal and needed supplies are great ways to serve the Homeless in our communities.  The MLC Group has also lent its strategic planning skills to help.

Press Release – Charlotte, North Carolina

The MLC Group, LLC announces the successful completion of an 18-Month pro bono project for the Harvest Center, a non-profit that provides food, clothing and transitional housing to the homeless community. As volunteers who helped cook and serve meals, Melanie and Lee Connellee, founders of The MLC Group, a management consulting firm, saw a need for this growing organization to define its Vision and build a comprehensive business model to help it effectively move to a new level of service in the community.  As the Harvest Center was going through extensive leadership and governance changes, The MLC Group saw it as a strategic time to formally define and document the Organization’s Vision, Mission and Guiding Principles.  They spent 18 months meeting with the Board, Executive Leadership and the Staff of the Harvest Center, to develop a 2020 Vision and Comprehensive Strategic Plan to help achieve that Vision.

“Working with the Harvest Center over this extended period of time has been a wonderful experience, said Melanie Connellee, MLC President.  As volunteers, we saw first hand the value this organization brings to the community, knew the stories of the lives that are changed here, and we were glad to help it develop a formal organizational infrastructure that both inspired and energized the Board and Executive Team as well as gave it a detailed roadmap to achieve its new goals.”

Lee Connellee, MLC’s CEO added, “This was an extended project for several reasons.  First, the Harvest Center has been in operation for over 20 years and never had a Strategic Plan.  We had a lot of history and tradition to respect and honor while considering needed changes to help the organization move forward.  In addition, the Harvest Center was going through extensive leadership and governance changes.  We acted as a thought partner during that time – and when the new leadership was finalized, we then moved forward with a greater focus and solid teamwork.  It’s been an honor to work with the Harvest Center in this capacity.”

 Background:

On any given night in Charlotte, like most urban areas, there are thousands of people who are defined as homeless.  Hundreds are sleeping outside, under a bridge, in a park, or by an uptown office building. According to The 2012 Charlotte Point-in-Time Count, a homeless count performed annually by Charlotte Mecklenburg County, 2,567 people are homeless in our community.

The Harvest Center’s giftedness is in the area of personal transformation. Their Relational and Transformation Services provide opportunities for structure and personal growth allowing their guests lives to be transformed into ones of faith, service and productivity. They seek to operate in awareness of the other services available in the community, collaborate and partner to leverage those services, and strive to offer unique and relevant programs that enhance the overall mission of serving the homeless in Charlotte.

Services Provided by the Harvest Center

To serve the homeless in the Charlotte community, The Harvest Center began as a feeding ministry.  Since its inception it has added other Engagement Services such as a food pantry, a clothing distribution service and transitional housing.  It’s positive impact on the community is indicated in the chart above. Between 2005 and 2010, The Harvest Center served approximately 400,000 meals and distributed approximately 100,000 boxes of groceries as well as 70,000 items of clothing. Relational and Transformational Services such as Counseling, Achiever’s Class and Job Readiness programs are underway or being developed as part of this Strategic Plan.

In January 2011, Melanie Connellee andLee Connellee, of The MLC Group, offered to work with the Executive Director to facilitate a long-range strategic plan for the organization. The goal was to target the development of programs and infrastructure to support a greater Vision incorporating Relational and Transformation services in addition to the Engagement Services currently offered.  A strategic planning task force (STF) was formed to complete the plan and report regularly to the Board of Directors. The MLC Group agreed to facilitate and lead the strategic task force through a comprehensive planning process.

The STF decided that the focus moving forward should be to clearly define the Harvest Center 2020 Vision, revise and validate its Mission Statement as well as document the foundational principles on which it would operate.

In August of 2012, the Strategic Plan was completed along with an Execution Dashboard (which includes detailed goals, strategies and tactics) that the Harvest Center Board and Executive Director will begin using to implement and achieve their new Vision.

Preparing Companies for the Changing Business World

“In the first two decades of the 21st century, we will
experience more change than in the entire 20th century”

 Ray Kurzweil, MIT Inventor of the Year 1998


 Is your company prepared?

This is a huge question to ask yourself and one we ask our clients all the time.  Are you and your organization prepared for the changes you will need to make this year and the next?  We are starting a 4 part blog series on how to prepare your company for growth, innovation and the ever-changing business world.

Whether you are Google or the local gas station on the corner, innovation and collaboration are necessity in the “new” marketplace. How have you positioned your company to manage these developments? While innovation is not a new concept, it is receiving increased attention by institutions around the world. International think tanks such as the OECD* (London), KOF** (Switzerland) and the McKinsey Global Institute (Washington D.C.) are studying and attempting to measure it. Governments are holding conferences and trying to foster it. Companies are trying to embrace it through strategic planning, and new models for management and collaboration. This means the creation of new roles such as Chief Innovation Officer, Chief Strategy Officer, or Chief Collaboration Officer.

If innovation is not new, why this increased focus on the topic? Many reasons exist, but three stand out as the main drivers of the Innovation engine. The first driver is Globalization.

Driver 1. Globalization:

The world has become progressively connected through advances in information technology, communication, and transportation resulting in political, cultural, and economic convergence. We connect daily with people and companies from around the globe – sometimes without even knowing it. Because access is easy to other countries, it is increasingly simple to travel, buy, and enjoy what they have to offer. The August 2007 issue of World Trade Magazine states, “Globalization is not a choice. It is a restriction imposed by the world’s economic revolution, which will continue to accelerate in the years ahead…Globalization forces all enterprises to adopt a worldwide perspective to survive…” Bottom line: Our opportunities to interact globally have grown exponentially and so has our competition.

In Part II, we will discuss the 2nd and 3rd drivers of the Innovation Engine – Information Technology and Lifecycle.

 References:

*(OEC) Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development **(KOF) Swiss Economic Institute, Zurich

 

 

 

Growth through Innovation - Part II of IV

We’re continuing with Part II of our four part blog series on Innovation – Preparing your company for the ever-changing business environment.  There are three key drivers of the innovation engine.  We reviewed Globalization in Part I, today we’ll discuss drivers two and three – Information Technology and Lifecyle.

Driver 2: Information Technology

Knowledge is power. The rapid development of technology and our resulting accesses to information has increased dramatically. The ability of a small upstart in India to become a global powerhouse is evident in the rise of WIPRO and TATA Consulting Services as leaders in their field. Their websites scream innovation and references to “co-innovation networks”, innovation Labs, Innovation Councils, company innovation websites, and “disruptive innovation goals”. WIPRO’s statement of purpose is: “Innovation is WIPRO – WIPRO is Innovation.” Young, nimble startups open to new, forward-thinking ideas (versus reactionary) are pioneering change worldwide and posing a threat to established firms. For developing countries, this access to powerful information technology is increasing competition globally.

Driver 3:  Lifecycle

Everything has a lifespan – people, countries, organizations, and products. In order to survive and ultimately thrive, organizations need to re-create themselves to align with change in the culture, economy, and political landscape.

Advancements in information technology and manufacturing process have dramatically increased the rate of change. Organizations not open to growth and new ways of doing things will “ride the bell curve” and slowly fade into the background, such as Polaroid and its slow entry and lack of innovation in the field of photography. Polaroid filed for bankruptcy in 2001. Since 2002, digital photography has overtaken and almost eliminated film in the marketplace. A lifespan of a company that does not innovate and collaborate globally will be shortened by forward-thinking competition.

Speaking from Experience…

We have worked for many international firms and startups in our careers, all of which believed in innovation. They used terms such as:

  • World class
  • Industry/market leader
  • Instituting best practices
  • Finding a “niche” in the marketplace
  • Differentiating themselves
  • Growth through innovation

No matter what the size, each at some level was not comfortable with the status quo, wanting to think ahead of the competition and serve the client with the best product or service possible. All these companies had “innovative moments” although sustaining an “innovative mindset” was challenging.

One international firm was a world-class powerhouse (for the moment), the problem was that introducing any new idea was similar to running the 50-yard dash on an elephant. Communication was slow and management processes rigid. Getting approval to implement a new idea took time – it was potentially obsolete before one could make change happen.

Another international firm was clearly innovative in their product. The delivery system, however, was archaic. To make change in this firm required four levels of management approval. Focus got lost, risk was avoided and the ideas diluted before approval was given to implement. The final change was usually insignificant in relation to the marketplace.

A smaller start-up had innovative ideas, however, there were too many managers or chiefs and no one with specific leadership responsibility to make change. Ideas got tossed about but energy would get focused on current business problems (i.e. poor 2nd quarter numbers) and innovation would move to the sidelines.

One startup, however, did innovate well. Creative thinking was part of the Strategic Planning Process. Management was nimble and quick to listen and jump on innovative ideas. In a rapidly changing marketplace, the firm was able to navigate opportunity, make strategic (not reactionary or emotional) decisions and stay at the top of their game.

We recently spoke with a corporate executive of a $1 billion manufacturing firm, sharing with him that we had just read 400 startups in China were manufacturing a similar product. His reaction was, “China’s quality is so poor they are no threat to us.” He went on to cite a certain company, which has been sold to the Chinese, and had produced a superior quality but was now “junk”. I suggested that at present these companies were not a threat. However with India and China making up 40% of the world’s population and man’s limitless ingenuity in the face of challenge, these countries could potentially be that “disruptive innovator” down the road. He was clearly not concerned. Would you be?

In part III, we will discuss how we get in our own way on the Road to Innovation and to being prepared for the changing business climate.  The good news – there is a Proactive Solution.