Expert predictions are often predictably wrong. I know owners who have set an Advisory Board agenda around an annual Blue Sky session. That is, predictably, set to be a waste of time. Still, with your money on the line, you must be thinking:
- What’s the next big thing in our industry?
- Where are the trends going?
- What action can we take now that will pay off next year, or now?
Steve Jobs seemed to know what his Apple users wanted before they wanted it. P&G has installed several new rooms in its HQ facility. An “engagement” room allows testing of prototypes. A “usability” room has an eye-tracking device. Also, the “handshake” room may speak for itself. Other rooms are set up to model an office, a living room and even a commuter train.
NCR, at its zenith in Dayton Ohio, was considered to have advanced business metrics and, that was over 100 years ago. Cash register receipts became the top statistic for retailers. Eventually, the register even gave a sales figure by the hour.
Often we overlook indicators that should be measured. We review and analyze and forget to ask: is there anything else we should be looking for? As we know, past outcomes are not a guarantee of future performance. Constantly repeating the same mistakes is, however a red flag.
Moneyball, the movie, should be required in business schools. Billy Beane, or Brad Pitt, threw out over 100 years of collective baseball wisdom by using outcome metrics, called Saber metrics. Forget a player’s batting average; look instead at his on base percentage and keep your eye on outcome stats.
The point here is that if you want to affect the future, you must try to take control of it!
About Tom Besanceney
Tom Besanceney is president of Marketplex, Inc. a public relations focused marketing, branding and social media firm he founded in 1986 after working on Wendy’s: “Where’s the Beef?” ad campaign.
Based in Cincinnati, Marketplex serves a wide variety of clients in health care, hotels, retail and non profit. Since 2005, consulting services have included the formation of Advisory Boards for privately held companies.
Active in a number of civic organizations, Besanceney’s board service includes: Downtown Cincinnati, Inc., Xavier University National Alumni Board and the Chamber of Commerce Executives of Ohio.