Category Archives: Management

Entrepreneurship/Intrapreneurship Step 1 – Innovation & Serving Ideal Customer Communities

Step 1 – Providing Innovative Products and/or Services to Ideal Customer Communities!

What is an entrepreneur?  The entrepreneur is the person who can take a seed of an idea and create and orchestrate a new (startup) enterprise to apply the idea to serve a customer community by providing a solution to a problem the customer community has to make a profit.

A CEO is the person responsible for leading an organization to achieve business objectives, typically profitable revenue growth.  The CEO must lead his/her organization to apply their assets to bring new products and/or services to market to serve customer communities for a profit.

The only difference between an entrepreneur and an established enterprise’s CEO is the available assets, degree of focus and degree of organizational agility their respective organizations have.

We have observed that startups and enterprises wrestle with the question, “which comes first the seed of an idea or the identification of a customer communities’ problem”.

The answer is obvious when the entrepreneur or CEO is a member of the customer community, knows the customer community operation, recognizes the problem and perceives the seed of an idea that provides the solution to the problem “Necessity is the Mother of Invention”

The answer is not so obvious when the seed of an idea comes from technologists that have discovered a disruptive breakthrough in the current thought/belief framework in order to bring about improvements.  Sometimes this situation is referred to as a “solution in search of a problem”.

More often than not, even when the seed of an idea comes from a technologist, the research and development that the technologist is involved in has its roots in the scientific endeavor to form hypothesis to overcome limitations and solve a technological problem.  This includes Thought Experiments to hypothesize operational (functional) improvements to be derived.  Whether the seed of an idea and eventual invention solves the R&D problem fostering the R&D work or not, is where Necessity is the Mother of Invention may lose the thread of the logic back to a customer community to be served.  Oftentimes, the invention has multiple uses and it becomes the entrepreneur’s responsibility to identify ideal customer communities that can be served that provide economic justification for starting a new successful business.

So we are back to the fundamental (chicken or the egg) question, which comes first the seed of an idea or the identification of an ideal customer community to be served by providing a solution to their problem (a purpose).  We submit that innovation is always couched in the context of ideal customer communities ability to improve their operations.

Startups typically come from the perspective of a seed of an idea that may or may not have an ideal customer community identified, whereas established enterprises start from the perspective that they already serve one or more ideal customer communities and are looking to expand their ability to further serve their existing customer communities and/or penetrate new customer communities with the a new version of the products they make.

Either way, having a seed of an idea and not being able to identify ideal customer communities that will use your invention or product, is like the proverbial question “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

Entrepreneurs are looking to create a new highly successful business enterprise, whereas high growth established enterprises are looking for the opportunity to apply their assets to expand penetration and business expansion in serving their ideal customers.  Both are looking to serve ideal customer communities with innovative new products and grow their businesses (make a sound).

Whether you are an entrepreneur developing a new business and/or a strategic business developer of an established high-growth enterprise, your objective is to foster innovation to be able to deliver high customer value products to serve ideal customer communities.  To be able to achieve this objective requires that you perceive an innovative way (use of your product) for an ideal customer to perceive sufficient value (realize improved operations) to be willing to pay for your product such that you can earn a profit.

Program Manager

Program Manager is a senior leadership position, having the responsibility to form and lead a cross functional team to bring innovative, high-value products to market, capture market share, achieve revenue, and profitability objectives.  The Program Manager identifies ideal customer industries, understands the customer needs, and aligns and drives the entire organization to deliver against the promise to optimize the customer experience.

Key success factors include:

  • Focus on ideal customer industries
  • Know the customer’s requirements
  • Forming cross-functional team with the charter to fulfill the customer’s requirements.  Where cross functional team Includes: Engineering, Manufacturing, Distribution, Marketing, Sales, Service and Admin
  • Driving the cross functional team to deliver against the charter to optimize the customer experience
  • Continuous monitoring of product market acceptance, taking corrective action as needed
  • Involving senior management in high visibility opportunities
  • Regular periodic reporting to senior management on the Program’s successes/failures, difficulties and next steps

Program Manager – once the organization has agreed to serve a customer community, the Program is chartered (operational plan developed and resource allocated), and then, the Program Manager takes on the responsibility for delivering the strategic objectives and operational goals.

Given these challenges, in order for a Program Manager to be successful, requires that the person:

1)    Owns the Vision and Program Execution Success, is the go-to-person who makes things happen… “The Buck Stops Here”

2)    Has the expertise to lead the cross-functional team in assigning stakeholders, gaining ownership to responsibilities, knowing team interdependencies, and committing to achieving the Program Vision and Execution Goals

3)    Has the following skills sets: excellent cross functional team member selection, team building, execution monitoring, root-cause analysis, corrective action, coaching/mentoring/training and communications

Hardcopy Version
If you would like to know more about our Program Manager coaching, mentoring, training and staff augmentation services, call us at (720) 352-3407 or email us at mailto:ProgramMgr@prismbusdev.com.

Trusted Advisor Business Consultant

Trusted Advisor is an Interpersonal Relationship Role

A Trusted Advisor is a person that is recognized by another person as an individual that they can share a situation, their interpretation of the facts and conclusions they have reached with, and expect a critique of their thought process, recommendations for other alternatives to consider and/or confirmation that they have reached a sound conclusion. The Trusted Advisor is a sounding board which has proven to a critical thinker capable of assisting others in making better decisions. The Trusted Advisor is considered someone worth listening to provide good common sense advice. The Trusted Advisor is expected to apply their experience, knowledge, skills to provide insight as to the handling of challenges others face. The person putting trust in the Trusted Advisor is in effect transferring some responsibility for making a decision to the thought process of the Trusted Advisor. Therefore, the Trusted Advisor is sharing in the responsibility for drawing the conclusion and making the decision. Typically the Trusted Advisor has set the expectation of the consequences of the decision. If the consequences do not occur, the trust level is diminished. Therefore, the Trusted Advisor takes on the responsibility to watch over the situation to ensure that the desired outcomes occur and any promised benefit derived. When the situation requires others to perform in order to derive the consequences and benefits, oftentimes the Trusted Advisor becomes a cross-functional team Program Manager to shepherd the team to stay focused in order achieve the desired outcomes. The Trusted Advisor is not only responsible for assisting in making right decisions, but may, also be responsible to see that the decision implementation is executed correctly. The Trusted Advisor’s delivering promised consequences and benefits, is the final proof that as their role as Trusted Advisor can be relied upon to deliver results.

Sales professionals that take on the role of Trusted Advisor state that they are “Business Consultants” and not product/service providers and/or Sales Representatives and/or Sales Engineers etc. Trusted Advisor Business Consultants approach sales situations by first doing a great deal of homework about their customers in terms of their industry situation, business model, mission, values and vision in order to frame how best to evaluate the customer’s situation and making recommendations as to courses of action. Furthermore, Trusted Advisors invest in getting to know the customer’s organization, strengths and weaknesses. As Trusted Advisor Program Managers they keep the implementation team focused on delivering the results. The Trusted Advisor is like a Program Manager, taking on the execution management for the entire life cycle of an Initiative.

Trusted Advisor Business Consultants help their customers perceive their needs and envision solutions. It has been shown that on average 80% of the time managers have not perceived that they have a solvable problem and believe that they must just live with the situation. This is especially true when the Trusted Advisor Business Consultant is introducing innovative new capabilities, simply because people are not yet aware of the capabilities and positive impact they may have on their organization’s situation. Once capabilities and the benefits are well known in the marketplace, the customer is already exploring the market for providers to satisfy their need therefore, the Trusted Advisor Business Consultant has higher customer value at early stages of technology advancements etc. The Trusted Advisor Business Consultant provides the highest customer value when company executives are struggling with ways to improve operations in order to move their organization towards achieving their mission and vision.

If you are a provider of innovative technology wishing to make major sales with high margins, please email us or give us a call to learn more about having your sales professionals become Trusted Advisor Business Consultants Trusted-Advisor-Business-Consultants@prismbusdev.com (720) 352-3407.

How to Stop Wasting Your Human Capital


How to Stop Wasting Your Human Capital (via CFO.com)

People | January 18, 2013 | CFO.com | US At most organizations, human capital is woefully underutilized. In the aggregate, that mismanagement leaves billions of dollars on the table in expenses that could have been saved and lost profits that could have been reinvested. In short, our return on people…

Prism Business Development – Human Resource Management Experts:

  • Enterprise Architecture
  • Strategic & Operational Planning
  • Business Process Engineering & Improvement
  • Personality Profile & Job Requirements Management
  • Initiative Program Management
  • Change Management & Internal/External Solutions Concept Selling
  • Management By Objectives
  • Six Sigma – Root Cause Analysis & Closed Loop Corrective Action Management

For additional information contact Prism Business Development HumanCapital@prismbusdev.com