Leonard Fuld

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How One Man Resisted the Lemmings

Posted by Leonard Fuld on Feb 24, 2015 10:00:00 AM

An interview and discussion with Edward Giera, former managing director at JP Morgan

Throughout the Great Recession, you no doubt heard all too many stories about mortgage-backed securities, subprime mortgages and rampant greed. You read about, and perhaps were a victim of, very short-term, short-sighted and high-risk moves by financial firms around the world. This is a different story – a high-wire story of a high-profile executive who resisted the intense pressure of the moment and made a critical against-the-grain decision based on experience, guts and rigorous market analysis.

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Sales Force Effectiveness, Financial Services

An Exercise to Get Your Team Thinking Differently

Posted by Leonard Fuld on Jan 23, 2015 11:00:00 AM
Source: Harvard Business Review

Thinking about the future is hard, mainly because we are glued to the present. Daniel Kahneman, the Nobel Prize-winning economist and author of Thinking, Fast and Slow, observed that decision makers get stuck in a memory loop and can only predict the future as a reflection of the past. He labels this dynamic the “narrative fallacy” – you see the future as merely a slight variation on yesterday’s news. A way around this fallacy, we’ve found, is a speed-dating version of scenario planning, one that takes hours rather than months.

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Topics: Innovation, Technology/Telecomm, Life Cycle Management, Life Sciences

Victory, One Slice at a Time

Posted by Leonard Fuld on Jan 13, 2015 10:00:00 AM

An interview and discussion with David Norton, former CMO of Harrah's and Caesars casinos

Read a story about the CMO of one of the world's largest casinos and how he won back a piece of a very competitive market during difficult times. See how David Norton discarded much of the same-old, same-old way of competing in favor of analytics.

C-Suite executives like to think “big.” But what if big is not the solution? What if the blockbuster drug, the industry-shaping iPhone is not a reality for you, your company and its circumstances? What if the market turns, trashing your payday plans? That is when you need to think incrementally, according to David Norton, former CMO of Harrah’s and Caesars casinos.

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Early Warning Monitoring, Market Analysis

Are Short CEO Tenures the Reason Companies Don't See Industry Disruptions Coming?

Posted by Leonard Fuld on Dec 2, 2014 10:00:00 AM

Organizations are not allowing CEOs to fulfill a big part of their mission: To help their firms avoid major long-term disruptions and potentially catastrophic failure. The key to fixing this problem is to ensure CEOs integrate the long-term plan into everyday operations, as well as give CEOs a long-enough tenure to execute their plans.

As it stands today, why should CEOs in many instances with an average tenure of half dozen years spend their time on multi-decade challenges that far exceed their stewardship?

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Early Warning Monitoring, Scenario Analysis

Ignore Dogma...Often It's Better To Go With Your Gut

Posted by Leonard Fuld on Nov 11, 2014 10:00:00 AM

An interview and discussion with Dave Senay, President and CEO of FleishmanHillard

Dave Senay is President and CEO of FleishmanHillard, one of the world's oldest and best known public relations and communications agencies. PRWeek named the firm the 2014 Global Agency of the Year award and Dave the PR Professional of the Year. When I first met him over a decade ago, he had begun to transform FleishmanHillard from a traditional public relations firm into a far broader communications company. He began by ignoring the conventional rules that PR agencies typically followed. For instance, rather than simply compile news feeds for his clients, he wanted to apply competitive intelligence to help his clients better anticipate competitive threats and opportunities. He wanted FleishmanHillard to serve his clients by informing them ahead of the market, not just reacting to events.

Knowing that Dave enjoyed the role of iconoclast, I asked him this time around – over a decade later – what strategic rules need challenging? He immediately attacked strategy models and consulting dogma.

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Topics: Product Roadmap, Innovation

Sometimes Being First-To-Market Is The Last Thing You Want!

Posted by Leonard Fuld on Oct 21, 2014 9:30:00 AM

An interview and discussion with Will Ethridge, former CEO of Pearson Education North America

For many CEOs, driving their companies to be first-to-market is at the center of their strategy – and for good reason. According to innovation guru and Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen in his groundbreaking book, The Innovator's Dilemma, first movers in new or emerging markets have a distinct advantage over their rivals. Will Ethridge, former CEO of Pearson Education North America, a global education services company, appreciates Christensen's concepts but disagrees – at least in part – with Christensen's almost unconditional view of first mover advantage.

"I often believe it is useful being first-to-market  when it works  because you're ahead of the market," says Ethridge. "However, in certain circumstances it's often better to be second or third to market."

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Topics: Market Analysis, New Market Entry, Scenario Analysis, Life Cycle Management

Throw out market share!

Posted by Leonard Fuld on Sep 30, 2014 11:16:00 AM

An interview and discussion with Pat O'Keefe, former CEO of Watts Water Technologies

“I believe market share drives very little. Because five times in my career I got to buy the competitor, and in every case my management team overestimated our market share and their team overestimated their market share. Everyone overestimates their share. I am a harsh critic of market share.”

Those are the words of a plain-spoken Pat O’Keefe, retired CEO of Watts Water Technologies, who spent a decade growing his company through smart acquisitions and pricing strategy. Today Watts has net sales totaling more than $1.4 billion.

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Topics: Product Roadmap, Value Chain Analysis, Brand Insights, Market Analysis

CEOs, Get to Know Your Rivals

Posted by Leonard Fuld on Jul 25, 2014 12:25:00 PM

Source: Harvard Business Review

In an interview, Cisco CEO John Chambers once remarked on his intimate knowledge of rival CEOs. He claimed that based on this insight he could anticipate their market moves one or even two steps in advance. I thought he might be exaggerating, making good copy but lacking substance.

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Brand Insights, Early Warning Monitoring, Technology/Telecomm

The BIG Leap (Part 2 of 2): What's Next for Life Sciences If Big Data Dominates the World?

Posted by Leonard Fuld on Jun 12, 2014 9:00:00 AM


Imagine a future world in which technology companies would come to the rescue of the traditional life sciences industry. A world dominated by Big Data companies, such as Google, rather than a world of firms that live with lab benches and test tubes. A world like this might produce a highly efficient and cost-effective life sciences industry where virtual talent could easily supplant large supplies of scientists married to one location.

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Topics: Product Roadmap, Innovation, Pharma, Scenario Analysis, Life Sciences

The BIG Leap (Part 1 of 2): Will Tech Companies Replace Traditional Life Sciences Incumbents?

Posted by Leonard Fuld on May 20, 2014 8:00:00 AM


In a scenario planning discussion with life sciences experts from MIT, Big Pharma, and biotech entrepreneurs, we facilitated a number of future stories focusing on the availability of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) talent. Scenario planning helps an organization envision a future very different from the present and develop concrete strategies that anticipate and prepare an organization for a change in future market and competitive conditions.

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Topics: Innovation, Pharma, Life Sciences

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