Honest lessons from the C-Suite

Posted by Leonard Fuld on Sep 16, 2015 9:14:57 AM

How often do you get down and talk about honest mistakes and irreverent strategies with a CEO?

Over the past year I have had the privilege to interview over a half dozen former CEOs from companies the likes of JP Morgan, Corning, Harrahs/Caesar’s Casinos and Pearson. All companies with a global reach and encountering one challenge or another. I’ve collected these interviews in a special section of this website, C-Suite Candor.

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Consumer Goods, Brand Insights, Innovation, Manufacturing/Industrial, Market Analysis, New Market Entry, Scenario Analysis, Technology/Telecomm, Industry Convergence, Merger and Acquisition, Product Positioning, Competitive Strategy

The Future of Weddings: $50 billion up for grabs

Posted by Leonard Fuld on Sep 3, 2015 12:32:39 PM

Our daughter is about to be married and we look forward to this special day.

What we have not enjoyed is the process. I’ve never encountered such a complicated, messy and unsatisfying business in my entire life. When I say messy, I mean my wife and I have had to work with a tangle of over forty categories of vendors, from hotels, catering, bands, photographers, and so on.

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Consumer Goods, Brand Insights, Innovation, Market Analysis, New Market Entry, Technology/Telecomm, Travel/Hospitality, Industry Convergence, Merger and Acquisition, Competitive Strategy

Deciphering the Alphabet

Posted by Robert Flynn on Sep 3, 2015 11:42:00 AM

Google’s transformation into Alphabet, announced in early August by CEO Larry Page, is on one hand inconsequential "Page Six" news and on the other the most momentous business event of the past decade. For companies in the technology and other sectors that Google has begun to explore, it’s a wake-up call as it signals Mr. Page's intention to continue to expand his conglomerate, increasing risk for companies across numerous industries. Fortunately, knowing that objective and deciphering the implications of this announcement, allows competitors time and opportunity to adjust their competitive strategy.

The recognition that Mr. Page and Google co-founder Sergey Brin have started and nurtured numerous side businesses including cloud computing, self-driving cars, life longevity, and even satellites brings a yawn from even the most casual observer. After all Elon Musk has gained fame as CEO of Tesla Motors (cars), CEO of SpaceX (rockets), and Chairman of SolarCity (power systems). And as far back as 1878 no less a man than Thomas Edison set the standard when he created General Electric – lightbulbs, steam turbines, locomotives, radio, toasters, even ovens. The conglomerate structure of Alphabet has a long, well-established tradition.

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Consumer Goods, Brand Insights, Innovation, Market Analysis, New Market Entry, Technology/Telecomm, Industry Convergence, Merger and Acquisition, Competitive Strategy

Healthcare Industry Investors see Value in Owning Consumer Relationship

Posted by Jacob Golbitz on Aug 28, 2015 2:18:00 PM

On Monday the New York Times published a piece speculating on the next set of Unicorns, i.e., venture-backed start ups valued at $1 billion or more. An independent research firm developed the list using a proprietary "algorithm" to forecast their valuation. Not surprisingly, the list is dominated by technology companies, but a health care provider — One Medical Group — made the cut.

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Brand Insights, Innovation, Market Analysis, New Market Entry, Pharma, Healthcare, Industry Convergence, Life Sciences, Competitive Strategy

Turning Managed Care Into Engaged Care Increases Value

Posted by Jacob Golbitz on Aug 20, 2015 2:46:00 PM

Within three weeks of Aetna’s agreement to acquire Humana for $37 billion, Anthem announced its agreement to purchase Cigna for $54.2 billion. If both of these deals go through, the number of major health insurance carriers in the U.S. will drop from five to three: Aetna, Anthem and UnitedHealth Group.

As Fuld + Co.’s SVP Diane Borska pointed out, “merger mania” is often driven by an innate sense among executives that larger companies with deeper resources will be better able to navigate a changing, dynamic market than smaller competitors; i.e., bigger is better.

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Brand Insights, Innovation, Market Analysis, New Market Entry, Pharma, Healthcare, Industry Convergence, Life Sciences, Competitive Strategy

Three Approaches to a Defined Strategy Roadmap

Posted by Alexis Kuchins on Jun 17, 2015 2:02:00 PM

A few weeks ago, I attended the Association for Strategic Planning (ASP) annual conference in Tysons Corner, VA. As this was my first entrée into the organization, I was excited to increase my strategy knowledge and skills, and take advantage of the various presentations. From the keynote speakers to the individual breakout sessions one thing was clear: without a defined strategy roadmap, one’s strategy is destined for a less then optimal outcome.

So how do you know if your strategy is on the path to success? Below are three paths to drive your business toward executing a highly impactful strategy.

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Product Roadmap, Sales Force Effectiveness, Value Chain Analysis, War Games, Win/Loss/Bid Support, Events, Early Warning Monitoring, Innovation, Market Analysis, New Market Entry, Scenario Analysis, Life Cycle Management, Product Positioning

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

Ignoring a Rival's Product Launch and Baseball's Song We Fail to Hear

Posted by Leonard Fuld on Oct 24, 2013 3:50:00 PM

Alas, American baseball's season will soon come to an end. The song most recognized as this sport's national anthem is "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," sung in most stadiums midway through the seventh inning. Almost everyone knows this song's chorus but almost no one realizes that it has a back story, found in the opening stanzas of lyricist Jack Norworth's 1927 version. Those stanzas have mysteriously vanished from today's version - stanzas that tell you what motivated the heartfelt words we all know:

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, New Market Entry, Pharma, Life Cycle Management

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