Six key takeaways from the 2015 World Healthcare Congress

Posted by Jacob Golbitz

Apr 1, 2015 2:33:00 PM

I recently attended the World Healthcare Congress (WHCC) in Washington DC. I was at the same event last year and it was interesting to see the subtle shift in priorities from just a year ago. One thing remained very much the same however: no one seems to have a clear picture of what health care in the U.S. will look like ten, or even five years from now. Everyone understands that the largest industry in the country is going through a period of disruption caused not just by, nor even primarily by, legislation, but more fundamentally by demographics and technology.

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Topics: competitive intelligence, fuld & company, strategy, M&A, market growth, CPG

The Kraft/Heinz merger changes the food value chain competitive landscape

Posted by Fuld + Company

Mar 26, 2015 3:21:00 PM

Commentary from Fuld + Company analysts.

Packaged food industry giants Kraft and Heinz recently announced that they were merging to form Kraft Heinz Co, with global revenue of about $28 billion dollars, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. This will have a major impact on the industry. We pulled together a group of Fuld + Company analysts to get their take on some of the competitive implications.

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Topics: competitive intelligence, fuld & company, strategy, M&A, market growth, CPG

How One Man Resisted the Lemmings

Posted by Leonard Fuld

Feb 24, 2015 10:00:00 AM

One JP Morgan executive's untold story of the Great Recession - and how courage and prudent risk assessment can protect a company.

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, strategy, Lenny's Corner

Building Better Barriers

Posted by Ken Sawka

Feb 2, 2015 9:30:00 AM

I hopped into a Boston cab a couple of months ago and was greeted with a sticker facing me from the Plexiglas panel that separates passenger from driver. The sticker called on regulators to clamp down on the now ubiquitous Uber and Lyft drivers that ply the streets of our fair city and implored customers to eschew such services in favor of medallioned, and regulated, taxis.

Let's see, would I pick:

A) A broken down Boston cab that may take me 30 minutes or more to hail, in which I will not know the cost of my ride until the end of the trip, and for which I will have to fumble with cash or a credit card to pay, or

B) A car I can reserve minutes in advance of my ride, with a set fare and an easy transaction over my mobile phone?

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Topics: strategy, Fuld Folk, Travel + Hospitality

An Exercise to Get Your Team Thinking Differently

Posted by Leonard Fuld

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.

Consider the experiment we recently ran with an expert panel to jump-start fresh thinking about the future. Our guinea pigs consisted of life sciences executives from big pharma, biotech entrepreneurs, and academics.

The question we asked: How might a shortage of science, technical, engineering, and math (STEM) talent affect the growth of life sciences companies? The high-speed scenario workshop involved three steps: 1) Identify key story elements or drivers of the STEM talent “story” to be explored; 2) conceive a plausible future by combining the elements; and 3) explore this future to understand its implications for their businesses.

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Topics: Harvard Business Review, Lenny's Corner

Victory, One Slice at a Time

Posted by Leonard Fuld

Jan 13, 2015 10:00:00 AM

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, strategy, Lenny's Corner

The Next Generation of Retail Healthcare

Posted by Martha Culver

Dec 17, 2014 10:00:00 AM


The healthcare industry is becoming increasingly more retail-oriented, and healthcare providers and payers must anticipate and respond to these market changes to remain successful. The trend goes beyond on-site clinics to include a number of actual and potential healthcare options in diverse retail locations.

It's easy to envision an extreme scenario in the next 5-10 years, in which discount healthcare providers have set up shop in a variety of retail centers: not just in CVS and Walgreens, but in Kohl's, Home Depot, Lowe's, Costco, BJ's, and major suburban malls. Marriott has added healthcare centers to its Marriott, Courtyard and Residence Inn properties in major cities. The scope of these healthcare centers extends far beyond the basic services of Minute Clinic and includes full check-ups, screening tests, long-term management of chronic diseases, and even minor surgery. A large portion of middle- and working-class individuals and families use these centers for most of their healthcare needs, given their convenient hours and locations, and competitive, transparent pricing.

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Topics: competitive intelligence, strategy, healthcare, Original Research, Fuld Folk

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

Posted by Leonard Fuld

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, strategy, Lenny's Corner

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

Posted by Leonard Fuld

Nov 11, 2014 10:00:00 AM

An interview 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: strategy, Lenny's Corner, Innovations

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

Posted by Leonard Fuld

Oct 21, 2014 9:30:00 AM

An interview 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: competitive intelligence, strategy, Market Share, Acquistions, Pricing Strategy, Strategically Irreverent, Mergers

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