Trilogy TidingsMay 2011
Where are the blind spots in your organization that are retarding growth? Be advised, those blind spots do exist. Recognize them before you turn to the market for answers.
|Blind Spots Abound
As management consultants we're usually asked either to (1) help solve a problem or (2) assess a business opportunity, sometimes both. Our corporate clients frequently believe that what's needed for either purpose is to first develop some credible information that is currently lacking. And, in the great majority of cases, the information sought has something to do with a customer's current or future view of that part of the world which is relevant to the client's economic interests.
So far so good. We dutifully craft an approach to identifying exactly what information is needed, developing it, and painting an accurate picture of the problem or opportunity of interest. In all modesty, we're very good at this process, having exercised it successfully well over one hundred times over two decades. But here's the funny thing: The ultimate solution to the problem or the valuation of the business opportunity often rests with the client's internal operations. And there is always a correlation between the degree of internal change required and the likelihood that the information we develop will fail to produce the desired result. Furthermore, the internal dynamics - whether political or simply organizational - are often clear to us at the start of the process.
I suppose it's just human nature. People have blind spots. They are inevitable. Folks think they are able and willing to accommodate just about any required change to achieve business success. But they are usually mistaken. Wishing doesn't make it so. The real impediments to success - the real problems - often exist inside an organization, not outside in the marketplace. So how are we to accommodate human nature? Quite simply. Always recognize the internal situation while you evaluate an external opportunity. Don't get too far out ahead of your ability to execute. This simple principle is the reason why we do not recommend or employ canned solutions to business problems. We always want to understand the "whys" of any prospective engagement along with the client's operational strengths and limitations before we begin. It works for us.
|Another Serious Disease on the Ropes?
Last month I told you of a potential, device-based Alzheimer's disease treatment. This month it's Parkinson's disease. In late April Medtronic announced its collaboration with Eli Lilly to develop a treatment and potential curative for the condition, a combination of Lilly's GDNF biologic and Medtronic's neuromodulation-inspired drug pump. The idea is to deliver a modified form of glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor directly to targeted regions of the brain over time, thereby circumventing the blood/brain barrier. Is it my imagination, or are more and more clever drug-delivery technologies making their appearance? Could it be that devices are rescuing drug businesses from their pessimistic outlook?