Tag Archives: advice

How Scenario Planning Aids Our Decisions

Note: This post applies to both (a) business planning and the firm’s flexibility to change as needed and (b) personal planning and YOUR flexibility to change as necessary. In either case, we must be able to adapt to an uncertain future.

Scenario planning involves planning for the future by understanding that different marketplace outcomes may occur in response to any strategy and that each possible marketplace outcome must be planned for to avoid the worst case scenario.

Here’s a simple example: Suppose that a major soda company introduces a new non-carbonated cola beverage into the marketplace. These are just a few scenarios that are possible:

  • The sales of the new beverage meet expectations and do not cannibalize the sales of other company products. Overall company revenues and profit rise.
  • The sales of the new beverage meet expectations, but slightly cannibalize the sales of other company products. Overall company revenues and profits rise slightly.
  • The sales of the new beverage meet expectations, but greatly cannibalize the sales of other company products. Overall company revenues stay the same, and profits fall somewhat due to the investment in the new item.
  • The sales of the new beverage do not meet expectations and do not cannibalize the sales of other company products. Overall company revenues rise very little, and profits fall a lot due to the investment in the new item.

The premise of scenario planning is to anticipate the possibility of each of these outcomes occurring and have in place a pre-planned framework (contingency plan) to deal with each scenario.

Recently, Shardul Phadnis, Chris Caplice, and Yossi Sheffi wrote an article for the MIT Soan Management Review titled “How Scenario Planning Influences Strategic Decisions.” The authors reached three major conclusions:

  1. The use of multiple scenarios is not necessarily an antidote for overconfidence. One should not assume that simply using multiple scenarios to evaluate a long-range decision will help alleviate the negative effects of decision makers’ overconfidence in their own judgment.”
  2. Scenarios influence judgment — and their content matters. More than half the judgments in our studies changed after single-scenario evaluations. Scenario users became more favorable of investing in an element — either by increasing confidence in their original recommendation to invest, decreasing confidence in their original recommendation to not invest, or changing their recommendation to favor the investment — when they found the element useful in a scenario.”
  3. “The use of multiple scenarios can nudge executives towards more flexible strategies. Executives often choose strategies optimized for a particular environment. While such strategies may perform well in the environment envisioned at the time of their implementation, they may not be easily adaptable to new opportunities or in response to unexpected threats.  Under such circumstances, evaluating strategic decisions using multiple scenarios can help executives appreciate the importance of choosing more flexible assets or approaches — even if doing so is not the most optimal choice for present-day conditions.”

Click the image to access the article.

 

 

How to Be More Self-Confident and Motivated

Click the image below to download the FREE book Personal Confidence & Motivation from MTD Training. [Note: A simple login is required. Select working as your option.]

“Do you have the self-belief and confidence to make a difference? Do you ‘just know’ that you’ll succeed no matter what? Do you know what motivates and gets you going? And do you know how to tap into the motivations of other people? In this book, you’ll find the answers to all of these questions and much more besides! You’ll understand how to build your own confidence levels and how to generate confidence in an instant. You’ll then move onto the topic of motivation and you’ll be able to really understand this area of personal development.”

 

 

Do Better in Your Professional Networking

If you are not heavily involved in professional networking, you are probably doing yourself — and your career — a disservice.

Consider these observations from Lindsay Kolowich, writing for HubSpot:

“When done right, networking is an incredibly valuable investment of every professional’s time and effort. It helps us make meaningful business connections, get feedback, and advance our careers. And best of all, it pays significant dividends over time. So why does it seem so unpleasant sometimes? It can feel fake, it’s exhausting, and frankly, standing alone in a sea of unknown faces with nametags and cheese plates can be utterly painful.”

According to Kolowich, here are common networking mistakes that people make:

  • “You’re waiting to build your network until you need it most.”
  • “You aren’t keeping up your personal brand.”
  • “You’re afraid to attend networking events by yourself.”
  • “You don’t follow up with personal messages.”
  • “You ask the same questions everyone else is asking.”
  • “You dominate networking conversations.”
  • You’re overeager.”
  • You don’t venture outside your existing network.”
  • “You don’t ask for anything, or you ask for too much.”

Click the image to read a lot more.


 

Be a Star in Your Job Search

You probably know that first impressions matter; that’s why you learned to look people in the eye and firmly shake their hands. But the art of successfully interviewing for a job is probably not something that you discussed over the dinner table. Just because you got in the door to interview for a job opportunity and put on a suit doesn’t mean that you’re a shoo-in for a job. There’s an art to a successful interview. Unfortunately, not knowing what to do during this crucial time make the difference in landing the job of your dreams.

Perhaps you know some of what it takes to successfully interview. You’ve likely done a little research on the company—but have you plotted out how you’re going to get to the location? How about questions: Sure, you might meet a human resources contact, but do you have the names of every other person who will be in the room? It never hurts to think through, practice, and make all the right steps in a job interview, and this graphic by Aiken Cloud can help.
 

 

In Today’s Competitive World, Targeted Ads Are a Must Globally

Unlike in the past when firms could use universal themes in their ads around the globe, with just minor changes, today, companies need to use a more tailored approach in the face of stiff competition.

As an example, KFC has really stepped up its advertising strategy — and not just in the United States. Here are a selection of tailored ads from around the world. We feature YouTube ads from SEVEN countries here.

From the USA YouTube Channel: There is now an “extra crispy” Colonel Sanders played by actor George Hamilton, known for his perpetual tan.

From the India YouTube ChannelThe new limited edition KFC Watt A Box will not only fill you up but also your smartphone.

From the UK and Ireland YouTube Channel: KFC Rollerskater — Bring home the weekend with KFC.

From the South Africa YouTube Channel: Through #‎TasteGuarantee, KFC is making sure that customers are happy and satisfied with every meal, and continue to get the great tasting food you know and love!

From the Hong Kong YouTube Channel: “Finger Lickin’ Good Edible Nail Polish.” [This ad is in Chinese.]

From the Philippines YouTube Channel: For those preferring hot tasting chicken, KFC Hot Shots is getting customers all fired up! 

From the Thailand YouTube Channel: The legend is back by popular demand — KFC crispy chicken Chilliwack, cheese, onions, peppers, dark burn. [This ad is in Thai.]

 

Are You Trapped in a Bad Career? Here Are Tips!

We all aspire to great careers — with jobs that we find fulfilling, that have cooperative workmates, that have bosses who respect us and our abilities, that have the potential for upward mobility, and that compensate us fairly.

So, happens when our career goals are not being fulfilled?

Here are some observations from By J.T. O’Donnell, Founder and CEO, CareerHMO.com — writing for Inc.:

Step 1: Get clear on your pivot. You need to choose a new career direction based on the facts. What problems do you want to solve? What skills do you want to leverage? How do you want to provide value to an employer?  The more specific you can be about your new career direction, the easier it will be to connect the dots and get a new job doing what you want.” [Click the preceding link to access a free quiz.]

Step 2: Create an ‘interview bucket list.’ A targeted, proactive job search always produces better results. When you identify the companies you would most like to work for, you can build a job search plan that lets you work smarter.” [Click the preceding link to access interview bucket list tips.]

Step 3: Make new career friends. It still holds true that 80 percent of all jobs are obtained via referral. If you are changing careers, you need to meet people who are working for the companies on your interview bucket list.”

Step 4: Seek a ‘lily pad’ job. Getting a job at a company that has the kind of career opportunities you want to move into might start with you doing something for them that leverages the skills you gained in the career you’re trying to get out of. Once you’ve got your foot in the door, you can use your professional savvy to impress the employer into giving you a shot at doing what you really want to do.”

 
Click the image to read tips from O’Donnell regarding each of the above steps.

CREDIT: Getty Images

 

Part Three. Quotable Advice About Being Happier

To round out our three-part series on being happier, we offer the wisdom of Poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nobel Peace Prize Winner Nelson Mandela, Holocaust Victim Anne Frank, and Former U.S. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. The wisdom expressed below is part of the UN’s Annual Day of Happiness.

To access our first two parts on happiness, click these links: “Part One. An Infographic on Being Happier in Life” and Part Two. An Infographic on Being Happier at Work”.