Florian Krueger

Posts Tagged ‘CEO’

Buzz Alarm – Hype Notice – Social CRM – Truth or Fiction?

In 2.0, CRM, Management on October 30, 2009 at 9:21 pm

First of all THANKS. Thanks to the SugarCRM guys and Larry Augustin, for hosting an open-source-community event and for inviting people with real nice catering and the lot, at a time where many old-school companies wouldn’t even want to pay for a cup of coffee.

Larry Augustin & Florian Krueger

Well, hang on – maybe it is not despite the fact that SugarCRM has an open-source community -that they can afford things like that- but because of it? Maybe open-source is simply the model of the future?
I’m convinced that this is the case. IP is no property any longer, but a commodity, same as information and air. Restrictions on IP are ridiculous. Innovation combined with flexibility and the ability to implement changes will be the differentiators between failure and success in the future.
Well now the chief concern officers will say, how can you innovate, if you are lacking the funding which was formerly generated by selling your IP?

Obviously you can’t. At least you can’t in the traditional way. You need to rethink and reinvent your business model.

Why? Because you are already making less profit and profits will go down furthermore. Funding is not always clear, but as innovation is more and more outsourced to the customers, or the communities which you operate, manage or contribute to, the entire business model is shifting. A company which has earned money before through, say subscriptions might find itself managing communities of people that share some interests. Obviously this will again not only change the revenue stream, or the value chain, this will force the company to reinvent itself.

All right now Florian, all this and not one word on social CRM? Wroooong…. All this was on social CRM, or whatever you want to call it. Social CRM, CRM2.0, or Social Media Management in the context with customer relations is all about the dear old Trinity of People, Processes and Technology – with one slight difference: People are now really in the beginning and everywhere until the end. Processes don’t need to be described only, or automated. Processes need to be so sophisticated that they can self adjust through the right measure of real-time web applications or other sophisticated BI tools. Without -as SugarCRM calls them- “Cloudconnectors” a CRM is not worth the energy required for switching the server on. Other than that, Technology can do what you can dream. Therefore the only question is: can you still dream?

…and the reality is, Processes need to support people in a holistic, immediate, proactive and such a wonderful way that your customers will stick with you. Then it’s not about what you are charging anymore, but about what kind of feeling and emotions your company is able to transport and to co-create.
This is something you can only influence when you see the full picture. People long for business friendships, they long for someone who knows them and with whom they can share their thoughts. Without the ability to dig into the networks and to establish that social competence, a CRM looses any right to exist. It can support your old school model for a couple of years, but due to its misconception, it will lead you down a road without return. When you wake up, you will look around and notice that you have slept one year too long.

I can’t tell you how curious I am, how this thinking will be adopted by the average CEO, who either is a lawyer, chemist, mathematician or has a degree in engineering. This has nothing to do with clear, well defined processes anymore. It must be comparable to the experience one has when he steps out of his Maybach and now has to win a bull-riding competition. SocialCRM IMHO is just the dawning of a new set of integrated tools forming Mash-Ups in the Cloud and helping us, as customers to manage ourselves. We will find the products we are interested in and we as customers will judge and decide whom we want to deal with. It is the ultimate democracy and Graham Hill was right comparing it in its importance with the era of enlightenment itself.

So to conclude, this is a first glimpse at the future therefore it is fiction, but it is so close to becoming reality that you can call it truth.
To be continued…

Review Your Calculus of Cost

In 2.0, Management on August 7, 2009 at 9:08 am

As recently as a year or so ago, much of management’s attention was trained on growth and how to generate sustained performance over the long term.  In some cases, cost control took a back seat, with cost patterns masked by year-over-year increases in the top line.  In the 2009 economy, however, cost management is again front and centre, critical to short-term recovery and long-term success.

Companies must now focus on cost control, and that presents an opportunity to tune the business to today’s economic realities.  But we cannot cost-cut our way to renewed prosperity, and how we handle cost control today may well determine how fast prosperity returns.  The challenge is to measure accurately the corporation’s complex array of costs, understand their drivers and patterns, and control them in ways that won’t restrict the company on the way up as markets strengthen and growth returns to the agenda.

Now is the time to review your calculus of cost, the science and strategy of effective and forward-looking cost management.  Below are nine questions CEOs and their executives teams should be asking now – and regularly – about costs.  And as you ask them, keep in mind the overarching question: how complete, accurate and informative are our cost measurements to begin with?

1.   What is the exact cost of doing business with each of our customers?
2.   Are we losing business by causing unnecessary costs for our customers, or taxing ourselves by generating unnecessary costs for our suppliers?
3.   Do we still have the right mix of evaluation criteria in our investment and programme management decisions?
4.   Do we build ‘optionality’ into our major investment decisions of all kinds?
5.   Are we managing our talent cost in ways that maintain business capability and employee engagement?
6.   What categories of our expense do not move in concert with revenue, and why?
7.   What should we simply stop doing?
8.   Are we exploiting the learning curve to drive down unit and project costs?
9.   Can we use our cost performance as a differentiator or competitive weapon?

To manage costs well they must be examined in a methodical, objective and data-driven manner.  Anticipatory and analytical cost management works no matter where you are in the business cycle.

This is an extract from our Boardroom Imperative Review your Calculus of Cost.  A copy of the full document can be downloaded from our website.

Ok, so I am a German and nothing in Deutsch?

In 2.0, Common Sense, IT on July 2, 2009 at 6:32 pm

Falsch, natuerlich lasse ich es mir nicht entgehen auch meinen Senf auf deutsch dazuzugeben. Immerhin beschraenkt sich das Blog ja nicht auf meinen Wohnort und der ist momentan ohnehin im Flieger.

Was treibt mich um und warum ist das was ich schreibe fuer den Leser potentiell relevant? Well, gar nicht, wenn der Leser kein CEO, CIO, COO, CTO, oder sonstwie im gehobenen Management ist, weil ich es selbst bei groesster Selbstbeherrschung nicht schaffe beim Bullshit Bingo nicht mitzuspielen.

Der Bereich in dem ich micht bewege liegt irgendwo im nirgendwo, naemlich genau zwischen dem “Business” und der “IT”. Auf der einen Seite haben wir CEO’s, welche der Meinung sind, dass heute technisch ohnehin alles moeglich ist und die auch nicht davor zurueckschrecken, den Scope nach 50% der Projeklaufzeit um 180 Grad zu drehen und auf der anderen Seite haben wir CIO’s, welche nach einer erfolgreichen 20-jaehrigen Laufbahn in der IT und deren Management wissen, dass Sie ohnehin die besseren CEO’s waeren und die Notwendigkeiten des “Business” viel besser beurteilen koennen, als ebendiese…

Das lieber Leser, ist ein Problem von dem ich glaube, dass es so alt ist wie die Menschheit selbst. Fremdbild und Selbstbild sind seltenst 100% identisch und koennen es auch nicht sein. Ich denke der Weise erkennt seine Fehler und laesst sich helfen. Hilfe muss auch nicht immer von einem Berater wie mir kommen, oftmals reichen Freunde (Keine Freibiergesichter, sondern FREUNDE), oder noch besser Familie vollkommen aus.

Ich habe mir mal den Spass gemacht letztes Jahr ein sogenanntes “Common Sense Reference Model” zu basteln, in welchem bei saemtlichen Entscheidungsprozesses auf bestehende Faehigkeiten und gesunden Menschenverstand referenziert wird. Sie wuerden sich wundern, wie viel man damit hinbekommt.

Das zweite grosse Thema was mich seit mehreren Jahren umtreibt, ist das Thema Nachhaltigkeit, oder “Sustainability”. Nachhaltigkeit im planerischen Sinne darf sich keinstenfalls auf oekologische Aspekte reduzieren, sondern muss oekonomische und soziale Themen gleichwertig mitbehandeln. Die Tatsache, dass keine Firma, welche mir bisher ueber den Weg gelaufen ist, wirklich ein allumfassendes Nachhaltigkeitsprogramm zum Leben erweckt hat, stimmt mich traurig und erklaert in meinen Augen zu einem grossen Teil, wieso die Wirtschaft da ist wo sie ist.

Wer mich kennt hat’s schon oft gehoert: Wir in Europa, sind die Einzigen, welche eine reiche Geschichte besitzen und die Faehigkeit,sowie die Erlaubnis haben, diese zu reflektieren. Daraus sind tolle Sachen entstanden, wie die Aufklaerung, oder die Demokratie, um nur zwei Besipiele zu nennen. Daraus wiederum resultiert die Verantwortung, aus dieser Geschichte Lehren zu ziehen und das Gelernte umzusetzen. Ausser schoenen Worten habe ich bisher noch nicht viel gesehen. Wer mich davon ueberzeugt, dass seine Firma anders ist, hat die Wahl zwischen meinen drei Lieblingsgerichten: Kaesefondue, Spanferkelbraten, oder Haeggis… Pick one und danke fuers Lesen…

Ihr Florian Krueger