February 08, 2013 2:31:14 PM by
9Lenses new cloud apps tap the social side of business strategy
(PRWEB) January 31, 2013
9Lenses announced the release of 21 business optimization applications that enable any company to connect insights across their entire business. Best-of-breed companies spend millions of dollars annually attempting to optimize their assets, processes, and structures.
9Lenses’ applications allow anyone in the company to study, analyze, and connect optimization initiatives in one platform.
“Every company invests in optimization to drive performance,” says CEO and Founder of 9Lenses, Edwin Miller. “Leaders that really make a difference know how to facilitate positive outcomes. The way we do that in business is by asking great questions and crafting studies to pinpoint opportunities for improvement. The process of questioning, studying, and resolving business challenges is known as business optimization.”
9Lenses’ “insight to action” team designed this first set of apps to help executives learn about every part of their organization:
- The Big Three: These 3 apps help the “C” suite analyze any company’s Assets, Processes, and Structures.
- Snapshot9: These 4 apps allow CFOs and project managers in both product and service companies to optimize the financial health of any company, division, or group in minutes.
- Deep Dives: These 9 apps provide targeted performance optimization in every part of a business including: Market, People, Finance, Strategy, Operations, Execution, Expectation, Governance, and Entity.
- Operational Readiness: Uncovers insight into any company’s operational processes, systems, and infrastructure, along with its people and operating goals.
- Entrepreneur Tool-Kit: This app enables entrepreneurs to assess their own readiness for business. The Tool-Kit helps entrepreneurs get organized for a pitch to VCs, close gaps across their entire business, and prepare for rapid change.
- Corporate Responsibility: Mitigate risk by assessing, benchmarking, and filling gaps in any organization’s Corporate-Social Responsibility (CSR) policies.
- The Vault: Measure any organization's security via its Entity and Governance Lenses. This app examines everything from physical security to intellectual property and insurance.
- Accounting Analysis: This app is designed to uncover root causes of financial problems, discover drivers of financial success, and measure the impact of all financial decisions.
Each of these applications connects all of the insight gained to a schema that relates inbound data to every other part of the company. Unfortunately, most companies don’t use a schema like 9Lenses to interrelate optimization efforts, and instead labor in disconnected silos.
“The Head of HR runs customer engagement and employee satisfaction studies; the CEO assesses leadership alignment; the CFO is consumed by financial models; the CMO grapples with market timing and customer outreach projects; it’s a mess,” observes 9Lenses’ VP of Operations Steve Schaffer. “Valuable data and analysis is wasted for want of connection.”
9Lenses’ new cloud-based applications solve that problem by interrelating all optimization data within a schema that encompasses every facet of a business. As a result, the time it takes to discover and connect disparate data falls by as much as 90%. The McKinsey Global Institute estimated in July of this year that the global economy loses between $600-866 billion annually due to disconnected knowledge, expertise, and data within businesses.
Stopping that loss requires businesses to collaborate and leverage social technologies like never before. When asked why it is important for business leaders to learn in a schema, Miller replied “Because the schema relates what I’m doing as the CEO to the culture oriented decisions in HR and the financial analysis conducted by my CFO. Our age is one of unprecedented change. Successful leaders cannot adapt, scale, and remain competitive unless they learn, assess, and optimize every part of their business, holistically.”
Miller went on to articulate 3 competitive advantages that stem from connected learning:
- Efficiency improves as optimization efforts are centralized.
- Costs contract because the number of study/survey/assessment vendors collapses to one.
- Leaders drive performance, efficiency, and accountability with real-time data across every part of the business
Praise for the Apps:
“After reviewing the results, my first thought is that it takes a certain amount of courage to assess your company from the inside-out. I now believe it would be leadership suicide not to assess the company on a regular basis.”
~Dusty Wince, CEO of KCG
“9Lenses’ crowd sourcing software provided piercing insight into every part of my business. I’ve never seen anything comparable! It’s like McKinsey’s analytics meets Yammer’s social engagement platform—but better. 9Lenses’ application sessions are entirely cloud-based which enabled us to pinpoint actionable opportunities for improvement in hours, not weeks or months. The analytics are rich, deep, and comprehensive. A must have for any business committed to continuous improvement.”
~ Peter Fitzsimmons, CEO of Primatics Financial
February 08, 2013 2:20:01 PM by
Cloud apps turn stakeholder’s collective wisdom into Lean Management
Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) January 30, 2013 -
9Lenses announced the release of five landmark crowdsourcing applications to reduce the uncertainty faced by government contractors.
“Federal service providers face uncertainty on nearly every front. Budgets are uncertain, contract renewals are up in the air, and regulatory modifications are making it increasingly difficult to decide how to invest scarce resources,” notes Edwin Miller, 4 time-CEO and Founder of 9Lenses. “Contractors trying to win more bids with fewer resources, and that’s placing a lot of strain on the C-suite’s strategic abilities. I wanted to help, so we developed our ‘GovCon’ suite which allows executives to leverage the knowledge that’s already in their company to mitigate risk, and improve win-rates.”
Every app reduces uncertainty by linking executives to insight from stakeholders across every part of their company. Here are the apps:
· Automated Strategic Planning: The Strategic Planning app captures the collective wisdom of employees so executives can craft better roadmaps with better data at the next offsite.
· Lean Management: The Lean Management app interviews stakeholders to discover ways to reduce cost and risk across every part of an organization.
· Bid Process Optimizer: The Bid Optimizer engages employees and executives for data-calls, go/no-go bid calls, and benchmarks the “bid process” to improve win-rates over time.
· M&A Analyzer: M&A Analyzer helps organizations in the midst of large structural change pinpoint knowledge and alignment gaps to smoothly navigate the transition.
· 360 Your Business: 9Lenses 360 apps “snapshot” the health of every part of a business, project, program, or group so executives can optimize performance, end-to-end.
9Lenses has a fast growing customer set in the government community, including Raytheon, HP, Knowledge Consulting Group, a.i. Solutions, OnPoint, MSTI, XL Associates, Micropact, Centuria, Chilliad, and Navanti. All of these companies are using 9Lenses apps to create a quantitative approach for driving clarity, collective learning, and alignment in their companies.
In 2012, Raytheon used 9Lenses apps to engage their stakeholders in a strategic dialogue. They identified over 19 knowledge gaps, misalignments, and operational challenges. Lisa Brown, the President of Raytheon Trusted Computer Solutions, felt that “9Lenses provided great clarity into the business. It cut through the labyrinth of management and strategy theories that leaders are constantly trying to adapt to their organizations and really pinpointed the areas where focus was needed.”
After running several apps, Raytheon decided to partner with 9Lenses to develop an operational playbook using Six Sigma Lean Management principles. Division COO John Graves wanted to see if his crowd could find ways to reduce expenses and streamline processes.
Crowd sourcing business strategy was new to John, but when asked about the experience he replied, “I am enthralled with the approach 9Lenses takes to focus “process improvement” initiatives and eager to gain greater insight into the analytical underpinnings of the cloud platform. I look forward to a rewarding partnership and broadening the 9L's “sphere of influence” across Raytheon.”
William J. Weber, the President and COO of XL Associates, offered similar feedback when asked about his experience with 9Lenses’ government contracting solutions.
“As XL Associates and ALON Inc. began to merge, I sought out an enterprise management platform capable of revealing and synthesizing each organization's strengths. I wanted to move toward harmony and stave off the confusion that so often accompanies large acquisitions. 9Lenses provided insight beyond my wildest expectation. It's like E-Discovery for people’s knowledge instead of documents. With 9Lenses, it's easy to conduct internal assessments and business intelligence studies inside one platform, and the analytics made my data insightful and immediately actionable. Any company in the government services sector who wants to keep their edge and avoid falling into the "just another contractor" syndrome should consider 9Lenses’ apps.”
February 06, 2013 9:14:44 AM by
Governance is one of those things that businesses typically don’t notice until something has gone terribly wrong. When everyone is completely focused on getting their job completed, questions about how the board is composed are forgotten and sometimes it seems that no one has time to develop robust accountability measures.
The governance lens requires consideration of practices, principles, and structures. The practices define how the entire company is governed. If the practices are ill defined or poorly structured, one of two extremes can develop. The governance requirements can become so onerous that they cause bottlenecks in the company and impede business. Alternatively, practices can become so lax that stakeholders, including employees and customers, find themselves compromised. These practices are guided by governance principles that provide guidelines for conduct. And finally, governance structures help explain who has control of what in the company. Are leaders sufficiently accountable?
While it might seem like this lens is almost unimportant, or only of secondary importance, governance affects every other lens. In addition to potentially impeding everyday business, poor governance can give corruption a foothold. If corruption sets in, then waste begins to erode the company. This does not have to be Chicago-level mass corruption to affect a company. It can be something as simple as an unaccountable board member funneling business to an unproductive contractor. Even if no technical violation occurs, dubious behavior reflects poorly on the company as a whole. Thus, it is within a company’s best interest to avoid any charges of misconduct by developing a sound governance lens.
January 28, 2013 2:24:25 PM by
Perhaps one of the most fluid and amorphous elements of business is determining and managing the expectations of all the involved in a business. Everyone has a different perspective; consequently, everyone interprets information differently. The potential for misunderstanding communication is enormous, especially given the increasingly compartmentalized nature of business operations.
Aligning expectations is a difficult task for executives and business leaders, especially when it comes to balancing the diverse and sometimes contradictory expectations of customers, employees, board members, and shareholders. Quite often these expectations can diverge considerably if they are not reviewed and recalibrated constantly.
The key to setting expectations well is creating clarity. This involves building a culture of accountability to ensure the right information is provided at the right time, and keeping channels of communication open constantly. The former obviously does not occur overnight. It requires focus, leadership, and dedication. However, if executives can manage to build such a culture, they will discover that aligning expectations becomes rather simple because everyone is constantly aware of those around them. Creating constant communication allows individual stakeholders to voice their concerns, ideas, or approval. It helps everyone understand where the company is, where it is going, and why it is this way.
If a company can manage to unify expectations, then all of the stakeholders can unify together and move forward on the business strategy as one unit. Instead of fighting over elephants in the room, they can agree to pursue the same task and the same goals without looking to push their own agendas.
January 21, 2013 8:47:14 AM by
The Prussian military strategist, Moltke the Elder, once explained that no plan survives first contact with the enemy. The same goes for business strategies. Often, clear ideas become muddled when they are actually adopted. The Execution lens helps leaders craft, track and improve the steps that lead to successful strategic implementation.
Structurally, the Executions lens is divided into two categories: measurement and performance. When setting performance standards, it is not enough to set an arbitrary standard for measuring performance. The measurements must be based on realistic expectations and avoid incidental measurement incidental measurement. Why are these things being measured? Are they actually Key Performance Indicators or are therebetter indicators available? As to performance, consider the way the organization functions. If there is underperformance, it is important to consider why. Why does it not work well? What needs to be changed?
Execution is interrelated to the operations lens and strategy lens. Since execution requires a company to measure processes, it must have operations to measure. If there are problems in the operations lens, the executions lens will also pick up these errors. If the strategy is flawed, the execution lens might be measuring the KPIs well, but returning minimum results in terms of long-term success. Measuring performance is essential to understanding these problems. The execution lens operates as a litmus test for all the “processes” lenses to ensure that any business is operating as effectively as possible.